Now, that you have decided to implement VoIP, it is
time to grill your service provider so as
7 Questions you should ask your VoIP Provider
to shield yourself from unwarranted
surprises and make optimal use of this latest technology. Your queries should
include everything like equipment, expenses, service and features. You should
not hesitate and ask all the standard questions that need to be answered by
service provider. However, you must consider the technology limitations and get
more aware about the features offered by VoIP.
Here is a list of 7 pertinent questions that you
should ask to your VoIP service provider before signing on the dotted lines:
are the upfront costs that I would have to bear?
Often while migrating to VoIP, business owners fail
to realize that apart from just the subscription costs, there are several other
costs like equipment or set-up fees that they have to pay upfront. You must
inquire and get the details of all the upfront costs that you would have to
bear. As far as the subscription charges are concerned, you will have to
analyze and discuss your needs properly with the service provider to get the
the existing equipment compatible with the new service?
You should inform your VoIP service provider about
the existing equipment in your company. This will help you to find out whether
they will be compatible with the latest solution or not. Integration of the
existing equipment with the latest VoIP service might not be possible if they
are outdated. You must find out whether the service will need new equipment
like routers, IP phones etc. or not. It might be so that you have not taken the
purchase of new equipment under consideration – this can seriously affect the
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). In majority of the cases, the ATA provided by
your service provider will be able to integrate the normal phones but you must
take a note of this and ask your service provider about the same.
they provide the local numbers and are they compliant with E911?
Now, this might not be a question that new
subscribers usually ask to their service providers but it is better to cover
all the points. You should never use a service that makes our life complex –
opt for the one that actually solves your problems. Majority of the service
providers offer numbers compliant with 911 and also have the interfaces need to
make changes to the physical location of 911.
features have been included in your subscription?
The only big reason behind making a switch to a VoIP
solution is the attractive features on the offing. Businesses prefer to make a
move because they wish to avail some of the latest telephony features at a
fraction of the price. Your first
priority should be to learn about the features that have been included in your
package and the ones that you can expect to avail in the future.
are the features that would cost extra?
In case you need features like virtual number or free
number, you might have to pay extra so find out any per minute or monthly
charges that you might have to pay extra. You should also esquire about the
other charges that you might have to pay for availing some of the other
VoIP comes with the promise of cutting down the costs
associated with international calls. You need to find out per minute charge for
the international calls, so that you can actually calculate the total savings
on overseas calls.
about call quality?
Quality has always been a contentious issue when it
comes to implementing VoIP; however, it is no more a problem as the quality of
calls has improved considerably. Still you must ensure that your service
provider guarantees quality for all the voice calls.
Michelle Patterson is excited with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in touch and
communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that are
introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular