Not all VoIP Phone Systems are Created EqualPosted on: 2017-01-13 | Categories: VoIP Services
If you have ever worked for an organization or run your own business, you know it’s not easy to change processes, software, services or technology. Quite often change is expensive – you need to buy new hardware, acquire licenses for software, modify applications to suit your requirements and so on. At other times it is training and user awareness that can cause delays in the project. If the change is something that affects every part of the business, it can turn out to be an expensive and time consuming project.
So you might be surprised to hear that switching to a VoIP phone system can actually be a pretty simple and easy process. If you run a small business, you can start using hosted VoIP services in a few hours! There’s no need to wait for technicians to install equipment or configure applications. As long as you have IP enabled phones that are compatible with the service and a robust internal data network, you are good to go.
VoIP Phone Systems – Is There a Difference?
However, you shouldn’t just pick a random service provider and hope to get a smooth experience. There are hundreds of vendors out there in the market and not all provide a seamless transition from your current phone system. There are important differences between the various services that can quickly derail your best laid plans.
Just as with any product or service, not all VoIP phone systems are created equal. In any industry, there are good and bad players and the hosted VoIP service segment is no different. Some offer better quality but at a higher price. But others may not give you all the features you’re looking for, even though the price is just right. Some systems are targeted towards a particular industry with regard to price, features or plans. While they are great for a business in that field, the service might be worthless to anyone outside.
Some Services Are Better than Others
There are many factors that go into the making of a good VoIP phone system. Some aspects relate to the technology itself like call quality or reliability. Other qualities revolve around the business model like customer service and plan pricing. So how do you know if one service is better than the other? With so many VoIP phone systems available, there is no way you can compare them all individually. That is just a waste of your time.
The first thing you should do is narrow the list of phone systems you are looking at with a few simple criteria. It could be something like price (not more than $XX per month) or availability of features (digital faxing is a must). Suppose you have a small business, you can eliminate vendors who focus mainly on large multinational corporations. Once you have a more manageable list, it’s time to look at which services are better than the rest.
What Makes a Good VoIP Phone System?
There are certain aspects on which you can easily differentiate between the good and not so good VoIP phone systems. These are call quality, reliability, security and features.
Gone are the days of choppy audio, dropped calls and missed conversations. VoIP technology has improved to the point where most people can’t tell if they’re using it or the PSTN. But not every service offers the same great quality. Some providers optimize their systems to consume less bandwidth, which is mostly at the expense of call quality.
Older VoIP phone systems were certainly not as reliable as landlines. You could never be sure if a call would go through. The best VoIP phone systems use several ways of ensuring reliability like optimization, using standard protocols, continuous monitoring etc. No one likes their phones going down in the middle of the day, so the best systems are ones which are reliable.
You are probably not used to thinking about security in the context of phones. But when you use a system that routes calls over the Internet, it can fall prey to the same threats that plague other IP based services. So security in all its forms is important in VoIP. The best VoIP phone systems will use standard security measures like encryption and monitoring tools. The data center used by the vendor should implement physical security procedures to reduce risk. Phone conversations are sensitive business data, so data storage and retrieval should take top priority.
Last but not least, good services will offer the entire gamut of tools and features that VoIP is known for. You should not be limited or held back by your phone system when your business is growing quickly. Features that you never thought you needed will become indispensable once you start using them.
The VoIP phone system you pick will determine if your experience will be good or bad. So carefully evaluate services side by side before buying one.