hosted voip provider

About 36% of today’s companies already have a hosted VoIP service. The percentage will most likely go up, as more companies understand how important it is to have an alternative to conventional telephone services. Hosted VoIP packs lots of amazing features; it is cost-effective and a lot more scalable than traditional phone systems and PBXs. But there are certain risks linked to VoIP providers.

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Not everyone is the same, and some of their services may not match with your company mission. Before making a choice, companies should make a conscious choice. Here are 6 criteria to have in mind before signing a contract.

1. Easy administration and deployment

Excellent VoIP solutions demand little equipment and are very easy to install. Everything you need to make that happen is an IP phone, voice router and voice gateway device. Decide on a hosted VoIP provider with professional assistance services included, or you can settle on a self-installation process. After the VoIP system has been installed, you shouldn’t worry about administration. Providers usually provide customers with an online portal where they can order additional features, add an extension and receive answers to their queries.

2. Add security safeguards and QoS benefits

A secure and reliable VoIP system is an extremely important piece of technology that all companies should have. Your chosen provider monitors the network 24 hours per day, ensuring the performance level of the network is as promised. To make sure that happens, QoS comes in, to offer support when requested. The system should also provide security safeguards: hacking prevention, easy configuration, and adherence to industry standards.

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3. Steer clear of hidden charges

Unlike traditional services, hosted VoIP services are more cost-efficient. Companies should be extremely careful though, as some providers feature hidden costs, you may not be aware of. For example, even if you have “unlimited calls”, make sure these calls are not out-of-network as they’re susceptible to harsh extra charges. Before deciding on a vendor, read the fine print.

4. Check vendor financials

We’ve gotten used to host VoIP services over the years as they’ve been around since the 90s. When choosing a new vendor, you should carefully check their financials before signing any contract. Settle on a vendor with a solid reputation and proven history of experience; take the time to assess their offer before making a choice.

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5. Check to see if your vendor provides disaster recovery

Before settling on a vendor, make sure they have a plan in case something happens (e.g. earthquake, flood). Don’t believe that all VoIP providers offer a disaster recovery plan because they don’t. It’s very important to be safe than sorry. As a company, it is important to use voice services when you need them the most; meaning you can be left hanging as your ROI might suffer.

6. Know the features provides by your chose VoIP provider

It’s obvious that every business needs phone services. What types of services, that’s up to you to decide. Make sure that before making a choice, you know what a provider can offer. Be careful as some leave out fundamental services, like call forwarding for example. As far as features are concerned, the best are:

  • Internet fax
  • Auto attendant
  • Call recording
  • Conferencing

Your business may have different needs, which means you should be very specific before signing the contract. Answer yourself this question: what phone system addresses the needs of your company? Following a response, move on to settling on the provider that has the packages and hardware necessary to cater to your business demands. Make an informed decision, and assess more than one provider before making a final choice.

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Hosted VoIP is an excellent phone service that packs a lot of benefits. It is conveniently-priced, giving companies a wealth of extra features that can help them do their jobs with ease. However, not all VoIP providers are the same. Some may seem reliable, but underneath their offer lacks responsiveness and control. Perform a thorough research before making a final decision to ensure that the features your company truly needs are available upon deciding on a VoIP provider that claims to provide complete services.

By Charles Goodwin and!