A quick online search, and you’ll be inundated with masses of information about Voice Over IP (VoIP) phone systems for businesses. And it’s no wonder – almost half of all customers prefer communicating with companies via phone.
If you’re looking to invest in a VoIP system, this article is for you. We’ve come with four strategic tips that’ll help you decide on a state-of-the-art phone system that works for your staff, your business, and your clients.
Selecting the right VoIP system isn’t just about usability either. Cybercriminals now have their eyes on the humble desk phone, opening your business up to new vulnerabilities. Network security is essential.
Let’s get started right away.
What are VoIP phone systems?
VoIP phone systems do not require traditional phone lines. Instead, they send and receive calls and other data packets via the internet. Using a digital signal to convert phone calls, VoIP systems allow anyone to make and answer calls from desk phones, mobile phones, computers, and other internet-connected devices.
You can find a more detailed explanation of VoIP systems here.
Businesses are making the switch to VoIP systems because these systems are convenient, affordable, and scalable. They require minimal maintenance and diversify your company’s communication channels.
Three strategies for purchasing VoIP
Without further ado, here are three must-know strategic tips to follow when buying a VoIP system for your business.
1. Assess your business needs
What does your business need to communicate effectively – and competitively – in your industry? What does your client base expect? And what does the future hold?
Understanding what your company needs are critical in selecting a VoIP system that delivers now, and for years to come. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- Is my business growing? What kind of flexibility do I need?
- How much control do I want over my phone system?
- Is committing to a low monthly payment going to benefit my cashflow?
- Do I need a full-feature system? Or is simplicity and ease-of-use more important?
2. Know the features available
You know what your business needs. Now, it’s time to get to know the various features offered by leading VoIP providers.
Remember, with knowledge comes power. Do your research, and you will most definitely reap the rewards. Here are some of the most significant features available:
- Phone calls
- Conference calling
- Mobile applications
- Call reporting
- Call routing
- App integration
- Integrated messaging
- Online, browser-based management options
- Voicemail to email
- Call recording
3. Familiarize yourself with the technology
Currently, there are six distinct VoIP phone systems on the market. Before you make your final decision, familiarize yourself with the following technologies:
- Hosted PBX. The VoIP service provider houses the IP-PBX and has control over the technology powering your system.
- On-premise PBX. This is similar to a conventional PBX system, which is usually situated in your business’ IT equipment room.
- Hybrid phone system. Hybrid systems are an option for organizations switching to VoIP that are not ready to re-wire their premises.
- Proprietary VoIP. Known as ‘black box’ technology, a proprietary VoIP system does not give you access to the source code.
- Open-source VoIP. This is an underlying operating system and PBX software that is free to use and available for public use. You have full control.
- Open source-based VoIP. This is an underlying operating system and PBX software that is, at its core, open-source but has a proprietary code added on top.
Get professional guidance
Alternatively, the most effective strategy for your business may be to work with an experienced technology partner. Enlisting the help of a managed services provider can help you make the right choices for your business while minimizing risk and maximizing your IT budget.
Contact our friendly team to find out more.