Basic internet-based phone calls aren’t new to many of our readers. Skype has been around for over a decade and there are dozens of other free apps with limited features. Picking a Voice over IP (VoIP) solution for a small business is still a tricky prospect, though. Let’s take a look at what it entails.
Total cost of ownership
The most pressing concern when adopting new technology is the price tag, but calculating the total cost of ownership for a VoIP solution involves a number of variables that will change from year to year. Before signing on the dotted line, ask for an estimate of each cost over a three-to-five-year period based on your growth plan. Important items include:
- Basic subscription costs (How many numbers will you need in year one vs. year three?)
- Feature upgrades (Do you plan to add new components as you expand?)
- Office moves (How much will a VoIP relocation cost? Will there be significant downtime?)
- Hardware costs (Will you need to purchase new handsets?)
By partnering with a managed IT services provider (MSP) like us, you can drastically reduce routine VoIP security and maintenance costs by rolling them into your monthly service plan.
Another reason to sign up for an internet-based telecom through an MSP is personalization, which is especially important for a solution that is often used outside the office. IT providers guarantee their availability and response times with service level agreements so you know exactly what kind of support you’ll receive every time you make a request.
Imagine the difference in service between a VoIP vendor and your local MSP if a remote employee were struggling to connect to a sales call. One is going to connect you to a call center hundreds of miles away for help, while the other already knows your business before picking up -- which provider do you think is going to offer better long-term support?
Aside from the cost savings, advanced call features are the leading advantage of VoIP over traditional landlines. Most providers offer similar features, but there may be small differences. Take a look at all the options and rank them by priority before choosing a provider. Consider things like:
- Call recording
- Voicemail transcription
- Text messaging
- Video conferencing
Phone numbers that can be used on multiple devices is foundational to internet-based phones, and although nine out of ten vendors will hit all the mobility benchmarks, make sure to double-check you won’t be missing out on any basic features.
Our team has partnered with the best VoIP providers in the industry to produce a hassle-free solution for small businesses. To learn about the customer service, costs, and features included in our VoIP solutions, give us a call today.