Choosing a VoIP provider can be a lengthy process. There are literally hundreds of VoIP providers in the UK. These range from providers that install one or two phones over an analogue line to complex hybrid-network deployments in the hundreds of thousands. There’s a lot out there. But, when it comes to selecting a VoIP solution, there are a number of considerations that you must follow, to make sure you select the best VoIP solution for your business.
Different Types of VoIP
VoIP comes in a number of flavours. Before you choose the right VoIP service provider for your business, you must first understand what your exact needs are. Following requirements gathering sessions with your staff, you should be able to identify the type of VoIP system you require. There are:
Basic VoIP for small businesses: The SME space is full of specialist VoIP providers that aim to help small businesses transition from analogue and ISDN to VoIP services.
Basic VoIP for enterprises: Larger vendors have the resource to specialise in larger deployments. In larger organisations, often the first step is getting voice traffic over the internet.
Unified Communications: VoIP enables so much more than calling today. The natural step up from VoIP is Unified Communications.
Things You Need To Know When Choosing A VoIP Provider
A flick through key industry websites and a visit to a relevant conference gives you a solid long list. However, if you’ve been appointed by the business to source the best VoIP solution to support your business and have a day job to do, it’s still a challenge from here.
You may want to outsource this to an external consultancy. There are technology consultancies that specialise in VoIP and business communications that don’t cost the world. You could utilise an IT partner for their expert opinion or you could go it alone. However you go about choosing a vendor, you must take stock of the following areas:
Depending on your requirements, usability could be as short or long a test as you need it to be. If you just need the ability to make calls over the internet, a proof of concept for your network is probably all that is required. If you have decided that you have complex collaboration requirements, you’ll likely need to set up a user group for acceptance testing of the various products and features associated with the shortlisted VoIP systems.
Don’t just look for cash in the bank. Whilst that is a key requirement for anybody, there are some VoIP players that aren’t turning as big a figure as you’d expect. That’s not a huge problem as the VoIP market is all about the number of subscribers. It’s key to discover which VoIP provider matches your own business. If you have less than 50 employees, you can’t expect a dedicated approach from the likes of BT, but there are vendors specialising in VoIP systems for small businesses which will be a better fit.
Sweat Your Existing Assets
When creating a business case for a new phone system of any type, you need to audit your existing estate. This will aid you in finding vendors that can re-use existing equipment, like handsets. If cost is top of your agenda, your VoIP provider may be able to use your current handsets native or via an analogue adapter. Purchasing a new router is not a pre-requisite.
Get Help Making The Right Decision
You’re not expected to instantly become a VoIP specialist when choosing a VoIP provider. Luckily, Nice Network is here to help. With multiple VoIP solutions, years of experience and a solid team of VoIP solution specialists, you couldn’t be in safer hands. Check out our VoIP solutions here.