By the DynaSis Team
For small and midsized businesses (SMBs), the appeal of cloud VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), also called cloud PBX, is undeniable. Call quality has improved dramatically in recent years, and they offer advanced communication features, such as unified calling and messaging, that enable both workers and business leaders to stay in touch, wherever they might be. Furthermore, they require minimal (and sometimes no) hardware investment and generally bring companies a substantial savings over traditional POTS (plain old telephone systems).
Nevertheless, not every organization’s VoIP experience lives up to the promise of the technology. What differentiates the company that thrives with VoIP and the one that never realizes its full potential? Prudent selection of a system and a provider are the keys to success. In this article, we’ll share a few tips to help ensure your VoIP deployment becomes one of the best business decisions you have ever made.
First and foremost, like so many technology innovations, your cloud VoIP solution is only as good as its weakest link. Here’s an example: If your Internet connection isn’t robust, the Ethernet wiring in your office is outdated, the patch to the Internet backbone is poor or improperly configured, or the connection is being managed by a consumer-grade router and not a business-class switch, you and your staff won’t get great call quality. You’ll blame that on the cloud host when in reality, the problem lies with your infrastructure.
That’s why selecting a reputable technology vendor to host your cloud VoIP is so important. By “provider,” we don’t mean the cloud host itself. We are referring to a technology solutions advisor that helps you at a local level to ensure every link in the chain is upgraded (if needed) and working properly. That advisor should also help you identify the cloud host that best meets your needs.
Before you sign with any IT advisor, ask these questions:
Finally, ask the advisor about the cloud VoIP solution they are recommending, as well. You should be comfortable with the contract term, cancellation fees/penalties, trial periods/promotional pricing and lock-in pricing, included toll-free minutes and fax pages, and finally, the SLA (service license agreement), which will stipulate important terms such as uptime.
In future articles, we’ll dig into the nuts and bolts of VoIP, such as quality metrics (bandwidth, latency, loss and jitter), wired versus Wi-Fi and hardware considerations for firewalls and other infrastructure elements. This information will help you be an informed customer, which is always a good approach.
DynaSis is an Atlanta IT services and cloud computing provider for small and midsized businesses. All of our solutions focus on helping companies achieve the three fundamental IT necessities of the modern business—availability, security and mobility. We specialize in on-demand and on-premise managed IT services, managed cloud infrastructure, desktops and backups, and professional hardware and equipment installation. For more information about DynaSis’ IT support and services, visit www.dynasis.com.