Key Questions to Ask Your Future VoIP Provider

The rapid technological advancements have exponentially changed the way we do business. While the traditional norms of meeting face-to-face are still in place, most successful businesses pride themselves on being able to adapt to the technological changes and being flexible enough to keep an eye on the latest trends that can propel their businesses forward. In a world where many business owners would rather go through the old tried and tested method, these forward-thinking entrepreneurs challenge the traditional workspace and support innovations.
This change is even echoed in the way we conduct business. While the traditional setup and expansion process includes businesses choosing one location and expanding conservatively, today many startups are opening offices all over the globe in a short period of time, depending on where they can afford credible workforce. There are even small boutique agencies that have over five locations across the globe while employing under a hundred personnel. For example, an agency can have headquarters in Sydney where the project managers are located, and have another office where developers are spread out all over Southeast Asia.

Telecommuting, too, is quickly becoming the norm. The flexibility to work wherever they want is specially appealing to most millennials and modern workers as it gives them the flexibility they need to grow, while at the same time providing them with endless challenges that make the work even more rewarding. For example, imagine having to cascade complex information to a teammate whose primary language is not English. To make it even more complex, imagine having to coordinate with this person from across the globe through only a voice call. Once you are able to correctly translate the data, just imagine the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment at having conquered a complex task.

This then means that business are becoming more dynamic and more flexible to the changes, so that they can cater best to their markets. If your business setting looks similar, then you can benefit greatly from a VoIP phone system.

 

What is a VoIP phone system?

Businesses used to pay telecommunications companies exuberant amounts of money for every phone line they use. This expenditure grows as more people are hired and require telephones — imagine having to outfit every single key personnel with their own landlines, and having to pay for everything. If you are the owner of a business that has offices in several locations all over the world, then this expenditure echoes across all your offices. For example, you might have to pay for 20 lines in your Sydney office while you have to outfit your Philippines call centre with at least 50 phones. All these expenses would total to a large amount at the end of the day. Now, if you factor in the number of long distance calls your employees from one point of the globe would make to connect with their colleagues from other offices, then the amount you could be paying would be even higher.

In this scenario, using a VoIP phone system would dramatically cut down your costs. We are used to traditional landlines that are provided by local telecommunications companies, which has its own set of restrictions, such as unique area codes and a special fee for long distance calls. Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP simply means that instead of using these traditional landlines to receive and make calls, you would be doing so through the Internet.

This modern Internet telephony in turn empowers your business as it can be outfitted with useful functions through unified communications, among of which is emailing and video conferencing. If you pair VoIP with a good set of unified communications tools, then you would be able to streamline and strengthen your communications needs.

Now, there are several benefits you would be able to glean from a VoIP phone system. Among them are:

  • Save money and reduce cost – VoIP is significantly cheaper than conventional phone lines as it reduces the need to go through the telephone companies to get an additional line. It also reduces the amount you usually spend on long distance phone calls, since as long as your employees are using their VoIP phones, they would be able to coordinate with their colleagues in other offices at minimal costs.
  • Increase flexibility and mobility – Earlier we talked about how telecommuting is very appealing to modern workers. Utilising a VoIP system then empowers your employees as they can do more while they are on the go. For instance, a good VoIP phone system can be fitted with software programs such as remote conferencing, email, and private messaging, among others. This means your employees would be able to work, wherever they may be.
  • Increase productivity – Remember how we mentioned how you can outfit a VoIP system with unified communications? This means that your employees would be able to multitask more efficiently as these functions — examples of which are video conferencing, emailing, and instant messaging — are seamlessly integrated into your system. Your employees would then be able to brainstorm with their colleagues across the globe through video conferencing, or even set meetings with clients when they are working offsite.

As you can see, an effective VoIP system can help you reduce cost, improve efficiency and productivity, foster a more collaborative environment, and enhance the business as a whole. Yet while these benefits are very appealing, you still have to research thoroughly to ensure that you are getting the right system for your company.

 

What should I avoid when buying a VoIP phone system?

Making a big purchase for your company requires due diligence. Aside from comparing prices from different vendors, you also have to check reviews from each service provider, as well as ask all the right questions before you sign the contract. There have been multiple instances when providers were less forthcoming about their products and you’re saddled with a service that is not really compatible to your needs.

To avoid making disastrous mistakes when buying your phone system, here are some of the things you should keep in mind.

Talk about propriety hardware to your system provider.

While the grit of a VoIP phone system lies on the system itself, you still need hardware to make the system function. Propriety hardware means you can only use hardware — in other words, phones — that came from your system provider. You might want to look for vendors that do not tie you with a particular hardware that you have to get exclusively from them — because that means you cannot switch vendors with ease without actually replacing every single phone.

