The flexible nature of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) makes it an excellent choice for many businesses.
A VoIP phone service gives high-quality audio using the power of the internet to work. With the plethora of different VoIP providers out there, how do you choose the right one for your business?
Here’s a quick overview of VoIP providers, their pros and cons, and key features to help you decide.
1. Large Telco Firms
Large firms like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T are multinational telecommunications conglomerates that offer VoIP business phone services. These are well-known and established companies in the field of communication technology, with Comcast being the largest private VoIP network in the U.S.
These VoIP services offer businesses of all sizes with a wide variety of features and functionality.
Range of Solutions: Because these are large service providers, you can often bundle or choose from a variety of options.
For example, Comcast offers an all-in-one solution that includes features from an enterprise cloud-based system and professional installation service. It also has a bundle option with internet and TV. Verizon offers a free Starter IP phone with VoIP + Fios Internet, and AT&T offers a voice and collaboration solution that can be run from anywhere virtually.
Scalability: If your business is growing quickly and you need different product lines and options, these large firms offer advanced network features that grow with your business. As they are established companies, they typically have more resources and products for you to choose from.
Pricing: It can be hard to determine the total cost as pricing information is sometimes not included on the product pages. You might need to speak to a representative to have a clear breakdown of expected costs. It can also be expensive to add on a VoIP service to an internet or cable TV service.
Hidden Costs: There may be hidden costs like additional service fees or fees to use a specific product that are separate from the base monthly VoIP service fee. Make sure to check your bill statements regularly for any unexpected charges.
Support: Often difficult to contact to get the support you need causing downtime or lost calls negatively impacting business.
2. Large VoIP Providers
Large business VoIP providers include Grasshopper, RingCentral, Skype for Business, Vonage, and Nextiva. These companies offer integrated cloud-based business communications solutions that include a VoIP phone service.
Cost-Effective: Competitive pricing allows you to shop around for the best deals, depending on what you need for your business. You’ll be able to find options that give you what you need without having to pay for tons of additional resources or features.
Maintenance: Admin websites are often easy to navigate. Cloud-based solutions are maintained by the providers and do not become outdated as compared to specific hardware.
Quick and Easy Set-Up: Large VoIP providers keep things simple to purchase and manage services online.
Inconsistency: According to reviewers on TrustRadius, you may experience issues like a slow-loading user interface or connective issues, particularly when you’re making many changes at once. The platforms may lack consistency across desktop platforms and the mobile app version. You might also need to be aware of recurring charges.
Lack of Features: Some of the large VoIP providers do not offer video calls with their VoIP service. You can come across other limitations like being unable to create a different greeting for incoming calls of different categories.
3. Small Local Providers Specializing in VoIP
Companies like BryteCall are small and local VoIP providers. They provide affordable solutions for both small and larger businesses.
You get a sense of support when working with a company in your area, in the sense that both of you are contributing to the local economy.
Ease of Use: A small provider is more likely to offer a no obligation, no contracts option that might even have a money back guarantee. This is virtually unheard of with bigger companies which often include an early termination fee.
Customer Service: You’re more likely to have personalized customer service with a smaller, local company as compared to a conglomerate. It can be frustrating to have be put on hold, wait for a call back, or get the runaround by offshore agents when you’re having an issue. A local provider is more likely to build a more personalized interaction with their customers.
Smaller Capacity: A local provider may not have all of the additional resources that your business could require. They may also take longer to resolve more complex issues as compared to larger companies that have a bigger customer service team.
Potential Restrictions: There is less room for large scale change and innovation due to the smaller team dynamics of a small and local provider. This can impact efficiency if your business requires a very robust and dynamic VoIP service.
4. Local IT/Managed Service Providers
A managed service provider (MSP) delivers services like network, application, VoIP, and security via ongoing and active administration. This can be a good option if you need several IT related services from one provider.
Focus: Using an MSP for your VoIP and other IT needs allows you and your team to focus on your work instead of technical issues. An MSP gives you access to several experts in different domains, and it can be more affordable than having an internal IT team or personnel.
Integration: An MSP offers integration between communication technology and conferencing capabilities. It can offer you a more customized option without the price tag of an internal team.
Scope: An MSP will typically inform you of the applications that it supports. If you need help with a software that’s not on the supported list, you’ll need to look elsewhere for assistance.
Lack of Onsite Support: An MSP may not be local to your business. If you have a hardware problem, you may need to take part in getting it fixed as a non-local MSP would be remotely handling your technology setup.
There are projected to be 3 billion VoIP users in 2021 as the technology has come a long way in the past 10 to 15 years. The wide variety of VoIP services offers business mobility and streamlined workflows that transform how a business handles communication.
BryteCall is a Florida-based VoIP that gives businesses an efficient and effective VoIP phone system. We guide you through the process, train you on all features and provide comprehensive support. Learn more about how Brytecall lowers your monthly costs while giving you more control over communications. For more information or to request a free consultation or quote – click here.