VoIP (Voice over IP) is a technology that allows you to make telephone calls using the internet. These types of services help deliver cost savings for various organizations including global enterprises and SMBs etc. They can even be very useful for startups.
Once you’ve decided that VoIP is right for your business, you’ll need to be thorough about what you need and what you can spend. Here are a few steps to help you decide:
What are your VoIP needs?
The realm of VoIP can seem a little daunting to the uninitiated. Hence, it’s important to understand what you want and need. There are three main terms to understand:
If you have an IP network that can carry voice services, there’s no better option on the table. If the existing LAN cabling and Ethernet equipment can carry the VoIP services, you can cut down on costs and allow for greater flexibility.
SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) Trunking
This is a communications protocol so that you can control communication sessions. This includes internet telephony for voice and video calls.
Private Branch Exchange (PBX)
This is a system for managing phone calls and services. The PBX system can be hosted on-premise, a separate location, or can be a hybrid of the two. Hosting your PBX on-premise typically comes with the most cost savings.
When looking into the various options for VoIP, it’s imperative to get one with redundancy. This basically means that when your internet connection is weak or is completely down, the VoIP provider will offer you emergency services. So be sure to ask for “call continuity”.
QoS (Quality of Service)
QoS is very important when choosing a VoIP provider. Using your ISP provider as your VoIP provider is the best call. The Quality of Service can be determined by the internet speeds and bandwidth.
Inquire about the uptime before choosing a provider. High uptime means your vendor will ensure that you are almost completely covered for services for the year. However, low uptime means that the service is known to disconnect frequently.
Get the numbers up front. High-speed internet connections are vital in getting high-quality voice calling. Lower bandwidth can cause down-sampling of voice quality or worse, dropped calls. Also, be sure to take into consideration that your company internet usage will affect your voice quality. If someone is downloading very large files are an uncapped speed, you can and will notice quality loss if you don’t have enough bandwidth to cover the usage.
Service Level Agreements are contracts between you and the vendor. It outlines the expectations that the client has from the vendor and how those are to be met. If a vendor offers these as a routine part of business agreements, that’s a very good sign.
Ask for References so that you can be doubly sure about the vendor’s quality. A trusted vendor won’t ever be afraid or hesitant to offer you case studies and testimonials.
Support and Service Availability
Ensure that you can call about problems that need to be fixed at all times. It’s not enough that the vendor is promising great connectivity 24 hours a day. It’s also important to ask if they’re willing to fix problems when it truly matters.
VoIP is the future, and for most big companies around the world, it has become the standard and the successor to landlines. However, if you want to choose a VoIP service provider, you need to look deep into their record and their services before you make a decision.