VoIP Vendor Selection
VoIP is more than just a box
Why VoIP vendor selection matters more than ever in the cloud
For most businesses, making the switch from a traditional, premise-based, PBX phone system to a vendor managed, cloud VoIP solution is a sound business move that will bring a host of benefits. However, because the vendor will, by nature of the way managed applications are deployed, become a key partner, it is more important than ever that businesses correctly identify the solution that best suits their needs during the VoIP vendor selection process.
Work with one VoIP partner instead of herding cats
Most traditional PBX deployments involve multiple relationships with multiple vendors that all must be managed by someone in your organization. There is likely a distributor who sold and perhaps services the PBX. There is, of course also the on-prem PBX manufacturer of the software and hardware, and the telecom operator (such as Verizon or AT&T) or competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs such as XO). Furthermore, the carriers or other operators may outsource their service contracts to additional local providers.
The upside of this arrangement is that, in most cases, the selection of the actual phone system manufacturer is not critical to success. The PBX system arrives with all of the features it is going to have and will generally perform as expected. Of course, the downside is that is something does go wrong or you need the system to adapt to your changing business; there is a lot of opportunity for finger pointing and making mistakes because there are so many parties involved. It can be difficult to determine which of the vendors is responsible for resolving an issue. Furthermore, that burden falls on you and your staff to coordinate the different vendors to implement the solution.
Choose a partner, not just a cheap vendor
When you choose a cloud-based, managed VoIP solution, the paradigm is changed. Now one VoIP vendor is supplying the entire solution and acting as your company’s communications IT department. This is beneficial because your internal resources become free to focus on more strategic initiatives, you have one vendor to call for help and one invoice. Of course, this can quickly become a negative if you’ve chosen the wrong vendor. In other words, if you are going to put all of your eggs in one basket, get a good basket.
Because of the growing acceptance of cloud computing and the high demand for cloud phone solutions, the list of providers continues to change as new companies join the market and others are acquired by larger firms. This makes it critical that businesses make a very careful vendor selection. In addition to choosing a vendor with great references, it is important to select one with a significant track record, a strong management team and an excellent customer support organization.
We also believe it is important that the cloud based VoIP vendor accept 100% responsibility for the technology and service that it provides to its customers. That is why we developed our own cloud-based call routing and management platform rather than white-label some other provider’s soft switch technology as many other hosted providers do. ShoreTel invests in our own research and development based on our connection with our customers. We custom-design features, services and application integration faster and at a lower cost than other providers who often wait until there is enough demand to justify the initiative and then write custom middleware to support it. We are more responsive to our customer needs so they can be more successful.
We understand the significance of selecting a reliable VoIP vendor and encourage our clients to learn as much about the vendors they consider as possible candidates. We are transparent about our record for reliability and customer satisfaction and encourage companies to be very wary of vendors that are not. We continually strive to be the most innovative, dependable VoIP provider in the marketplace. As you continue to do more research, feel free to reach out for a personal demo of our phone system.