Things to Consider When Choosing a VoIP Provider
Optimizing your business operations by utilizing Voice Over IP (VoIP) is a direct route to maintaining higher levels of functionality and dependability—all while saving time and money for your team.
Here’s a quick guide outlining the top considerations when selecting the VoIP system that will best suit your business needs.
Ease-of-Use and Accessibility
The VoIP provider you choose to partner with should be able to replicate legacy telephony—which will aid in adoption by employees who are accustomed to working with older systems. A familiar look and feel will help encourage and smooth any transition woes.
New features like ad-hoc conferencing, presence sensing and call recording should be well integrated with other applications for ease-of-use. In addition, some providers offer features like high-definition voice—but often at a premium. Decide if these features are likely to be used regularly before you develop the request for proposal for your VoIP program.
Understand the Scope of Service
Unlike traditional telephony, VoIP isn’t limited to an office phone or even a dedicated phone network. It can be utilized across platforms, including cloud-based SaaS.
VoIP systems do require a standalone network, which some companies can provide along with IT management and will reduce the strain on your in-house IT team. On-premise servers are possible, but require a large upfront investment to cover installation costs, as well as a higher budget for IT spend.
The switch to VoIP can bring increased efficiency—efficiency that can end up taxing your current network capabilities. While VoIP is not a bandwidth-intensive application, the additional traffic and real-time modes like voice traffic could end up posing problems for your data network.
To absorb the impact of VoIP, it might be necessary to upgrade your cabling or capacity, acquire new network management tools or even an entire separate data network that voice is routed through. Having a designated data network can also allow for greater security from cyber attacks, which are unfortunately becoming more frequent.
With technology evolving rapidly, investing in a VoIP system needs to be considered in the context of long-term growth and change. While voice is projected to remain a primary function, VoIP systems are increasingly integrating multimedia features and functionality, as well as supporting personal and professional devices like smartphones and tablets.
Keeping up with functionality demands to facilitate growth might be easiest with a cloud-based solution. With regular product updates, you never have to worry about waiting for installation, technology becoming outdated or IT falling behind functionality.
Compared to traditional telephony, VoIP has much lower operational costs, and as the cloud matures, the pricing curve will continue downward. IT and networking costs are also falling as cloud integration becomes more seamless.
This is bolstered by network convergence, where voice traffic is ported to the data network. With VoIP, telephony becomes a data stream saving your company money by consolidating media streams.
As the capabilities grow and pricing falls for VoIP, companies worldwide are taking note. Considering the needs of your company, employees and customers will enable you to scale your VoIP system to allow for consistent quality of service—all while giving your networks a much needed upgrade.
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