05 July

Are you overwhelmed with all of the Voice over Internet Protocol (VolP) phone system vendor options out there? How do you decide between Century Link®, Verizon®, Comcast® or someone else?

As a business owner, you depend heavily on vendors and their expertise. Choosing the right vendor for your VoIP business phone system is a critical decision that can greatly impact how you conduct business. So, which phone vendor should you go with?

Below we dive into how to choose the best VoIP phone system vendor for your business needs.

GET INPUT FROM ANALYSTS

Looking at a third-party analysis is the first step to narrowing down your search for a vendor. A good analyst can provide extensive information on the pros and cons of all vendors, as well as an unbiased analysis of each option.

We suggest finding a reputable organization, like the BBB, to do your initial research. Credibility is important here -- you want to avoid companies that have been given an award by the analyst or a particularly glorifying review by their organization. Some companies incorporate a "pay to play" method in which their rankings or awards are influenced by how much money they pay the analysts or how much money they spend advertising with their organization.

CHECK OUT REVIEWS

After you've researched analysts' reports, it's time to look into what your peers are saying. Company reviews are increasingly valuable today because they provide insight into other experiences. So, we recommend reading any and all reviews on specific VoIP phone vendors before moving forward with their business. This will help you understand the advantages and disadvantages that come with each vendor.

Of course, your personal experience with vendors should still be taken into consideration. If an unbiased review is hard to find, pick up the phone and talk to one of their representatives yourself. Once you've compiled a list of analyst reports and peer reviews, weigh them against your own experience to help you narrow down your list.

LOOK FOR LONGEVITY

The best company isn’t always the one that's been around the longest. But you do want to work with a business that’s shown it can overcome challenges and adapt to technological changes.

Longevity proves that they are able to adapt easily to changes in technology, economics, market influences and trends. Most likely, companies that have withstood the test of time have also withstood financial challenges and organizational issues -- meaning they’re both stable and innovative.

PRIORITIZE TECHNICAL SUPPORT

Inevitably, a glitch or issue will arise with your VoIP phone system. Whether you have a simple question or an equipment failure, you’ll want to make sure you select a vendor that offers prompt and reliable assistance.

Ideally, your business VoIP system vendor will offer 24/7 support and charge minimal repair fees. Or, if your organization will need a lot of support, a contracted retainer can save significant headaches versus a cost-per-hour service call deal.

DON'T FORGET ABOUT UPGRADES

Just like every other piece of technology, your VoIP phone system is eventually going to need an upgrade.

It's important to select a vendor that can handle hardware and software updates and is up to date with the most popular business phone system trends. The vendor you choose should help you optimize your existing investment and upgrades, instead of just recommending new items every year.

During your initial research, ask potential vendors how often their hardware or software will have to be upgraded. And, ensure that your existing hardware can handle a new VoIP phone system.

ASK FOR INSTALLATION AND TRAINING

Some vendors do their own installation and offer training for your employees, while others leave certain parts -- or all of it -- up to you.

A VolP phone vendor that offers both installation and training is the way to go. When choosing the right vendor for your business needs, make sure they also offer additional resources and future support. Be skeptical of vendors who claim it is your responsibility to take care of all installation and training yourself. If something goes awry, they probably won’t help you pick up the pieces.

MAKING YOUR VOIP PHONE VENDOR CHOICE

Hopefully, the above tips will help you feel less overwhelmed about choosing a vendor for your new VoIP business phone system.

As a company that has been in the VoIP phone system business since its inception, NPI has a unique perspective on the pros and cons of choosing a vendor. That is why we offer a white glove service and negotiate with carriers for you! We can guide your business phone system success.

Be sure to drop us a line if you have any questions about the VoIP phone selection process. 

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