Ending the free versus paid debate for business VoIP solutions

For any company that is considering adopting a VoIP phone solution, there are a number of different options to consider. When it comes to any business investment, making the right choice can be crucial. This is especially true when you talk about a solution like business communication that are vital to the success of a company.

The biggest issue with choosing a VoIP solution is that there is a free versus paid element in the system you choose. In the personal lives of many employees, they may be using some of these free services like FaceTime, Skype or Google Hangouts. Because of this, these solutions could be brought to the table during the decision making process and since the word "free" is attached to them, many executives will start listening.

They need to take a step back, however, and remember the classic saying – you get what you pay for. While the idea of using Skype for all of your VoIP needs may seem like a wise business move, there is a lack of functionality and additional features that could make it a real go to solution for businesses.

Andreas Wienold, the vice president of LifeSize for Logitech, spoke in a recent Computer Weekly article about how free services cannot be relied upon for important business communications.

"You get what you pay for," he said. "With high-end solutions you get a much better support package and the knowledge that your CEO can walk into a meeting room and have a 30-minute discussion with anyone, anywhere. That's better than relying on a service you have not paid for."

He went on to say that there is no way that he would ever use a free service for any kind of business call. When you are dealing with customers and vendors scattered around the country and the world, using a free service is just not an option.

While a small business that is just starting out may be able to get by with just a free service, as it grows, the functionality and additional features of a complete VoIP phone solution can take the systems to an entire new level.

In the end it is about call quality

While every company wants to be able to save money, there is more to a quality VoIP system than just having a good service. As these systems work through an internet connection, having a poor network will hinder a solution regardless of whether it is free of paid.

Kristian Fischer, an executive at Tradeshift, said in a recent Computer Weekly that the VoIP solution itself is not as important as the infrastructure it runs on.

"I recently had a Skype call from a coffee shop to someone in Japan. The image and the voice quality were perfect. But then I've also had calls when the connectivity has been bad. I don't think the [free and paid] tools are that different in quality; it's the connection that's vital," he said.

He did add that while connectivity is vital, as businesses grow, they will need to abandon free services for a complete unified communication solution in order to stay competitive.

By partnering with an IT consulting company that understands everything that goes into a proper VoIP solution, any business can roll out a state of the art system that will keep their organization connected.

From our offices in Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland, PRO OnCall is your single-source technology consulting service, offering managed IT support, unified communications solutions and on-call IT support.