Switching from a traditional landline or a private branch exchange (PBX) to updated technology offers new opportunities for small businesses. Features like digital receptionist and call forwarding allow a company to mask its size with a system that imitates a much larger organization. Small business Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) helps level the playing field, providing the same professional communications tools that larger organizations enjoy.
While VoIP is a good choice for small companies wanting to upgrade phone technology, all systems are not created equal. Here are five factors to keep in mind when shopping for small business VoIP:
Cost: If your company makes long distance calls, the savings with VoIP could be significant, because all connections are made through the internet. Keep in mind that each solution will have different features, and as a result, different costs. Before meeting with any providers, determine what the priorities are for the new phone system so that you can choose one that meets those requirements within your budget.
Compatibility with current equipment: If you have existing PBX equipment that you need to incorporate with your new solution, talk with the provider about a hybrid solution. It may be possible to gradually move to full VoIP by departments or utilize much of your existing hardware.
Network readiness: Small business VoIP relies heavily on the strength of your network infrastructure, so test speed and the potential for congestion before making the switch to VoIP. There are tools online that can help you determine the current speed and capacity of your network.
Employee training: Determine the level of training the provider will offer, and how much additional time you will want to include in your schedule for ensuring the team is ready to make the switch. Getting buy-in ahead of time is a good way to boost the success of any new technology deployment, so be sure to include a variety of personnel in the decision-making process.
Support: Think about the amount and timing of the support you’ll want once you’ve transitioned to the new VoIP system. If you’re an online retailer with global reach, make sure you’re working with a VoIP provider that provides round-the-clock support. If you need security monitoring for your system or other additional support, include this as part of the service level agreement.
Shopping for small business VoIP can open up new conversations about how a phone system can change processes and improve efficiency. It is an exciting time, but one that requires clear parameters to avoid choosing the wrong solution or provider. Contact us at One Connect to discuss your options for VoIP and select the ideal solution for your business.