Even if you only want to use VoIP for cost savings, it’s important to find the right VoIP service partner for your needs. If you want to use VoIP for its more advanced functionality, then it can be literally business-critical to have the right VoIP service partner on your side. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to finding the best VoIP service in Auburn.
1. Start by deciding whether or not you want to manage the infrastructure yourself
Larger SMBs might be happy to upgrade their internal networks to cope with the additional traffic generated by VoIP. Most SMBs, however, are probably going to prefer some kind of hosting arrangement. In short, your options are to arrange your own hosting and then arrange a separate VoIP service contract or to look for a VoIP service vendor which can manage both the hosting and the call service. The former approach gives you a higher degree of control, but the latter has the benefit of convenience.
2. Think about what endpoints you want
It may seem strange to jump from the start to the end, but this should be a fairly easy decision to take and it may influence your choice of VoIP service vendor. In short, for calls, your options are softphones or VoIP handsets. If If you’re planning on implementing Fax over IP (fax) as well, then you’ll probably need a separate client for that.
Instead of worrying too much about the technicalities of softphones versus VoIP handsets, it’s usually better to focus on the practicalities. Possibly the single, biggest difference between them is that softphones take up space on a screen whereas VoIP handsets take up space on a physical desk. Both need to be seen alongside everything else a user needs. This can be quite a challenge with softphones if users have a lot of apps open. It tends to be less of an issue with VoIP handsets.
For completeness, you’ll generally need to give people headsets for their softphones, so they will effectively take up some physical space. There will also be an associated cost. VoIP handsets can generally be used as regular handsets or with headsets. The latter tends to be more expensive but can be well worth it due to the productivity gains of being able to work hands-free.
Whichever option you choose, it’s strongly recommended to test your options thoroughly before committing to one of them. This is particularly true of softphone clients as their quality varies hugely as does their level of support for mobile devices.
There are two reasons why your equipment needs may influence your choice of VoIP service vendor. First of all, if you want to use a softphone client then that will usually come from your VoIP service vendor (and its quality can be a good indicator of their overall quality). Secondly, if you want to use VoIP handsets then you’ll need to decide whether you want to buy them yourselves or if you want them included as part of a VoIP service contract.
3. Make a list of your needs and wants
One of the great benefits of VoIP is that it’s very flexible and scalable. This means that for most companies, especially SMBs, the most pragmatic approach is to start small and build from there. For the most part, your initial implementation should cover your immediate needs and any priority wants, particularly if they are low-hanging fruit such as basic additional calling functions, such as Caller ID.
It is, however, a good idea to think about where you want to go in the future and in what sort of timescales as this may influence your choice of VoIP service vendor. Most SMB-focussed VoIP service vendors will easily be able to cope with the mainstream services most businesses want. If, however, you are interested in using some of VoIP’s most advanced functionality, then your choice of VoIP service vendor may be more restricted.
4. Define acceptable criteria for quality and security
Once you have a clear picture of your needs and wants, you’ll need to define your minimum acceptable standards for call quality and security, and compliance. These last will depend, at least in part, on your geographical location and industry sector. That said, standards for security in general and data protection in particular, have been rising across the board and so all companies should arguably be working on the assumption that they should be taking this seriously even if they’re not (yet) legally obligated to do so.
It’s also advisable to look for evidence that a potential VoIP service vendor has a solid track record in supporting and servicing companies similar to yours.
If you’d like to speak to one of the best VoIP service partners in Auburn, please click here now to contact Aperio. IT.
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