How to Choose a VoIP Provider

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VoIP services are popular business communication tools. These tools use your broadband connection for voice communication. To choose the right provider, you need to identify your needs, evaluate your assets and research prospective providers.

How to Choose a VOIP Service Provider: 7 Steps (with Pictures)

Identify Needs

You need to determine the equipment, such as physical desk phones or mobile devices, that will meet your current and future needs. Choose your desired level of control to identify whether you will house your system, which will require additional equipment purchases, or have it hosted.

In addition, what features will benefit your company? For example, will you only need caller ID, call forwarding and call waiting, or do you need transcription and screening? Avoid adding features just because they are free. Finally, what, if any, training will be necessary for your employees?

Evaluate Assets

Bandwidth is affected by voice calls, internet usage and streaming, and each phone will require a specific upload and download bandwidth. Therefore, analyze your network quality, including the bandwidth available for your call volume, application use and network traffic.

Will your system automatically prioritize one type of traffic over another? Plan for backup power in case of outages.

Calculate your budget, including initial equipment cost, monthly fees and maintenance.

Research Providers

Narrow your search based on budget and the features you need. Ask the providers what equipment they suggest and whether their systems integrate with your software and cloud storage. Evaluate the company’s security protocols, including encryption, authentication and secure data access.

Choose a provider that offers 24/7 customer support, and ask if you will be provided with a liaison within the company.

Learn about the migration process, including expected downtime. Also, does the provider offers maintenance or equipment upgrades, and will their technicians complete the initial installation?

Read the companies’ reviews, visit their social media and websites and review their Better Business Bureau rating. Read your contract thoroughly.

Before you sign your VoIP contract, identify your specific needs, evaluate your financial and broadband capabilities and research prospective VoIP providers.

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