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6 Jul 2017
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How to Select a VoIP Provider for a Business

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Posted By Sarah S.

Because VoIP saves money, increases productivity, and boosts profitability, more businesses are switching to VoIP for their communication needs. One of the main reasons why businesses switch to VoIP is to cave money on phone calls. Traditional phone services tend to be quite high compared to VoIP. With so many business VoIP providers available, it can often be difficult to find the best provider for your business.

The following tips should be a helpful guide when selecting the best business VoIP provider:
1. Installation Process: When installing a VoIP system, businesses will have a telephone system already installed. It is important to ask the VoIP provider if they can integrate the VoIP system with the old system so there will not be any interruptions in daily operations. You should ask if there will be any hardware that you have to buy.

2. VoIP Quality: Businesses rely on a reliable and high quality phone system. Your provider should be able provide a system that delivers dependable and continuous service. The quality of voice should be clear and audible. You may need additional connections and switches to ensure high quality.

3. Features: There are a broad range of features that come with a business VoIP system.
It is important to be aware of what features you need before purchasing a system. The VoIP provider should be able to explain the features that come with their system. Some features include web and video conferencing, caller ID, follow-me roaming, multiple four-digit extensions, voice mail forwarding to email, after-hours forwarding, receiving calls that are directed to an 'Automated Attendant,' call screening, call blocking or 'virtual ring,' a 24 hour seven days a week credit card machine line, and employees having access to a central communication location consisting of a fax, email, and voice. Employees who travel can use the system wherever they are located. They can also answer the business phone from their cell phone or laptop. Some VoIP providers sell 'virtual numbers' that have other area codes so that the customer is charged for a local call.

4. Security: A VoIP provider should be able to tell you about their security features. If you need additional security, they should be able to tell you what to buy and where to buy it.

5. Training: The VoIP provider should provide training to your employees. If they do not provide training, you should find another provider.

6. Maintenance: Find out if the provider has to perform maintenance on-site or if they can they do it remotely. You should also inquire about vendor uptime and how they resolve power outages.

7. Rates: Because there are so many VoIP providers on the market, it is important research rates. Comparing providers will often lead to lower rates for your calls.

8. Single Provider: If a business selects one provider that can provide a special price for a package that includes broad spectrum of VoIP, broadband, and managed services, they will likely save money.

9. Customer Support: Find out about the provider's customer service response. Can your reach them by phone 24 hours a day or do you have to contact them by email?
If you have full time support, you will not have to add any IT staff.

Because there are so many VoIP providers to choose from, it is important to research all of your options before making a final decision. Talking to several VoIP companies will ensure that you are getting the best system at the best price. Integrating a VoIP is a major business investment so take the time to understand the needs of your business and the services you require. The result will be satisfied customers, happy employees, and a more profitable company.

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