Virtual PBX Featured Article

Choosing a Business VoIP Solution

January 08, 2020

By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Virtual PBX Contributor

If you own or run a small business, you may have heard that voice over IP (VoIP) is an ideal solution. It allows you access to enterprise-level calling features such as call forwarding, transfers and conferencing at significantly reduced costs from traditional telephony. It gives you the flexibility to run your business from anywhere, and keep better track of your calls and costs. It can even boost productivity among your employees.


So while you may have made the decision to switch to VoIP and a virtual PBX, the harder part is going to be choosing a solution. After all, there are so many choices today, it can seem overwhelming. Where do you begin?

Define Your Needs

Few business VoIP providers are the same. There are differences in how the technology is delivered, security, reporting and analysis, and feature sets. Before you begin shopping, it helps if you have a list in hand of exactly what you require, and what would be nice to have, but isn’t absolutely necessary. Also make a list of features you don’t need. Most solutions will have features such as caller ID, call forwarding and call waiting. But many will also offer advanced features such as auto-attendant, call screening, call transcription, local and toll-free numbers, state-of-the-art security including end-to-end encryption and even call recording, which you may not need. By having a list of your requirements in advance, it will be easier to evaluate the various solutions.

Determine Your Budget

Of course, the goal is to spend less than you’re paying for traditional telephony. But how much are you prepared to pay? Are you trying to save 25 percent? Fifty percent? Knowing what you’re willing to pay will also help narrow down the process. It’s also important that you understand exactly what you’re paying for. (See Nextiva’s blog post, “How Much Does a VoIP Phone Systems Actually Cost?” for help.) Vendors will offer a variety of different pricing plans, and without understanding your budget in advance, it can be hard to compare them.

Seek Reviews

The last thing you want is a company with a track record of unreliability. Look for reviews from current and past users, and consider staying away from companies with a lot of bad press. Contact other users of the service directly, if possible, and ask the questions you may not feel you can ask the vendor directly. Be sure to ask about things like the quality and availability of customer support, reliability and downtime, any how secure the solution has proved to be.

Third-Party Integrations

You may use other solutions that will need to be integrated with your new VoIP systems. How easy is this likely to be? These third-party solutions might be your CRM platform, call recording solutions, call center management, or cloud storage. If the business VoIP solution doesn’t support your third-party applications directly, ensure that it can support third-party API integrations.

With these questions answered, you can approach vendors armed with the information you’ll need to make educated evaluations of their offers and their pricing plans.




Edited by Maurice Nagle


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