Choosing a VoIP Provider: Strategies for Steering Clear of the Most Common Mistakes

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VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is fast becoming one of the most popular technologies for businesses. You no longer need to invest in a costly landline system to enjoy all of the advanced features, and instead you can simply pay for a VoIP service and get them all included for a more affordable price.

However, there is still a lot of confusion about this technology, and it can be easy to make mistakes when choosing a provider. Here are some of the most common mistakes that you should avoid.

 

Not Considering the Total Cost

One of the many benefits of VoIP is the potential to save money. You will normally see a per-user cost per month for a hosted solution, but even with this, there are often other costs involved and you should be aware of exactly what these are before signing any contracts.

 

For a start, you may need to buy handsets to use with your service, and these will cost money. A provider may also include certain hidden costs for things like licensing that are not immediately apparent, and these can sometimes be significant. So ensure you know what these are and don’t get locked into a service that is too expensive because you did not understand the licensing costs.

 

 

Not Fully Understanding the Technology

 

You need to have at least a basic understanding of VoIP technology before you decide on a provider, or someone in your team needs to have an understanding of it. These are very different from conventional phone systems, so it is worth getting educated on the technology so you can make more informed decisions. Things like traffic, bandwidth, network testing, and network architecture are all issues to consider. In addition, you may also want to evaluate the trade-off between a hosted service and an on-premise solution. If you decide to host the service in-house, then you should be looking at SIP trunking services instead of hosted VoIP.

 

 

Failing to Choose Your Provider with Proper Care

 

Make sure you choose your provider properly because otherwise you may be stuck with an unsuitable service that is not right for your business. Spend time researching a wide range of providers and read through reviews from existing customers to get a better idea of whether the provider is right for you.

 

When selecting a VoIP service provider or , customer reviews will inform you of what you can expect and can highlight problem areas. Use a comparison tool to instantly see differences in the features provided and the cost, and don’t miss out on a better deal because you did not spend the time researching.

 

You don’t want to choose a provider that goes out of business a year from now, and instead you want to choose a provider with a good reputation that will be around for a long time to come. You also want a provider with good customer service and that is happy to go over your concerns and help you come up with solutions when there is a problem, which involves providing a good level of support.

 

 

Failing to Research the Features

 

One of the great things about VoIP services is that you can get access to many advanced features for less than using a conventional phone system, including customizable greetings, email notifications, call bridging, and more. But you may not want all of these features, so it is a good idea to have a look at the features available and then think about which ones you need and which you may want.

 

Sure services like Skype can be useful, but can you rely on a free service for your business? Look at the prices of these features and decide whether you are prepared to pay for them. Also, can you add features later on, or get rid of them if you don’t need them? Don’t just jump in without fully analyzing this.

 

 

Not Preparing for Disaster

 

Does your provider offer disaster recovery? You need a plan in place should something go wrong so that you can get your phones back up and running in a short time. Talk to your provider and find out what their plan is, and make sure you have a Service Level Agreement in place so you know that you are guaranteed a certain level of service.

 

 

Don’t Make These Mistakes when Choosing a VoIP Provider

 

These are all potential mistakes that you can easily make when choosing your VoIP provider, so be aware of them when making your decision. Take your time to go over all of your options an don’t rush your decision because it is an important one for your business. You want to ensure you make the right choice, so go over these mistakes again and make sure you keep them in mind when choosing your VoIP provider.

 

Tony Campbell is a founder and managing partner at WhichVoIP.com, a leading resource for information and advice on technology solutions. Tony is an Internet/tech entrepreneur and has spent over 20 years working in networking and telecommunications. Follow Tony on Twitter.


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Author: Firdaus

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