There are far more VoIP service providers than there are traditional telcos. This means that SMBs have a great chance of finding one who is a perfect fit for their organization. They do, however, need to apply a bit of strategy to the vendor-selection process. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to choosing between VoIP service providers in Davis.
1. You need to know what you want and (by) when
If all you want is basic calling functionality, then you’ll have a very wide pool of VoIP service providers from whom to choose. The more you want to push VoIP, however, the more this pool will shrink. What’s more, you’ll need to be very careful to choose a VoIP service vendor who understands the SMB sector rather than one who is mainly focused on the enterprise sector.
Depending on your time scales, however, you may be able to work around this by starting with a basic VoIP implementation and then building it up incrementally. This would not only potentially give you more VoIP service providers from which to choose (in the initial stages), but also let you use cost savings achieved in earlier stages to (help) finance later stages.
As a slight side note, traditional fax machines work on traditional telephone lines. Companies that still need a fax service, therefore, need either to keep some of their existing telephone lines or to switch to Fax over IP. These days, the latter is usually by far the better option. Most VoIP service providers will also support Fax over IP. If you want to use one that doesn’t, you can use a specialist Fax over IP vendor to plug the gap.
2. Think carefully about how to manage your bandwidth
If you want your VoIP service to have the same quality as your traditional telephone service, then you need lots of high-quality bandwidth. In theory, there are three ways you can organize this. You can use in-house resources, you can organize managed hosting plus a separate VoIP service contract or you can look for a VoIP service provider who can manage your hosting for you as part of your contract.
In practice, most SMBs will want to steer clear of the first option and go for the second or third. If you already have a managed-hosting arrangement with which you are happy then it may make sense just to upgrade it. Otherwise, it might be easiest and most effective all-around just to look for a VoIP service provider who can also deal with your hosting.
3. Decide your minimum service standards
There are three areas an effective VoIP service contract needs to cover. These are technical service quality, customer service, support and security, and compliance. Companies can set their own minimum standards for the first two (although they’re recommended to set them very high) but minimum standards for security and compliance are likely to be determined by laws and regulations.
Remember that VoIP systems will almost always carry some personal data. This means that they will be covered by data-protection laws. There will be further legal considerations if you want to record calls, especially if you want to store the recordings, which, realistically, will be the case for most companies.
The legalities of data protection and the realities of contract enforcement are both strong arguments in favor of sticking with VoIP service providers in Davis (or at least near Davis). They will be answerable to the same law enforcers and regulators as you.
4. Assess what you need from a VoIP service contract
It’s a good idea to start by working out what equipment you are going to need and how you would prefer to pay for it. If you decide that you want to use softphones, then it’s strongly recommended to test any VoIP service vendor’s offering before you commit to a VoIP service contract. The quality of softphone clients varies greatly, especially if you need them to work on mobile devices as well as regular PCs/Macs.
Even if you’re planning on using softphones, you’ll still need some hardware. As a minimum, you’ll need headsets and it’s advisable to invest in high-quality ones as they can make a real difference to the user experience (on both sides of the call). You may also need some VoIP handsets and perhaps some speakerphones and webcams (for conference-calling and video-calling respectively). It may work out slightly more economical to buy these separately, but getting them as part of a contract allows you to spread the cost
Last but not least, you need to think about what you really need from your calling plan, so take a good look at your historic, current, and predict usage.
If you’d like to speak to one of the best VoIP service providers in Davis, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.
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