Despite the availability of other communication methods such as email and chat, over 80% of businesses still prefer to use mobile and IP phones when communicating with other companies. This makes office telephony a crucial part of business operations, and therefore choosing a provider should be done smartly.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a VoIP solution, and these range from the mode of deployment to the integration of advanced features such as MS teams telephony. Below are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a VoIP solution.
On-Premises or Cloud-based
When deploying a PBX system, you can either choose between on-premises or cloud-based PBX systems.
On-premises systems run everything from within the office space, and so you will be responsible for the hardware, software, connection, and maintenance. Cloud PBX systems are hosted remotely by a service provider responsible for all functionalities, and all you will need to do is connect through your company network.
Each of these systems has its strengths and downsides, but here are some considerations you should make.
- Are you ready to spend big to purchase the hardware, software, and connections?
- Do you have the capacity to run the system in terms of space, installation, and maintenance?
- Are you comfortable paying for the services on a monthly per-user basis?
- Do you have a stable and reliable network connection to run all services on the cloud?
Apart from these, consider the different capabilities you get with each type of system. For example, on-premises allow more customization and control, while cloud-based systems offer more scalability and flexibility.
Integration is a core part of business systems as it helps improve business processes as well as user experience. It’s however important to note that different providers offer different capabilities. When deciding which one to choose, consider the software that your company currently uses and which it will or may use in the future.
One of the most important capabilities is CRM integration, as it boosts your sales team’s efficiency. Ensure you confirm the CRM systems that the provider supports. You can also check for integrations with applications such as MS teams, Slack, Google Workspace (G-Suite), etc.
Different vendors provide varied quality of service. This can depend on several factors, and an important one is the cloud service provider’s location. Before choosing one, check out the regions where they operate, their servers’ location, and the measures they have put in place to ensure reliable service.
This is because poor connection when using cloud services can result in low quality of video and audio as well as dropped calls. You can also check out user reviews to get an idea of the quality of service provided. Factor in their user support too.
Security & reliability
Telecom fraud is a huge concern when it comes to PBX systems, and you’ll need to ensure that you stay as safe as possible. Check out the security measures put in place by various providers as well as those of your company.
This should go hand in hand with the redundancy and back up measures that either the provider or the company uses to ensure continuity. If you don’t have sufficient security systems and business continuity measures, you should go for a cloud-based telephony system. On top of that, ensure you check out the provider’s uptime percentage.
Proof of Concept (POC)
With the phone system being a critical part of any company, you should not consider purchasing a service without a sufficient test drive. Set it up with a test group of employees and check how the system performs. Evaluate whether it meets all or most of your needs, and then take feedback from the test group.
Most PBX service providers allow you to test the service for free, and so this should help you ensure that you have chosen the right fit for your business.