Satisfying the unique demands of communications for the small and midsized businesses in today’s fast-paced markets can be difficult if companies are to rely on conventional phone services. Such a dependency can prove to be quite costly. Fortunately, they can enjoy different options for their voice communications needs thus they do not have to rely on the at times overburdened standard phone services.
Today, businesses do not have to invest significant amounts of money on the dated PSTN services while there is VoIP (Voice over IP) which is a faster and more reliable communications platform. VoIP is a digital calling system that utilizes high-speed internet to offer reliable, high-quality voice calls in different service packages with enhancing features to meet the needs of various businesses.
While VoIP is the best communications platform for companies in this era of highly competitive markets, the issue that businesses face is finding the right VoIP provider. When picking a service provider, the prudent move is to choose one that understands and appreciates the significance of reliable communications for your organization or company.
With such communications technology, go are the days of silent, incomplete and distorted connectivity for voice calls. And the advent of the internet with its global reach and utilization means that the term “IP-enabled communications” is not so foreign for most people that are familiar with computers.
A quick search online with yield results of hundreds of VoIP service providers all vying for your business with the promise of being the best in the industry. However, a significant number of them will not be able to meet your needs. A VoIP provider that has what it takes to meet the communications needs of your company is one that has been in the industry for several years and has amassed quite the reputation for being reliable. Moreover, the provider will know past and current VoIP technologies. Also, the provider understands the importance of having a qualified and well-trained support staff.
Generally, every consumer-driven business thrives on effective channels of communication, and this pushed for the need to hire the best VoIP provider that acts in the best interests of your company.
- 1 Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing An IP Service Provider
Mistakes To Avoid When Choosing An IP Service Provider
The number of companies that are making the switch from conventional telecom provider to Voice over IP is high and keeps increasing. The move is one meant to see the business save significantly on costs of having reliable communications options that offer great calling features in one service. However, the hype surrounding VoIP can easily see you get caught up and making wrong decisions that see you enlisting the services of a less than capable provider.
To reap the maximum benefits of hiring a reputable VoIP provider that has fully managed systems, companies seeking such services should first understand the potential obstacles they may face and how to avoid or overcome them.
Unrealistic expectations attributed to lack of knowledge of how VoIP works
Understanding how VoIP works is one of the measures organizations can take to help them select the right service provider. The idea is for them to have basic knowledge of digital communications so that they can identify red flags the providers may want to keep hidden. Also, being informed keeps them from having high or very low expectations of the VoIP system.
While the most apparent reason for businesses to switch to VoIP is for them to enjoy reduced costs of communications, the services offered by providers can have hidden charges and caps. As such, there is a need to look beyond the disclosed pricings to identify any added fees. In most cases, the extra costs are hidden in things such as support services, usage caps, and licensing requirements.
Working with a provider that’s relatively new in the industry
In the world of doing business, everyone starts somewhere. The same applies to VoIP service providers. And while it is good to give opportunities to new players in the business industry so that they can grow, it is wise to consider the risks of hiring inexperienced professionals. Voice over IP technology is always evolving with substantial promise for longevity. But the technology is relatively young, and many of the players in the VoIP industry have been around for a few years.
Working with the less experienced providers may work out for some buyers, but there is the high risk of enlisting the services of a VoIP company that has systems that are yet to have all the glitches addressed. Moreover, your business faces the risk of being lost in the dark if the service provider lacks the resource to keep the company running and decides to close up shop and disappear.
Therefore, there is a need to do background checks on the various vendors to see their journey and success so that you are sure that you are investing in a service provider that guarantees your business strong ROI.
Hiring providers that do not consider bandwidth consumption and network traffic
By switching to VoIP, all the company’s calls, to and from, are routed over the internet. Given the volume of internet user access it at a given time, there is a possibility of the connection to going down a bit due to limited data speeds or capacity. As such, you need to consider whether or not the provider has enough bandwidth if your business deals with huge call volumes and data transmissions. An insufficient bandwidth will not be able to support massive network traffic thus the call quality will suffer.
The VoIP company you choose to hire should take the time to assess your business’ communication needs and will give you’re the necessary information that will help you ascertain that your current internet connection can support their VoIP service. The provider should test the network to determine is will be compatible with their services and can handle the Voice over IP integration. Inquiring about this should be the foremost concern, followed by other factors such as available features, user licenses, and disaster recovery options.
The integration of VoIP for the average home users is relatively a straightforward affair. They pick a service provider, pay the monthly fee, install the softphone applications, and they are good to go. For business users, things are as rosy. Some VoIP providers try to lock in customers using the guise of licensing by try to justify this by overcompensating on the value of the services they offer. As such, companies that wish to switch to VoIP should also rake through the terms and conditions of the licensing agreements with a fine toothcomb before appending their signatures.
When reviewing the licensing agreement, take the time to find out if a disaster recovery plan is included because some providers do not offer such services. Failure to confirm if such services are on offer before signing the contractors will only place your company in murky situations should the systems of the VoIP services provide fail or they close up shop.
Also, you need to consider the basic and necessary features that the provider will avail. Most companies opt to migrate to Voice over IP so that they enjoy not only reliable communications but also the innovative features that enhance the users’ experience. The good thing is that most of the VoIP providers offer quality calling functions and some of the essential basics such as call forwarding. Due to this fact, it is wise to ask if the provider can offer a demo system and give you a detailed list of the features that come with the Voice over IP services they provide.
Hopefully, the above information has shed some much-needed light on what to consider and the pitfall to avoid when switching to VoIP and selecting a service provider.