Top Tips on Purchasing the Best Hosted VoIP Solution
Hosted Voice over Internet Protocol, also known as hosted VoIP, is a popular choice for many small and medium-sized businesses due to their effective hosted VoIP solutions. Hosted VoIP provides a feasible and economical solution for phone systems used by such businesses. The idea is to use the Internet for phone service with the possibility of video capability as well. Many firms decide to use a hosted VoIP solution for their businesses, which means that the heavy-duty equipment and phone systems that manage phone calls are located off-site and are not owned by the business.
Hosted VoIP solutions act as a complete package of unified communication tools. The phone system using this hosted VoIP solution includes features like phone calls, emails, screen sharing, SMS, video conferencing, audio conferencing, etc. This hosted VoIP solution setup offers many advantages over in-house systems, including substantial savings in equipment purchase and maintenance. As you select your hosted VoIP system, according to any hosted VoIP purchasing advice, you could pay attention to the following few items:
8 Key Areas to Look Out for When Choosing Hosted VoIP Solutions, a Purchasing Advice
- Technical Connection
Confirm with your VoIP provider that your Internet connection and other technical issues are appropriate to get the best quality of service for your hosted VoIP solution. Before signing up with a hosting firm, test the system of your hosted VoIP solution. You never know what issues will come up that need to be fixed before hosted phone services can start.
Decide how much you are willing to spend on your hosted VoIP phone systems. Different hosted VoIP solutions systems provide different features and have their own varying price structures. Determine what is right for your business according to what features of hosted VoIP solution you require right now or might need in the future.
- Integration Tool
One of the most useful features of any hosted VoIP solution is its integration feature. Hosted VoIP solutions, as a unified communication tool, uses their ability to connect to third-party apps or other business systems to help you gain efficiency in your business. Do your research and choose which pre- built extensions or integrated apps you might need for your business.
Ask your hosting firm how calls are handled to ensure that confidential information stays private with no eavesdropping. When you bring a third party into your business, security is a concern and the host firm should show you specific measures it has taken to protect your privacy while using the hosted VoIP solutions.
Hosted phone situations involve the risk of the hosted VoIP solution system going down and not allowing you to use your phone. Request information about disaster plans, and how they would handle lack of electricity, floods, or another mishap. Many firms have complex backup systems to assure uninterrupted service and other plans. Ensure that the provider firm for your hosted VoIP solutions has a proper business continuity plan in place.
- Online Resources
You could look online for hosted VoIP service reviews from unbiased, objective websites, such as www.cnet.com, www.inc.com, www.forbes.com, and other business magazines. Be careful when you look at information online because many websites are just advertising pieces for equipment or services of hosted VoIP solutions, and won’t give you a good picture of the hosted VoIP market.
- Add-On Features
You could assess your current and future business needs and purchase additional features like Remote Management Data Integration etc. for your hosted VoIP solutions. This will help save costs over the long term.
- Customer Service
It is very important to have an excellent level of customer support for your hosted VoIP solutions to work efficiently. Always assess what kind of customer support is given by the VoIP provider. Even with the integrations and extensions, especially those which are customized, in the hosted VoIP solutions, customer support options should be considered and evaluated.
Let’s hope you never have to use this service, but you should ask your hosted VoIP solution provider how they handle emergency calls. The enhanced 911 service, also known as e911, presents the callers' addresses as they call, increasing the speed of service. Since your main phone service will not be located in your office, ask how emergency services are managed.
3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Choosing Hosted VoIP Solutions, a Purchasing Advice
- Failure to Recognize Hidden Costs Associated with the Hosted VoIP Solution
In your search for an economical hosted VoIP solution, it is easy to go for an inexpensive VoIP provider, but this creates a possibility of ignoring or failing to recognize the hidden costs. It is crucial to get a correct estimate of the total cost of ownership of the hosted VoIP phone systems and anticipate the long-term costs so that you can finalize a clear budget.
- Choosing an Incompatible Handset for Your Hosted VoIP solution
When choosing your hosted VoIP solutions, the significance of choosing the appropriate and compatible handset might be downplayed which can lead to further problems. You need to find the phone system for your hosted VoIP solution, which is suitable for your business according to your requirements.
- Lack of a Proper Deployment Plan for Your Hosted VoIP solution
A common mistake in choosing and implementing the hosted VoIP solutions is the lack of a proper deployment plan. You should have a proper plan to follow while switching over to hosted VoIP solutions, which means coordinating your VoIP services, your phone systems, etc.
Switching over to a hosted VoIP solution and implementing the system can be a fairly easy process. All you need to do is focus on a few key areas while avoiding certain pitfalls as mentioned in this purchasing advice.
A hosted phone system not only saves you money, but it’s easy to set up and use. If you have multiple offices, the value of a hosted environment is clear—all you have to do is to get a phone and contact the hosting firm, and you will be all set to go—no need to call the old phone company or to handle confusing cables and other hassles.