VOIP?

VOIP Ready

If as a business owner you have not assessed whether you should move to VOIP with your phone system, then take a moment to review these pointers.

  1. DSL Internet is not suitable – Many early adopters jumped into VOIP using Internet services delivered over DSL. Most prompted by eager start-ups reselling VOIP services as their core business model.
  2. Plug & Play Service – reflects the resellers commercial strategy, it’s not for everyone and there are most likely additional costs to absorb that if encountered are unwelcome. POE – can be a curse word for MD’s who were not correctly briefed.
  3. Traditional Features – If you have a Key Telephone System by NEC or Panasonic you may have taken the old boy for granted. Many new VOIP systems have reverted back to “service codes” to access the basics like “Call Back”. Some may realise only too late that its been a backward step.

The Positives for VOIP are:

  1. Remote Users – Staff can as easily work from home or anywhere there is a decent internet service. It offers flexibility around commuting and can increase staff productivity on days that they need solitude from work colleagues.
  2. Call Costs – Calls to remote users are free and calls using VOIP lines are dramatically lower particularily for international calls. Line rental is also reduced.
  3. Business Continuity – The silver bullet for VOIP. In the event of a major outage at work, calls to your office can be redirected to other landlines or mobiles to provide a continuity of service.

The Negatives for VOIP are:

  1. Internet SLA – Most e-Fibre circuits are not wrapped by an enhanced SLA so when the “internet” is down, you are at least a day off the air as this is a critical component for VOIP.
  2. Limited Functionality – As businesses now start to grow, they may find that their VOIP phone system is not capable of delivering value added functionality as most are low functional systems. Customisation will be bespoke and can force customer into a hostage scenario.
  3. Consolidation of Resellers – This is due to happen shortly in this market and can mean that you take what you are given – a phone is a phone, right? Well that’s not how we see it in Phone Pulse.
  4. Road Map – What is the road map for a VOIP system that is designed to offer dial tone and little else? If a provider is offering a road map, it better be from the vendour or its all your eggs in a very small basket. Most VOIP offerings rely on freeware software vendours for their core platform and lack the ability to develop enhancements.
  5. Alternative providers – The advantage with the on-premise vendour solution was that they were at least global, and that you could change from one service provider to another.
  6. Rental versus Purchase – Without stating the obvious, let the commercials speak for themselves.

 

Armed with these pointers, it is hoped that you can make an informative assessment of VOIP offers when you call in your selected list of telephony service providers to pitch for your business.

 

David Lang