With the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of your teams have switched to remote work. But your phone system is not adapted to this new reality. The solution? Choose a cloud-hosted IP (or VoIP) phone system. OK, but… there are so many on the market! Which provider should you trust?
Are you confused? Don’t worry! Here is a two-step process to select the right VoIP phone system for your small business.
1 – To choose the right IP telephony system, first define your needs!
List the features needed by the different teams
Call routing, team voice mail, interactive voice response (IVR), conference calls, hunt groups: the possibilities of VoIP are dizzying! Listen to your sales, customer service, and even administrative teams: they are in the best position to draw up a list of priority features to do their job effectively.
Identify the tools your IP telephony system must integrate with
What CRM, customer support, e-commerce or sales tracking solutions, or other business solutions are used by your teams? It is important to know if you can connect them to your VoIP system! Look at each vendor’s integration options to choose an IP telephony solution that will facilitate everyone’s daily tasks.
Think about the geographical configuration of your teams
Does your small business have a few offices spread out in remote areas? Do your customers reach you through local numbers in foreign countries? Ask your provider for a map of its cloud infrastructure. They should have the ability to support your international communications with optimal availability and offer support during local business hours.
Define your service level requirements
What are your expectations for VoIP system availability and redundancy in the event of a problem? Both are crucial to avoid a bad customer experience due to communication outages. Find out what the suppliers’ terms and conditions are so that you can get a good idea of what you’re getting before you start negotiating.
This detailed picture of your SMB and its needs is a great starting point for shopping for your VoIP or Unified Communications solution! There are only a few questions left to ask yourself to make an informed choice.
2 – Examine each VoIP telephony solution closely, according to 4 essential criteria
Does it meet the mobility needs of your teams?
With telecommuting, smartphones and other laptops become extensions of your phone system. Do you want to be able to count on employees who can be reached wherever there is reliable internet? Make sure the VoIP system is compatible with your mobile devices, and accessible through dedicated applications.
Is it easy to use and administer?
Choose a system with an intuitive interface for both your internal users and the IT people responsible for administration. Don’t hesitate to contact current customers of the UC systems you are interested in to get their valuable feedback on the vendor’s deployment and technical support!
Does it provide the best security?
Fortress-like protection is what your internal and external communications deserve! Scan the vendor’s security standards to see if they match those of your industry (e.g. GPRP, PCI DSS, HIPAA, ISO 27001, etc.). Information should be clear on what is secure, and how.
Will it be able to keep up with the evolution of your SME?
Your company will not be the same in a few years or even a few months. And neither will the technology you use! This means that you need to choose a flexible IP telephony system that can support you over time. The beauty of cloud-hosted solutions – especially cloud-native solutions- is that they have the ability to quickly deploy new features and adapt to the changing volume of your communication needs. With no software or infrastructure maintenance requires from your IT team!
That’s a lot of questions to ask! And with the multitude of solutions available, you can never be sure you have access to the best option at the best price.
At Syndeo Solutions, it is our job to evaluate suppliers for small and medium-sized businesses like yours. We can help you choose the right IP telephony system, without spending a cent. Find out what we can do for you!