One of the many reasons companies are abandoning traditional phone lines is that switching to VoIP gives them a much wider choice of service providers. The increased competition means that there are some great deals available. You do, however, need to know how to find the very best deal for your organization. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to choosing between VoIP service providers in Placerville.
Decide what VoIP functions you need to implement and (by) when
Many SMBs will be perfectly happy with a close copy of their existing telephone service. If they want extra functionality it will probably be in the form of improved call-management features and enhanced calling facilities such as conference-calling and video-calling. These are likely to be supported by most, if not all, business-facing VoIP service providers.
If, however, you want to push deeper into VoIP and implement functions such as call-center management, Unified Communications, and/or third-party integrations, then your choice of potential VoIP service providers is likely to become much more limited. You’ll also need to be very careful to pick a VoIP service provider who is geared up to deal with SMBs rather than one who is focussed on enterprise clients.
Think about whether the change to VoIP will impact on other services
Remember to check if your current telephone service provider also provides you with other services such as cell phones, internet, and/or TV. If they do, then you’ll need to see if a change to your telephone contract will impact the other services and if it does, what you need to do about it. It’s advisable to do this early as it may influence your budget for VoIP and hence, possibly, your choice of VoIP service vendor.
If you still have fax machines, then you will need to choose between keeping some of your traditional phone lines so that they can continue to run or switching to Fax over IP. Most VoIP service vendors will also support Fax over IP. If you want to work with one who doesn’t then there are specialist Fax over IP service providers who can bridge the gap. For most SMBs, Fax over IP is by far the better option since it improves security, lowers costs, is more convenient and opens up office space for other purposes.
Think about how you will manage your bandwidth requirements
It’s probably fair to say that few SMBs are going to have the ability or inclination to manage the necessary network infrastructure themselves. This means that, in practical terms, most companies will be looking at a managed hosting arrangement. The question then becomes whether to organize this separately or to look for a VoIP service vendor who can manage hosting as well.
If you already have a managed-hosting arrangement in place, then you may be happy to stick with what you know for hosting and have your VoIP service provider take care of everything else VoIP related. If you don’t then the fact that you might get a more economical deal with two separate contracts has to be set against the fact that you would need to select and manage two separate vendors.
Set your minimum service standards
In addition to setting out minimum standards for technical issues (like uptime) and customer service and support (both of which are very important), it’s also important to make sure that any potential VoIP service provider can meet high standards of security and compliance. These are not only non-negotiable, but the direction of travel is also clear. Standards are getting higher all the time, as are the penalties for failing to meet them.
Be very clear about the fact that you can delegate tasks but not accountability in the eyes of the law (or the regulators). This means that you have to have confidence that your VoIP service provider will fulfill all the necessary obligations and that confidence has to be backed by an enforceable contract. From a legal perspective, the safest option by far is to stick with VoIP service providers in Placerville (or at least near Placerville).
Assess what you need from a VoIP service contract
The way to get a good deal from a VoIP service contract is to think about what you really need and really want and to ignore everything else no matter how low it is priced. This holds true for both bundled equipment and calling plans/other calling services. Remember, it’s usually much easier to upgrade a contract than it is to downgrade it, so if in doubt start small and build up from there.
If you’d like to speak to one of the best VoIP service providers in Placerville, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.
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