For most businesses, the question is no longer whether they should switch to VoIP, but rather which VoIP provider they should go with. This article looks at some of the things you should consider when choosing a VoIP provider for your business.
Determine your needs
Like any technology investment, you first need to determine what your current needs are and what they are likely to be in the future. How many lines do you need? What kind of calls do you make the most of? Are you using mobile phones more than desk phones? Knowing where your biggest current expenditure is and what it is likely to be in the future can point you in the direction of a VoIP provider who offers the best package for your particular needs.
Determine startup costs
Switching to VoIP will cost you some money upfront, but how much will depend on the package, the provider and what equipment you currently have. If you have a traditional analogue phone system, you may find a more cost effective solution is to adapt this to VoIP use with equipment such as ATAs (Analogue Telephone Adaptors). If you are a startup business, you may find all you need is a few VoIP phones and an Internet connection.
Determine broadband capability
A VoIP phone system is only as good as the broadband connection it uses to transmit voice data, so you must make sure you have a fast enough broadband connection to allow for VoIP. If bandwidth is being consumed by other processes such as file transfers, VoIP call quality can suffer. So if you plan to employ a number of VoIP phones, make sure you have the bandwidth to allow for this.
The beauty of VoIP telephony is that it can grow along with your business, so before you settle on a package make sure it allows for easy upgrading as your business needs increase. Make sure you will not be locked into a contract that doesn’t keep up with your needs and then costs you to cancel or switch to a more appropriate plan.
Finding the right VoIP provider takes some research and a basic knowledge of what VoIP can do for your business, so if you aren’t sure what you’re doing, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Consult your IT person if you have one and talk to the providers you’re interested in signing up with, as most will be more than happy to guide you through the process. There are also comparison websites online that allow you to look at what each provider offers and for how much.
Typical Australian VoIP business solution providers include engin, Telstra, Optus and iiNet, and a typical business VoIP plan is Engin’s VoIP + Broadband Super Saver Bundle, which includes unlimited broadband and all local, national and Australian mobile calls for just $65.90 a month.*