Whether you are starting a new business or have an existing one, it might be time to find a new phone system. But, traditional phone systems are overpriced and outdated. Analog phone lines are a thing of the past. So, what do you do?
VoIP (Voice Over IP) is the answer!
It’s time to move your business communications to the cloud or a premise- based VoIP system!
7 Considerations for Purchasing your First Voice Over IP Phone System (VoIP)
- Cloud-Based VoIP Phone System or Premise-Based VoIP Phone System?
Which solution is best for your business? To answer this question, call us for a FREE CONSULTATION so we can discuss your business and your goals. For example, do you prefer a low monthly cost or a low out-of-pocket cost? With over 35 years of experience, chances are we have many clients in your industry and can provide expert advice. Call us for that FREE Consultation: 866-VoIP ME 2 (866-864-7632).
- Required Features and Benefits
Before you think about pricing or the services that exist in the communications universe, it is important to know what features and capabilities you need in a business phone system. Not all service providers are equal, so identifying the features that are non-negotiable for your business will dramatically narrow down your list of possible service providers.
I recommend you take a sheet of paper and in two separate columns, write, “MUST HAVES” and “WISH LIST FEATURES”. In the must have column, write down all the intermediate and advanced features your business requires. On the wish list side, write down all the intermediate and advanced features you would love to have but could live without in the event these additional features incur costs that are not in your budget.
- Budget and Pricing
What are you willing to pay? Let’s be real, when you shop for a car or a home, you have a budget, and this is no different. To better position your business for success during this process, ask yourself these questions:
- How much am I currently spending on my business’s communication system?
- What are my repair costs?
- What has downtime cost us when the system fails?
- Am I looking to save money or am I willing to pay a little more for all the benefits of a VoIP System?
- How much am I willing to spend on a better solution?
Be realistic; in my 35+ years in this industry, I have been amazed by the number of businesses that set unrealistic budgets for their phone system solutions. Yes, there are fly-by-night companies that make offers that are way below everyone else, but they come and go and offer no support. Support is key. If the price sounds too good to be true, it is. Valentine Systems will always provide you with the support you need at a fair price.
So, before shopping for a new phone solution, you should have a budget in mind. Not only will your budget dictate your hardware choices but also your services and features. It will determine whether you should entertain a cloud solution or a premise-based VoIP phone system.
- IP Phones and Mobile Workers
Now it’s time for you to decide how you want your users to interact with your new phone system. Will they be working from the office, will they be working at home, or will they be working on the road? Maybe it’s a mixed bag of all three?
In short, you need to decide if you want physical IP hardware – like phones – or if your users are going to use mobile Apps and/or softphones on their computers. Typically, this will not affect your monthly cost but will affect your upfront cost. Hardware has an upfront cost but software for your users is free.
- Customer Service and Support
I can’t stress this enough: in my professional opinion, follow-up support is the item that a client needs to be most concerned with. The best solution is useless without the proper support. The number one reason people cancel their VoIP service is the lack of support after the sale.
Valentine Systems has been rated one of the top ten communication companies. One reason for this is the level of support we provide, which is essential in getting the many benefits that VoIP has to offer. Over 20% of new sales for Valentine Systems are clients moving to us from a service provider that lacks the support needed. Valentine Systems guarantees this necessary support!
- Remote Testing of your Network
It is very important that your provider remotes into your network to make sure your network can support a VoIP Platform. You cannot and should not sign an agreement with a new provider if they don’t access your network before accepting a deposit. Valentine Systems does this at no charge, and if we find a problem, we give you the information to resolve it, also free of charge.
- Firm Installation Date and No Lapse of Service (NO DOWNTIME)
There are many moving parts to the installation of your new phone system. We will port your existing numbers and guarantee no downtime. Next, we will train you on your new system, and most importantly we will pre-test your network to make sure it can support a VoIP solution.
Your ideal provider can accomplish all of this; discount providers cannot. A good provider will also be in contact with you when your numbers port so you can cancel your lines with your old provider.