How to Choose the Right VoIP Provider
Choosing the right VoIP service for your business or organization can feel like a big challenge. Every company out there claims to have the best service, so how can you figure out which one is best for you? It starts with some basic knowledge about VoIPs, so we’ve created a short guide here to introduce you to key concepts and questions you should be asking.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It’s a telecommunications innovation that allows users to make voice calls over the internet. In traditional phone lines, audio travels through the public switched telephone networks (PSTN), while VoIP is transmitted through IP networks. The advantage is it can be accessed from anywhere, as long as there’s an internet connection.
Know Your Business Communication Needs
Now that you know what VoIP is, the next step is determining if it can help your business or organization. You need to start by identifying your business communications needs. Some key questions to ask include:
1. What type of business phone number do you want? Do you want a toll-free, local, international, or combination number?
2. Do you make a lot of outbound calls?
3. Do you receive a lot of inbound calls?
4. Do you need a call routing solution?
5. How many locations do you have?
6. Is your workforce distributed? Do you have remote or telecommuting workers?
7. Do you need audio or video conferencing?
8. Do you need your business tools to integrate with your communications solution?
Once you identify your operational needs, you can start looking for providers that offer solutions tailored to your specific needs.
Check out Different VoIP Providers and See What they Offer
There are a number of VoIP providers that might be able to meet your needs. A VoIP provider is a company that delivers VoIP phone services to its customers.
- VoIP-only Providers – Providers who focus only on providing telephony functions for businesses and consumers. Typical features include voicemail, call forwarding, and caller ID, but usually, no call management features are included.
- VoIP with Cloud Phone System Providers – Providers who use the cloud and combine it with VoIP. These cloud-based systems have VoIP as the foundation of their telephony with the advantages provided by the cloud. These providers offer businesses call management features like auto attendants, answering rules, and virtual extensions for departments and individuals.
- VoIP as Part of a Unified Communications Providers – Similar to VoIP with the cloud, but taken to another level. These providers combine communication tools like VoIP, cloud PBX, online meetings, and team messaging, into one platform. It creates a central hub for businesses and organizations instead of needing to use multiple vendors for different communication tools.
We Recommend Avaya
Shop around, of course, but we highly recommend Avaya. We install Avaya IP 500, a highly modular unified communications platform designed to meet the requirements of small and medium-sized enterprises. Communications Solutions, Inc. has been the premier provider of telephony systems and support in Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida area for the past 20+ years. We specialize in Avaya IP Office and can customize it to fit your business needs. If you want to get more familiar with what Avaya IP Office can do for you call today.