Were VoIP and business made for each other?
VoIP for business might make even more sense than VoIP for residential. Since long distance is a big factor for businesses, you can improve profitability in one fell swoop by switching to VoIP. For some businesses, VoIP can conceivably (and considerably) alter your business plan - it makes it feasible to phone anywhere in the country or other parts of the world for less.
When you switch to VoIP, there are really two key points of decision:
- Service matching, i.e. finding the VoIP service that matches most closely with the needs of your particular business.
- Scalability - that is, finding the service most suited to a business of your size.
In finding a matching service, it would seem intuitive that you would do some research to find a VoIP provider with services that meet your needs. VoIP companies will make this easier for you with packages targeted at generic business verticals. Increased size of the VoIP market makes it feasible for more providers to tailor their service to your needs.
Scalability of your VoIP service
For medium- to larger-sized businesses, it will probably be worth it to purchase your own VoIP equipment and hire an in-house telephony specialist or department.
Most companies, however, especially small or home offices, will subscribe to a service provider, where the service is hosted externally. VoIP providers that specialize in business are set up to offer the most flexible service for both small- and medium-sized businesses. They should be willing to meet your needs.
When you investigate VoIP, you will find that there can be issues with service reliability. In general, VoIP services will give more attention to business subscribers. Your best bet is to go with one of the larger providers with the strongest infrastructure to handle the complex needs of business and commerce.
Another issue is call security. Speakeasy is one VoIP provider with proprietary private data networks, which entails reliable communications, Their rates are also lower than many other providers.
Some advise that you shop around for companies with lower implementation costs. Typically, these costs will range from $500 to $1,000. Implementation costs might seem important at the time, but strength of service is really the aspect of VoIP that you want to target when shopping around.
The investment in a good provider with above-average set-up fees will be worth it in the long run. You will be saving so much money by investing in VoIP that cutting costs on implementation fees should be way down your list of priorities.
It's also important to consider the impact of service charges and even hidden fees. Hidden fees are really the bane of the VoIP industry, and business class providers are no different in this respect. Get the goods ahead of time and read the fine print in your service agreement.