Without a doubt, Voice over Internet Protocol solutions can significantly improve a company's performance. VoIP is more reliable, flexible and cost-efficient than legacy telecom technologies – a fact that thousands upon thousands of businesses now recognize and take advantage of.
In order to see these benefits, though, businesses must be careful to choose the best possible service providers, as Equinox's Dave Millet recently asserted. Writing for Economic Voice, Millet highlighted several of the most important questions that companies should ask of potential vendors when planning to deploy VoIP.
One key question that businesses should ask when debating VoIP providers, according to Millet, is whether the traffic travels over public or private Internet. He explained that a purely private Internet-based VoIP solution will typically deliver superior call quality, but not every vendor provides such an offering.
Also on the topic of call quality, Millet recommended that business decision-makers ask vendors about their commitment to metrics. How often does the vendor measure package loss? And what about latency? A high-quality VoIP provider that is truly concerned with call quality will certainly measure these factors more frequently and be more transparent regarding its internal operations.
Another important issue for business leaders to bring up is flexibility. Flexibility is one of VoIP's most significant advantages over traditional phone systems, but not every VoIP solution is equal in this capacity.
For example, Millet argued that business leaders should ask potential vendors whether they are able and willing to let clients alter the number of licenses they use. For seasonal organizations like schools and tax advisory firms, the ability to deactivate all or most licenses for extended periods may be essential. For other businesses, this can still be an important ability, even if it's not make-or-break. However, not every VoIP provider offers this level of flexibility.
Similarly, the writer recommended that business leaders look for VoIP providers that can issue their own numbers, as this can make porting easier later on.
Finally, it is critical for company decision-makers to look for VoIP vendors that make security a priority. Recent cybersecurity incidents, such as the revelation of Heartbleed, can potentially compromise a VoIP system. To ensure that their organizations stay safe, firms should ask service providers about the nature of their defenses. A reliable vendor will freely describe its plans and resources for warding off hackers and other cybersecurity threats.