Business Technology

Before you choose your next VoIP phone system, evaluate the provider first – it pays

8 min read

27 April 2018

Your new cloud phone system will impact every aspect of your business operations for years to come. Rafael Cortes, Foehn head of marketing, explains why an appraisal your phone provider is critical.

You’ve taken the leap and are set to migrate your company’s phone system to a modern, unified communications (UC) solution. When it comes to getting the most value from your investment, though, your choice of specific phone system features isn’t the only factor to consider. In order to be sure, you’re implementing the right communications tools in the right ways, you must take equal precaution in selecting the VoIP provider that is best qualified to ensure your successful transition. This means one with the experience, expertise and skills required to respond to the unique demands of your business.

Whether you’re pursuing a system that is on-premise, virtualised, hybrid or cloud-hosted, remember that not all voip providers are created equal. When it comes to getting the most from your investment, bear in mind that the system you’re adopting will become the beating heart of your business operations for years to come, and you’ll need a provider that will become a trusted, long-term partner. Therefore, it’s crucial to evaluate the provider, not just the product, when pursuing your company’s digital transformation. Don’t let your transition sink due to an inadequate appraisal of the support you will need. A bad fit with a provider will drain both your time and money.

Choose a provider with VoIP technology to drive business productivity

The telecoms market has seen a seismic shift since the cloud revolution of the past ten years, with a lengthy list of communications breakthroughs in its wake — the rise of UC and virtualisation, collaboration applications, reliable SIP, global converged networks, and so on. Consequently, businesses contemplating a complete overhaul of their traditional, legacy telecoms system have the challenge of matching business requirements with a vast choice of cloud communications to maximise return on investment. That means you’ll need a provider with the expertise to drive business productivity from new cloud communications technology whilst also understanding your old system and how best to replace it with minimum business disruption.

This familiarity of both the “new” and the “old” is crucial to guaranteeing that your new phone system will interact smoothly with existing telecoms infrastructure and the national network carriers. Your provider should be able to offer billing, porting, network connectivity and technical support. A higher return on investment and the future reliability of your updated system will depend on it.

A VoIP provider that leverages the power of Asterisk Open Source offers innovation and cost savings

What are the provider’s in-house software development capabilities and specific fields of expertise? You’ll want a partner with honed development skills in order to rest assured that your future integration projects go off without a hitch and your system is continually supported by the latest innovation as well as a solid development roadmap.

Give preference to a provider that is leveraging the Asterisk open source advantage. Providers who are well-versed in open source offer their customers the added benefit of unlocking innovative communications solutions that are more flexible, secure, feature-rich, more easily integrated and cost less than proprietary platforms. An open source development platform empowers providers to pioneer the most innovative, customisable UC solutions, all at a lower cost.

Our experience at Foehn has shown that the effectiveness of your UC implementation will be far greater if your phone system is simple to manage, user-centric and intuitive. Capitalising on our open source foundations, we have spearheaded a shift from the status quo of uninspiring, unintuitive, and convoluted telephony platforms to a cloud phone system that doesn’t require specialist technical skills to manage those small but frequent administrative changes. The objective: to maximize the control given to IT managers and employees over their own business communications for gains in agility and efficiency.

Important considerations before you choose your next VoIP provider

The right provider will also understand your business demands and offer a truly supportive system based on your company’s specific requirements— simplifying usability to gain adoption across your organisation. Consider whether the provider prioritises advice, training and end-user adoption so that your employees can fully reap the benefits of the new UC features.

When comparing providers, define your business needs in terms of telephony requirements before requesting a quote — this helps ensure you’re getting quoted on a like for like basis. Ensure pricing is transparent and spells out exactly the support services included. You’ll find that some providers offer ‘all-inclusive’ packages in which all features are included for a single price, per user per month, while others propose a low starting fee with each supplementary feature resulting in an additional charge. You can avoid any bad surprises by informing yourself on the bundled call costs as well as any extras you can expect the provider to apply.

Further, take a look at the provider’s track record in terms of ongoing customer service. What support options do they offer? When an incident arises, you will require assistance from qualified and experienced engineers. Make sure your provider has them on hand and readily available, 24/7.

A good way to get a snapshot of the underlying culture or identity of a provider company is to look to the top of its pyramid. If the leader is technically qualified, it’s always a good sign. A leader with technical prowess is one that is most likely to be more passionate about pursuing the most state-of-the-art, quality product development — rather than cutting corners in a rush to profits.

The possibilities for innovation are endless. Open source tools are continuously evolving to help your business save precious time and resources and systems like the Voxivo cloud phone system from Foehn. Foehn are a company delivering innovative hosted VoIP communications for business at exceptionally competitive prices. Are you ready to open your eyes to the business benefits? See more details of Voxivo here.