Businesses need to look at many factors when deciding on a new VoIP telephone service. Here are some considerations when shopping for VoIP phone services.
Business VoIP Costs
- Lower telecom call costs. VoIP service providers charge significantly less (up to 50% less) for phone connectivity service.
- Productivity increases with VoIP phone service can be substantial. Some businesses have reported productivity increases up to 3 hours per week, per employee. Features such as find me/follow me, remote office, click to call, Outlook integration, unified voice mail, conference calling, and collaboration tools enable productivity increases.
- MAC (moves, adds, and changes) costs lower. New technology means the ability to move your own phone to a new workstation.
- Ongoing service and maintenance costs may be lower.
- IT dept. training. You will need to have some individuals trained by your VoIP service provider on the specific VoIP service or system you choose. Many systems need little or no training. .
- Backup phone lines. Some backup lines are still recommended in case of failure.
- UPS or backup generator system needed. Larger business’s LAN networks already have this in place.
- Decrease in cell phone charges as laptops with softphones can be used with Wi-Fi connections to make calls via their laptop instead of their cell phone. These network calls are part of your network charges and thus cost only the amount of the Internet connection itself.
- Telecommuting phone costs are decreased. No major set-up fees. Voice communication takes place over broadband connection.
- Less administrative personnel are needed for telephone answering.
- Integrity. Your network needs to be secured and protected against possible hackers.
- H.323 standard. If your network is not at this level, you may want to consider upgrading. This is the standard most providers are moving towards as VoIP grows.
- Reliability. Redundancy of infrastructure inherent in the network allows for reliability. One hardware failure does not bring the entire network to a halt.
- E-911. Considerations need to be given to working out 911. Check with your VoIP service provider to ensure they offer E911 service.
- Infrastructure. Voice and data use only one cable to the workstation.
Features and other Considerations
- Features. VoIP phone systems are feature-rich, with more features added all the time.
- Converged applications. Your voice messages, e-mails and faxes can be associated with your regular e-mail account.
- Applications. VoIP services can handle many special situations including call centers. If there is an application needed, a special program can be written.
- Improved customer service. Utilizing features such as virtual phone numbers allows you to have telephone numbers in areas in which you don’t have a physical presence. Auto-attendants allow you to answer more calls more quickly and professionally.
- Sophisticated call center applications and reporting
- Videoconferencing & conference calling.
- Ability to network systems together seamlessly
- Telecommuting and off-premise communications are seamless
- Flexibility. Hosted VoIP (a.k.a.Hosted VoIP PBX or Virtual PBX) services are more adaptable and less expensive than traditional PBX systems.
- Growth and Scalability. Business VoIP phone service has the ability to grow as your company grows. Purchase only what is needed and add on as you grow. You can utilize more advanced features as your company needs them.
- Custom tailored. The VoIP services can be customized to your specific needs. You can program specific lines to designated phones or groups of phones, setting up a call center. Auto-attendants can be utilized and set up as needed. You can try out a setup and change it easily.
- Faxing. Faxing can be done with VoIP service eliminating the need for additional separate lines. Faxes can also be dropped right into the user’s inbox on their desktop and printed out on the user’s designated printer.
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