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Choosing between VoIP service providers in West Sacramento
The days of landline telephones are clearly numbered. Both consumers and businesses are abandoning them for a combination of cell phones and VoIP. The wide selection of VoIP service providers helps to keep prices low but it also means companies need to think carefully about how to choose the best VoIP service provider for their particular needs. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to choosing between VoIP service providers in West Sacramento.
Set out your needs, wants, budget and time scale
The basic rule of thumb is that the more you want to do with VoIP, the smaller your pool of potential VoIP service providers will be. For many SMBs, however, this will be a moot point. Many SMBs essentially want VoIP just for low-cost calls and standard value-add functions. For others, it will only start to matter after the initial implementation has bedded in and they want to start using VoIP’s more advanced capabilities.
If either of these sounds like your organization, then you may want to open up your vendor search to any VoIP service provider who can meet your initial requirements. This may help to secure you the most competitive deal on price. Once you have recouped the upfront costs of the implementation, you can then start to think about moving forward with the development of your VoIP service. You may find that it actually takes you longer than you thought to outgrow the capabilities of your first VoIP service provider.
Make sure to account for any impact on related services
It’s advisable to check if your landline telephone provider also provides any other services. This is probably less common in the business world than in the consumer one but it’s still worth checking. If they do, you’ll have to decide what to do about replacing them and what that means for your VoIP budget.
If you’re still using fax machines then you need to decide whether or not you still need them. If you decide you do, you then need to decide whether you’re going to keep some regular phone lines just to run them or whether you’re going to switch to Fax over IP (efax). In general, the latter is by far the most sensible option. Not only does it eliminate the need for phone lines, but it’s also more reliable and secure, more affordable, more convenient, and more space-efficient.
Most VoIP service providers will also support Fax over IP. If you decide you want to work with one which doesn’t, you can use a dedicated Fax over IP vendor to plug the gap.
Decide if you want your VoIP service provider to manage your hosting
Possibly the single, biggest reason why it took VoIP so long to be accepted in the business world is that it places strenuous demands on network infrastructure. The reason why VoIP is now being widely adopted is that there is now the hardware to handle this. It does, however, need to be implemented and managed.
Some SMBs may have the resources to deal with this in-house. Many, however, are likely to want some kind of managed hosting arrangement. The decision then becomes whether to organize this separately from the VoIP service or look for a VoIP service provider who can also manage hosting.
Whichever you choose, you need to ensure that you make a realistic assessment both of your volume of traffic and the quality of service you will need. Remember, VoIP needs minimal latency, jitter, and packet loss.
Define your VoIP service standards
In addition to covering technical standards, you also need to think about security and compliance. Remember that VoIP systems are practically guaranteed to transmit some personal data. This means that you need to keep data protection in mind at all times. If you want to implement call-recording, then there are even more legalities to consider, especially if you want to store the recordings, which, realistically will be the case for most companies.
You might also want to set out what you expect in terms of customer service and support. It’s advisable to set the bar fairly high. You may not need to access either often but it’s reassuring to know that they have your back if you do.
Think about what equipment you will need and how to source it
As with the network infrastructure, you can either organize your equipment yourself or look for it to be bundled with a contract. The former might allow you to negotiate a better deal, but if you need to buy a lot of equipment, it might be more convenient to spread the cost.
If you’d like to speak to one of the best VoIP service providers in West Sacramento, please click here now to contact Salient IT.