Cloud Voice Technology Purchase Considerations
Migrating to cloud voice technology can either be the best decision your business makes or the worst. Most companies are drawn to the cloud because they can immediately slash expenses and expand functionality. Business owners need to be aware there are two distinct ways of purchasing cloud voice technology.
Flashy Internet Providers
The first way is to purchase from a big name flashy Internet provider. This method is very attractive to first-time buyers because the only thing a purchaser needs to know is how many phones they need and how many lines.
They plug the information into a form, get a price, purchase, the phones are boxed and shipped. When the phones arrive they simply plug them into a wall outlet. While this method is fast, it usually causes big problems.
For example, cloud voice technology only work well when there is enough bandwidth available. When a company just plugs phones into a wall outlet without assessing network bandwidth, failure often follows. This can be avoided by taking the time to do a network analysis first.
Many internet providers have a short term, transactional approach to the business. These companies rarely take the time to properly understand the customer’s business, find out what the customer is trying to accomplish, and assess the most ideal way to utilize technology to achieve the objective.
Furthermore, cloud voice technology providers tend to “dial for dollars.” Once equipment is purchased they essentially walk away from any form of customer service. In response to high cancellation rates, many of these companies have required customers to enter long-term contracts, trapping them into forced relationships.
Advantages of Local Cloud Voice Technology Providers
A much more intelligent way to purchase cloud voice technology is through a local provider who is part of your business community. Local cloud technology providers inherently have a higher capacity to asses and understand your business objectives, which ultimately leads to achieving a better fit.
Local providers understand the need to perform an initial analysis to gain perspective on your technology infrastructure, and can often make improvements that not only ensure the quality of your cloud voice technology, but everything that runs on your network.
Local providers often take the time to educate businesses about firewalls, ensure proper bandwidth allocation, and explain QoS (Quality of Service). These all have significant implications on the performance of cloud voice technology. You should seek out local companies with highly experienced, certified technicians who can install the technology themselves, instead of leaving it in the hands of untrained customers.
The most important factor to watch for, which ensures aligned incentives from the beginning, are month-to-month contracts. When a provider puts their money where their mouth is and essentially says that “If the technology doesn’t perform as expected, you can cancel anytime,” you are predestined for a mutually beneficial relationship.
While it’s clear a local provider can provide much better support, is it affordable? The punch line for business owners is that whether they purchase from a flashy internet provider or a reputable local company, the price they ending up paying is usually the same!