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What Should I Look for in a VoIP Provider?

May 10, 2017

You’ve done your research and decided it’s time to improve your communications network. Hosted phone, or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is the obvious solution. VoIP provides redundancy, scalability, app integration, and enhanced functions like auto-attendant and call forwarding. It brings you one step closer to a Unified Communications environment, and keeps you competitive. While waiting out your current PBX maintenance contract, you can start searching for the ideal hosted provider. Consider these five factors in your search.

5 Key Areas to Evaluate Hosted Phone Providers.

  1. Focus of Expertise. What distinguishes this company from all other hosted phone providers? How do their strengths align with your company’s needs?  In addition, do they tack on hosted phone to their main offering just to roll with the times? This is a growth industry and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. If you want to incorporate your current hardware into your new solution, then you need a provider experienced in the telephony arena.
  2. Clarity of Services. You are not a communications expert. But, it’s important that you understand what your installation will entail, and what your service and customer experience will look like. Most of all, while your provider needs to be an expert, they also need to be able to explain to you what’s happening. You need to feel you can trust them not to exploit your lack of knowledge.
  3. Similarity in Customer Base. There is a wide range of levels of VoIP installations. It can be useful to get a sense of how similar your business is to their main customer base. This could be in terms of company size, geography, industry, and seasonality of business. There are baseline hosted phone features that span all businesses. But, there are also special needs that you need your provider to anticipate.
  4. Apps and Integrations. These systems are incredibly customizable. But, not all providers are created equally in effective app integration. You are already using hosted apps, and need to ensure your provider can integrate them successfully. You don’t want to lose a tool that is working for you.
  5. Business Reputation. You need your hosted provider to act as a partner, not just a vendor. You need to know they want you to succeed. Request references and performance indicators. Then, follow up with those references. Find out what the actual customer service experience is. How often do they meet their deadlines? While they may promise one experience, they may not actually deliver.

You can also read our blog post 7 Tips to Help You Navigate 500+ Hosted Phone Providers for more suggestions on how to weed out the unfit providers.

If you’re still unsure what solution will work for you, then contact us at Corporate Technologies Group. CTG is carrier / provider agnostic; We have strategic partnerships with over 140 different VoIP, WAN network and cloud service providers. CTG supports clients from network design to implementation, post-installation support and remediation. We can ensure your infrastructure is ready for the new year and the years to come. One phone call to make for all your technology!

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