Looking to replace your traditional phone system with VoIP? Or do you already have an existing VoIP provider but may be dissatisfied with your current service? There are plenty of choices out there, and with hundreds of resellers and providers, selecting which solution is best for your organization could be a daunting task. But don’t fret - we’ve created a checklist to help you decide which VoIP carrier is right for you.
As a quick preface, Voice over Internet Protocol is a methodology that makes use of the Internet to deliver voice data from point A to point B and back. Broadband improvements in the past few years have fueled the growth of the market into an $83 billion industry and is expected to grow by 9.1% in the next five years, according to Zion research. A landscape this big means that there should be a solution out there that will cater to your needs, but how do you find it?
Existing Infrastructure and Resources
The first thing on our checklist is, well, to make a checklist – a list of resources that you already have or need for your transition. What does your current infrastructure look like? If you’re migrating to VoIP from traditional PSTN, does your PBX support SIP termination? Are you planning on hard phones or softphones?
If your company is already setup with a VoIP carrier, are you looking to outsource to a consultant who will do the work for you, or do you already have that resource but are just looking for additional features that your existing service provider can’t offer?
And what about your phone numbers? The deciding factor for you might be the porting process when migrating your numbers to your new provider, or it could be the ease of purchasing and provisioning new phone numbers.
Cost will, of course, be a huge point of discussion during your transition. In fact, this is probably the number one reason why you’re migrating to begin with. IT World suggests that businesses can actually save as much as 45 percent when switching from POTS to VoIP. The service may be a cost-saver in the long run, but do take into consideration upfront expenses for things like installation and purchasing VoIP handsets, to name a few.
For existing VoIP subscribers, it could be the difference between the cost structure and billing that’s making you want to change providers. For instance, we here at Telnyx allow for a la carte billing, giving our customers the power to customize their pricing by phone numbers. They get to decide which digits get flat rates or tariffs and whether they’d like to be charged on a per minute or per channel basis.
Beyond pricing customization, there are a variety of other features that you should be taking into consideration when choosing the right VoIP carrier. Check out the list below and decide just how important each feature is for your business needs:
- E911, call forwarding, caller ID and CNAM activation by number
- Instant phone number search and provisioning
- Custom tagging and reporting of call usage and billing
- API documentation and easy integration to any existing platform you may already have
- User-friendly portal that allows you to customize and activate your service
- Purpose-built infrastructure leveraging technologies ### Overall Service Quality
Finally, how important is overall service quality to you and your company? Different organizations will weigh all of these factors differently, but there’s no doubt that the majority of businesses will want topnotch service that provides a quality and secure network connection. Are you content with using a VoIP carrier that uses the public Internet, or are you looking for a provider – like Telnyx – that uses their own private backbone to anchor your media to ensure low latency and encryption?
And beyond the physical network itself, is customer service a crucial aspect of your decision-making process? Make sure you read online reviews from existing or past customers and take into consideration details like 24/7 support and availability in different types of medium such as email, live chat or phone.
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