As business telecommunications move towards Voice-Over-IP technologies, and away from copper wire service, we've seen a huge explosion in VoIP providers wh
o are trying to take over the role that the telephone companies used to play.
It makes a tempting offer for businesses looking for a quick and easy solution to their 21st Century communication needs. Just like a phone company, all you have to do is call them up, and they'll set up the VoIP service for you. Many will even bundle full phone system upgrades into their offers, to create a true all-in-one package.
Unfortunately, what businesses come to discover is that the solution that's quick and easy now tends to become more of a burden as time goes on.
A typical VoIP provider is just that – a service provider. Rather than being technology experts, they're there to sell and bundle services. And as anyone who's purchased as cell phone contract in the last twenty years knows, that sweetheart startup deal usually turns south after a year or two.
We hear a lot about problems people have had from their VoIP providers. A few major ones that stand out are:
Fees for service expansions, such as additional lines, that quickly eliminate any cost benefits that initially came with using the service.
Relatively poor customer service, coming from people familiar with VoIP but not the complexities of modern networked Unified Communications systems.
Bottom-bidder telephone products that rarely work as advertised, or don't contain the robust feature sets needed to get the most out of a UC setup.
Ongoing equipment rental fees that also stack up over time.
However, probably the biggest question of all we hear is, “Why do I need to keep paying someone else to provide my phone systems?”
And the answer to that is: You really don't.
The Advantages Of Other Types of Phone Systems
Today, there's an alternative to hiring a hosted VoIP service. For companies with roughly 20 or more employees, we recommend using on-site switching instead.
This phone system moves virtually all of the hardware needed for your system into your office itself. A single piece of equipment, sitting between your phone systems and the outside world, can translate your VoIP phone calls into the old copper-wire format, and vice-versa.
What this means is that you can cut the phone company out of your budget entirely!
While the initial hardware investment is higher, since a PBX is still an expensive piece of equipment, your ongoing TCO will be far lower than with an off-site VoIP provider. Since you own virtually all the equipment, there are no ongoing fees aside from normal maintenance. Plus, the only monthly bill you'll be paying is straight to your data provider based solely on your own usage. It cuts out the middle man entirely.
You'll gain far more control over the operations of your telephone systems. There's no need to call a provider and wait for them to install a new line or implement a new telephone feature. Your IT staff can do it for you, within minutes.
On-Site Systems Bring Better Value To Medium-Sized Businesses
Now, if you're a very small operation, having an off-site provider still makes more sense. You need a dozen or so users before on-site systems become cost-effective. However, if you're already in that position or looking to be there soon- there's very little reason to keep on paying any phone company for your communications services!
So, if you're tired of paying the phone company, give us a call instead, and we'll tell you how you can take full control of your phone systems!