Ask them about system setup and training.

You’d be surprised at the number of vendors whose impressive manners would disappear once they’ve made you sign on the dotted line. There are numerous cases where vendors would simply deliver a box of telephones in offices, and then would leave, leaving the clients to figure out what goes where and how to actually use the system.

Rather, ask outright if the vendor would set up your VoIP phone system and would offer an on-boarding — which is when they would teach your employees how to maximise the new system. Your goal is to go with a provider who would not that only give you training, but would also do so in a manner that would cause minimal impact to your day-to-day operations.

Ask about their customer support capabilities.

Next, many companies that use phone systems would need constant customer support. Ask your service provider about their support capabilities, particularly what channels you can use, when you can tap them, what time zones they operate on, and how long they take to respond to each concern. Ensure that your vendor would be able to provide support while your business hours is on-going, so that they would be able to help you in case there are problems during the day.

Clarify data transmission and call quality.

You are very particular about getting a VoIP phone system for a reason — that means you have to ensure that your new software and hardware would work seamlessly with your existing technologies so that you will get the best phone quality. You can ensure this by determining the vendor’s data centres. Essentially, the more data centres they have that are in close proximity with your office, the better.

You also have to determine data transmission delays. This means the routes your data (your calls) would be sent through. If the vendor would loop your data through multiple routes, then it can impact sound quality and performance.

Ask about system compatibility.

In the same vein as the first item, you have to ask about system compatibility. For example, one CEO recounted how his call centre was set up in a way that representatives would receive copies of voicemails on both their email inboxes and phone mailboxes. Once employees delete the emails or the voice mails, they found out that the copies were left on the other device. This became a productivity issue as it takes workers twice as long to process a single voice mail — because they have to address it both on email and or their phone’s mailbox. Before you sign up with a vendor, ensure then that their VoIP phone system would complement the systems you already have in place.

Prepare a backup plan.

Of course, while phone systems are reliable, you would need to have a backup plan for when there are unforeseen disasters that can affect your day-to-day production. For instance, if there is power failure or if you suddenly lost connection, then your business could grind to a halt. Rather than sit around, have a backup plan in place so you won’t have to worry in case the system fails.

 

Why CrossPoint?

At the core of getting a valuable VoIP phone system is trusting your service provide. At CrossPoint, you will have a premier business technology provider you can trust. Our experience, technical expertise, and knowledgeable staff all help us deliver initiative technologies that meet your business needs.

We are very transparent about our services and will answer all your questions to ensure that you are satisfied with our solutions.

Other reasons to choose CrossPoint include:

  • OPEX Model Pricing – CrossPoint VoIP solutions can be purchased outright or utilize under OPEX model pricing meaning an organization can access the latest enterprise IP infrastructure at a fraction of the normal price normally associated with such solutions. Our team can tailor a neat monthly pricing to suit your business requirements meaning you can utilize the revenue normally associated with a CAPEX purchase of a new VoIP solution directly to revenue generating activities within your business.
  • Global presence – To ensure we can give you topnotch VoIP phone systems, we have dedicated staff and resources situated in key locations globally so we can consistently deliver good quality. We have strategic partners all over the globe that enable us to offer you seamless global business technology solutions, while still giving you only one point of contact plus a single contract. What’s more, we continue to expand and improve our services so you will always have the industry’s latest.
  • 24×7 support/ Fully Managed end-to-end – We know how important it is to provide your customers with consistent support. To be with you every step of the way, we offer 24×7 round-the-clock monitoring and support via our operations centre. You don’t have to worry about our staff not responding fast enough — when you need us, we will be there.
  • Flexibility and scalability – We pride ourselves on providing high quality VoIP phone system and other business solutions without limiting our clients. That said, our solutions are customised to your unique business requirements. We also offer scalability options should you need so you can focus on growing your business while we handle the technology front.
  • Save Money – Our innovative systems are not limited to VoIP phone system, but include a host of other business solutions that you may need. We offer comprehensive and the latest technologies so you can try them out without expensive upfront capital investment.
  • Experience – Finally, when you use our services, you would be able to take advantage of our years of experience and technical expertise in both telecommunications integration and IT system. Our end-to-end services allows you to save time, as you no longer have to consider complex IT issues.

Benefits of VoIP phone system solutions:

  • Enhanced flexibility
  • Improved productivity
  • Easy to install, use, maintain, and troubleshoot
  • Easy to scale up or down
  • Reduce costs
  • Save time

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