Thought for the day

செவ்வாய், 2 பிப்ரவரி, 2010

Top 8 VoIP Service

Searching for the right VoIP service provider can be a challenging exercise. Many people get into delicate situations after having signed a service contract with a provider.

Here is a list of things you should consider before signing-up with a VoIP service provider in order to avoid problems.

1. The costs, all costs!

If you have been attracted by the superb price displayed on advertising, be careful. Very often, service providers hide attached costs behind alluring advertising figures. Ask them about all that in details. Ask questions like:

* Is there any cost beyond setup and equipment?

* Will I need anything more than what you propose?

* Do I need to buy the phones, or rent them?

* What are local and international rates? Are there different rates for regions?

2. Contract termination

You need to scrutinize the policy and ask particularly about termination. In case you are not satisfied with the service, or for any reason you want to terminate, you might be surprised to know that you have to pay a fine for early termination. Some companies enforce a minimum contract term, of a year for example. Enquire about this before deciding.

3. Support

You might have, one day or another, to ring the company up for a technical support or for reporting defective equipment or service. For this, you want to make sure that there are people nearby (either physically or electronically) for you to yell at… well, at least who can advise you. Local service is better. And getting your problem solved in flesh and bones is better than doing everything on the phone or online. Go for an overseas service only if you don’t have a good local one.

4. Compatibility with PSTN phones

If you are deploying VoIP in your organization, you may have modern but analog phones being used. It is possible to work with them on the VoIP service as transparently as the IP Phones, but this possibility depends on the service. This can save you money, in using your analog phones instead of new IP Phones; especially bearing in mind that one IP Phone may cost above a hundred dollars. Enquire whether you can use existing phone sets with your bew VoIP service.

5. Mobility

Be proactive. If you don’t need mobility now, you might need it later, especially if you are deploying VoIP in a company. Ask about what are the possibilities of offering connectivity to remote and mobile subjects, which can be your son or your employees and co-workers. Again, ask for eventual additional costs associated with this.

6. Upgrades

It is hard to estimate everything exactly before contracting a service. It may be necessary for you to upgrade the service later during the contract. Enquire about what it implies in terms of cost and liabilities. You may enquire about downgrades as well, in case you overestimated your needs at the time of contracting.

7. Emergency service calls

The possibility of making emergency calls (911 for the US or 112 for Europe) over VoIP is an issue much discussed lately. The possibility of making emergency calls is very important for many people. If it is indispensable for you, then talk about that to the service provider, and decide upon clarifications. Read this article for more details on VoIP and emergency calls.

8. Company stability

When you sign a contract, you are engaging many things, including your money and the good-running of your company. It will be very annoying and maybe catastrophic to find the service provider’s company go bankrupt or closing after several months. Make sure the company you are signing a contract with is reliable, stable and can offer you guarantee for Quality of Service for at least a couple of years.

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