VoIP Buying Guide

When installing a VoIP system in your company there are several things to consider. As its likely to be an expensive job its important the service provider and system you choose is right for the companyís needs and requirements. This guide offers a brief overview of the types of VoIP systems available and points a company needs to cover before purchasing one.

The desktop IP phone is designed specifically for the office. Typically a desktop IP phone will include a single line access, a two line LCD screen with instant message and internet browsing facilities and a number of interactive soft keys. Wireless IP phones are also available if an existing network is in place. Ideal to cut down the number of wires in the office! Conferencing IP phones offer face to face communication between employees and/or clients, giving companies the ability to hold meetings across the internet as the phones include a camera, LCD screen, speaker and keypad in a single device.

Every IP phone should have some standard features. Caller ID that displays the incoming call information appears on most. Call waiting, call transfer, call Parking and speed dial are all essential when using VoIP in a busy environment. Most VoIP phones have soft keys that allow features and applications to be accessed at the touch of a button. All systems should come with a user directory.

Other key points to consider include does the VoIP service all you to retain the companyís phone number. Many do but some do not and changing a companyís phone number can take a lot of work. Does the service offer emergency service capabilities? If the VoIP is replacing your companyís landline this is a crucial point to consider.

Be careful when choosing a VoIP service provider. Be sure the provider operates on a scale thatís large enough to accommodate your business and be sure the companies been around for at least a year. This way you can get other userís feedback on the service provider and have some satisfaction in that they arenít simply going to disappear with your companyís money! Check for the companyís technical and sales support as well. This should be available both online and over the phone and the more communication you can have with the provider the better.

It is important to check the VoIP service is compatible with any hardware your company already owns. If the provider requires installation of new hardware, be sure the company is not getting tied into a contract that forces its employees to use hardware they are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with.

Look out for promotions and deals when signing up with a new VoIP service provider. Often providers will offer months of free service, free blocks of time or complimentary phone adapters so shop around. Unlimited calling to frequent destinations is also a great perk and many providers offer packages giving you unlimited calling to the USA and Canada and can be well worth investing in.

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