VoIP Service Providers Woodland

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Choosing between VoIP service providers in Woodland

A successful VoIP implementation can not just reduce costs but also streamline and simplify your business. For this to work, however, you need to find a VoIP service provider who can deliver what you want at a price you can afford. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to choosing between VoIP service providers in Woodland.

VoIP Service Providers Woodland

You need to know what you want from your VoIP service provider

A basic VoIP implementation can mean nothing more than removing traditional telephones and replacing them with VoIP handsets which, from a user perspective, perform exactly the same functions in exactly the same way. An advanced VoIP implementation can mean deploying VoIP over a large contact center, plus implementing a Unified Communications strategy and several third-party integrations to streamline business processes. There are all kinds of variations in between.

In the real world, however, most SMBs are likely to focus on the parts of VoIP which reduce costs in some way. This tends to mean basic calling services, some degree of call-management, and possibly conference-calling and video-calling to reduce the need for business travel. These are business-grade VoIP staples and any business-grade VoIP service provider will probably be able to handle them. Most will also be able to handle Fax over IP (and if not there are specialist Fax over IP vendors who can plug the gap).

Once you start going beyond this, your pool of potential VoIP service providers is likely to become much smaller, especially since you will need to find one who is set up to deal with SMBs rather than just enterprise customers.

In addition to thinking about the VoIP service itself, you’re also going to need to think about the necessary bandwidth. Specifically, you’re going to need to decide whether you’re going to organize this yourself (either in-house or by managed hosting) or if you’re going to want your VoIP service provider to manage it for you.

Last but not least, you’re going to need to think about the equipment you need for your end-users and whether you want to source it yourself or have it included with your VoIP service contract (or a combination of both and, if so, in what combination).

A note on softphones versus VoIP handsets

If you’re planning on using softphones then you will usually need to use your VoIP service provider’s own client. This will typically be given to you for free (or at a very nominal cost). It’s very much advisable to test a softphone client thoroughly in real-world situations before you decide whether or not you want to commit to it. You should also make a point of checking its performance on mobile devices.

If you find a promising VoIP service provider with a poor softphone client, then you need to decide whether to change your plans and move to VoIP handsets or whether to look for another vendor. When making this decision, remember that softphones do generally require headsets to work and that it’s strongly recommended to invest in high-quality ones. This means that the price difference between softphones and decent, entry-level VoIP handsets may be lower than you’d think.

Set out your minimum service standards

The key to making VoIP work effectively is to make sure that it is as reliable and secure as the traditional telephone network. When technical service standards are missed, opportunities can also be lost. When security standards are missed, companies can quickly find themselves in a whole world of legal pain and bad publicity. This means that security and compliance have to be top considerations and there is no room for compromise.

Remember that most VoIP systems will be used to transmit personal data (at least some of the time). This means that they need to comply with all applicable data protection requirements. If you want to record calls, then there are more legalities to manage and if you want to store the recordings then the requirements go up again.

In short, you need to have total confidence in your VoIP service provider to keep you on the right side of the law. This is a strong argument in favor of sticking with VoIP service providers in Woodland, or at least near Woodland, who will understand the legal system in which you operate and who can easily be pursued legally if they fail to meet their contractual obligations.

Check how easy it is to change calling plans

VoIP service providers can offer more flexibility than the traditional telcos but they still vary in how much flexibility they offer. When assessing this, make sure you check the process for downgrading a calling plan as well as the process for upgrading it.

If you’d like to speak to one of the best VoIP service providers in Woodland, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.