How to choose a cloud–based VOIP solution
Communication is a heavy weight on budgets and companies all over the world are looking for ways to cut down their communication costs. As we discussed in another article, cloud-based VOIP solutions offer businesses a reliable communication option at a lower cost. The benefits of cloud-based VOIP, such as flexibility, scalability, and mobility are the key factors likely to influence small to medium sized enterprises in their communications decisions over the course of 2013.
It makes sense that the right VoIP solution will help companies improve their productivity and decrease costs. But, choosing the service that best fits your needs can be challenging. Understanding the benefits and potential challenges that may come with premises-based phone systems can help you make a good decision to ensure your business needs are met and you get the greatest value for your investment. Here are 3 of the most important things you should take into consideration before choosing a specific cloud-based VOIP:
- Quality. You should look for quality indicators that guarantee bi-directional voice quality. Losing calls due to network errors could drastically affect your business.
- Flexible Service Plan. Your business needs to pay only for what it uses – nothing more, nothing less. The provider needs to offer service plans that are flexible, as your business grows you would expect to pay more for the VoiP handsets and services and if your business slows down it should be easy to reduce the handsets and services. Some VoiP providers now offer a price per employee which allows you to know what your costs will be based on the size of your business.
- Demo period. You must ensure that your provider can offer you a chance to cancel its services if you are dissatisfied after a period.
- Support. What kind of live support is provided? Some companies offer 24/7 support, some during their business hours and others only offer limited support only via email. There are numerous questions you should ask before deciding to go with a prospective provider. There are no universal criteria you can use to identify the best provider. Cloud-VoiP is a relatively new technology, and neither providers nor users have had the time to develop an extensive set of principles and best practices. This will make the choice harder for business owners, but it is clear that the right VoIP solution will enable you to increase employee productivity and save considerable amounts of money.