Are You Asking the Right Questions When Considering a Hosted VoIP Provider?
Choosing a Hosted VoIP provider involves several factors. Make sure you're asking the right questions to maximize your investment.
Switching to a new communications platform isn’t as easy as you might think. You should consider functionality, ask about service levels, and ensure you have access to support. You should think about a company’s credibility, and the ability to deliver quality service. Furthermore, all these points need to be considered in the context of your budget.
Clearly, a lot of factors come into play before deciding. If you’re already shopping around for a Hosted VoIP provider, make sure you’re asking the right questions to maximize your investment. Here’s a quick guide:
#1. What kind of contracts do they offer?
Most Hosted VoIP providers offer long-term contracts. While there’s nothing really wrong with that, it also locks you with a service provider that you may or may not be happy with. If you get the optimum level of service, then there is nothing to really worry about. However, more often than not, businesses expand, your organizational needs change, or worse, you end up with a provider that isn’t able to fulfill your requirements—in which case you will need some leeway to adjust available features or even terminate your contract. A long-term contract won’t allow that.
When it comes to Hosted VoIP providers, be sure to opt for a company that offers a simple per seat pricing. This makes it easier for your business to scale up or down and adjust requirements depending on what you actually need.
#2. Are there hidden fees to consider?
Unfortunately, pricing for many Hosted VoIP providers isn’t as straightforward as you’d like them to be. In fact, it’s likely that the price point a provider offers might not include mandatory taxes and fees, or additional costs such as for extra hardware, support, or even key features.
Be sure to ask what’s included in the plan you’re paying for, and confirm that whatever amount you’re paying covers all your needs.
#3. Is specific hardware needed to maximize the platform?
The best providers will make sure that their platform can readily be used with existing tools and hardware that you’re already using. For example, some providers may require you to use only a specific phone model, which could result in additional cost and make it more difficult for you to ensure adoption among team members.
Look for a Hosted VoIP provider whose platform can easily be integrated into current tools you’re using such as smartphones, tablets, desktops or software.
#4. What are your platform’s mobile features?
Businesses are seeing the rise of BYOD and work from home programs as a way to ensure better productivity. Remote employees are also becoming a regular part of the traditional office. To that end, the need for tools that support and facilitate communication and collaboration despite geographic challenges is critical.
Switching to a cloud-based, digital solution versus an on-premises setup is preferable if this is the case. This gives you the ability to empower better mobility for your team.
#5. Is the platform able to gather comprehensive insight and data?
Switching to a cloud-based business communication platform is not only more affordable and convenient, but it is also a great way to gather critical insight on how to best adjust your processes to optimize operations.
Be sure to find out the kind of data gathering system your provider’s system offers. Is it customizable in order to easily track what’s actually relevant to your business? Does it have the capacity to generate automated reports for straightforward reviewing?
The most reliable and flexible Hosted VoIP provider doesn’t have to be the most expensive option. These five questions are intended to provide better insight in determining which Hosted VoIP provider is the best for you. In fact, give us a call today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions in the context of how Jive can best help support your business.