With phone contracts expiring and many enterprises looking for ways to reduce pricing, streamline communications, and integrate with other technology, many are looking at Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for small business solutions. There are many options on the market, so how does a small business know which to choose? Here are five steps to an informed decision:
- Evaluate Your Needs. You need a detailed set of requirements that you’re pursuing in a VoIP system. Determine which priorities are motivating a change, such as a need to reduce costs or the ability to integrate with a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) tool. When providers are demonstrating their various bells and whistles, you will want to be able to ignore the flash and stick to your requirements list.
- Examine Integrations. Don’t just think about the integrations you currently use, such as your CRM or a helpdesk application. You may also need third-party integrations with cloud storage solutions that you’re not currently using, but plan to utilize in the future.
- Check Security Tools. Security should be prioritized with any technology upgrade, but it can be particularly important with communications. Many enterprises choose to later improve upon VoIP with unified communications solutions, which will include voice, video, and messaging and can create new possibilities for data breaches. Make sure your VoIP solution offers end-to-end encryption, but you may also want secure data access and multi-factor authentication.
- Compare Plans and Pricing. When evaluating your options, don’t forget to determine the impact on bundled services that you may be receiving from your current provider. Keep in mind that you won’t want to pay more for features that sound attractive, but may have no practical application in your industry. Most VoIP for small business will have call forwarding, call waiting, and caller ID, but you may also need call screening, call transcription, or other features.
- Call Some Current Customers. You need to know that your provider will be available to service your account, should something go wrong with your communications software. Determine whether their help desk hours match the needs of your business, and talk to existing users of the solution to find out whether the provider’s reported downtime stats match their actual experience.
If you’re evaluating VoIP for small business, there’s no need to rely on guesswork. Contact us at Access Tech, where we can act as an informed guide and help you select the right VoIP solution for your company.