In principle, VoIP has all kinds of selling points. In practice, its main selling point by far is the fact that it opens up low-cost calling options. This can be great news for businesses, especially SMBs, but you do need to ensure that appropriate quality standards are maintained. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to choosing a cheap VoIP service in Placerville.
1. Start by deciding what you need (or want)
Your existing telephone landscape should give you a baseline for what you should probably be implementing on VoIP. Essentially, you usually want to avoid reducing this unless it is clear that the existing service is neither needed nor wanted. At the same time, you also want to avoid the temptation to add other services just because they sound good and are easy to implement. Only add services if they have the clear potential to save you money in some way.
There are, however, three value-add services you might want to consider. These are conference calling, video calling, and call recording. Conference-calling is generally an easy win to the point where you’d usually need a specific reason not to include it. Video calling is straightforward to implement, it just needs a lot of bandwidth and hence can be expensive. On the other hand, it can be a lot more affordable, convenient, and safer than business travel and hence can be worth the effort.
Call recording through VoIP is not particularly difficult technically. It’s much easier than it is with the traditional telephone network. The issue is making sure that it is done lawfully. This means working with a VoIP service vendor who knows their way around the relevant laws and regulations.
2. Decide if you need to implement Fax over IP
If you still have old-school fax machines then you need to decide if you are just going to get rid of them or if you are going to switch to Fax over IP (fax). Most VoIP vendors will also support Fax over IP, but if not there are still a few vendors who specialize in it.
3. Define your minimum service standards
You must set out minimum service standards for service quality, security and compliance, and customer service and support. Check these right at the start of the vendor-selection process and immediately reject any VoIP service vendor who fails to meet them. Resist any temptation to look at their prices “just in case” not even if they are only slightly below your minimum standards. If you’ve defined your minimum standards accurately, you cannot safely go below them, not even by a small amount, no matter how good the price.
4. Think about what equipment you’ll need and how you prefer to pay for it
If you plan to implement services other than basic calling, then you may need other equipment, for example, webcams for video calls. Again, you’ll need to think about whether you’re going to buy these independently or whether you want them bundled as part of your VoIP service contract. You may be able to split the difference slightly and buy them upfront from your VoIP service vendor.
If you’re planning on running your back-end infrastructure, then you’ll usually need to source your equipment yourself. For most SMBs, however, the choice is really between using managed-to-host and arranging a separate VoIP service contract or looking for a cheap VoIP service vendor who can also take care of hosting.
5. Analyze your call/fax usage
Take a thorough look at your historical and current bills to see what they can tell you about how your staff is using your phones (and faxes) and think about anything which might cause this to change in the future.
You want to know your peak volume of calls and also a breakdown of calling destinations into internal, intra-company, local, domestic, and international calls. You’ll want international calls separated by country. Ideally, you’ll also split-out calls to landlines and calls to cell phones.
This gives you the information you need to pick the right calling plan. In short, you generally want to cover your core usage with a calling plan and have reasonable prices for your ad-hoc usage.
If you’d like to speak to one of the best cheap VoIP service partners in Placerville, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.
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