Choosing a VoIP System Vendor

Once you have decided that a VoIP phone service is the right choice for your office, the next step is to select a vendor to provide the service you need.  Make sure you know what features your office will require, and that the vendor you choose can provide a phone system to accommodate your needs.

Here are a few questions you should consider asking potential vendors that can help you make the right choice for you office:

  • Do they offer training?  Your employees will need to learn how to properly use a VoIP system, and if the vendor you choose offers training, it can save you time and alleviate possible confusion.

  • What about system maintenance?  Can your vendor work on your system remotely, or do they have to come into your office to fix any problems that may arise?

  • How good is their customer service? Do they consult you over the phone to identify issues that would reduce the quality of voice transmission, or do they make you submit an email and take days to respond? Check to see if they have network performance monitoring in place so they can proactively monitor problem areas.

  • What is the vendor’s uptime and how do they handle power outages? If the vendor provides automatic data back up, it is a good sign.

  • What features come with the standard service? Caller ID, follow-me roaming, multiple four-digit extensions, voice mail forwarding to email, after-hours forwarding, system administration management, etc. These are just a few of the features you’ll want to inquire about.

  • If security is important to your business, a VoIP vendor should suggest software or other solutions to properly work with your system.

  • What hardware will you also be required to purchase?  Can you use any VOIP phone or do you have to use their equipment?

  • How do they handle the installation process?  Some vendors may simply add VoIP to your current network without making sure that it has the capabilities to handle VoIP.  This can result in paying extra fees for upgrading your system.  Make sure the vendor is willing to test your network to be sure that it can handle and completely support the traffic that will be produced by adding a VoIP system.

  • Do they have references you can contact?  One of the best ways to learn about a vendor and the service they provide is to contact other businesses who have utilized their services.  If a vendor gets several good reviews, then it is likely that they will provide you with good service.

Remember, there are many vendors to choose from, so be sure to consider all of your options before you make your final selection.  Take the time to shop around and speak with several different phone system companies to ensure that you’re getting the best deal and best service for your office.  Installing a VoIP is a big investment, so you will want to work with a vendor that will provide you with all the services your business requires, as well as good customer service and technical support.

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