Selecting a company worthy of your business is a complex process. This is especially true if the company you’re investigating who is going to be responsible for your business communications. You already know the benefits associated with voice over IP (VoIP). The next step is identifying the best VoIP provider to meet your needs.
Such a statement points to the first step you must complete in the process – understanding the needs of your organization and your user. The process begins with outlining user behaviors and the expectations of your client base. It then moves into the technology specifics, forcing you to select between a SIP trunk or a PBX. If you’re not sure why you have to make a selection between the two, it’s a good indication that a VoIP provider will lend considerable value.
Still, finding the right VoIP provider requires diving deeper into the details. Let’s look at five elements to consider before you make your selection. Then, if you do your homework, you should end up in the right place.
1. Decide on hosting: In the era of cloud technology, it’s easy to assume that hosting is the way to go. There are a number of key benefits, including vendor management of installation and updates. If you prefer to keep management in house, however, you need to consider a self-hosted option. Just be aware that cost savings may be offset over the lifetime of the system due to a greater time and personnel investment.
2. QoS is pertinent: When considering Quality of Service (QoS), you’re not just looking at how your organization will experience the technology, but also anyone who interacts with your brand. The right VoIP provider needs to offer redundancy to ensure continuous connectivity, generally described as call continuity. At the same time, the right provider will offer QoS guarantees. That includes using your Internet service provider as your voice carrier. Introducing another provider into the mix ensures latency will wreak havoc on your QoS.
3. Uptime guarantees are critical: This simple measure ensures you will have access to the communication channel when you need it. Don’t just ask for guarantees, however. Ask for the VoIP provider’s uptime record for the past quarter or even year. If the uptime records exceed the provider’s guarantees, they’re a quality choice.
4. Clarify SLAs: If a VoIP provider doesn’t offer an SLA, they aren’t making service guarantees a priority and you need to walk away. The SLA is critical to ensure the provider is meeting expectations after the sale. There should not only be outlined service deliverables, there should also be monetary consequences for failing to maintain those levels.
5. Verify References: Every VoIP provider is likely to have that list of impressive clients. What you want are a few names of active clients you can call. Be ready with specific questions as to the installation, customer support and responsiveness when a problem occurs and promises met.
Once you’ve done your homework, you should be educated well enough to enter into more serious conversations with a VoIP provider that can meet your expectations. To help in the process, contact Cory Communications. We’ll help you through these steps so the decision you make is right for your organization.