What to Look For in a VoIP System

By Ryan Ayers
Updated: February 01, 2011

At this point, most businesses and business owners have had at least some exposure to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone systems. Known primarily for making business telephony more effective, these systems also contain a wide array of features that enable businesses to better serve their customers. For those looking to research a VoIP system for their business, there are a few basic factors to look into.

What to Look For in a VoIP System

Features

VoIP systems typically allow for many more features and add-ons to your basic phone service at a much lower price point. Tools such as call forwarding, integrated messaging, call queuing, and virtual reception are often included in a basic VoIP system or can easily be added at minimal expense. Depending on variables such as the call traffic of your business, the location(s) of your offices, and the out-of-office time of your employees, you will need to research different packages and solutions to find the best one to fit your needs.

Cost

One of the main driving factors in the early adoption of VoIP was its cost effectiveness. From establishing phone numbers in remote area codes, to low-cost or free long distance, to minimizing or eradicating the charges from your toll-free numbers, there are many cost-effective solutions available with VoIP. Many businesses are able to utilize service packages that carry no charges other than the basic service and hardware charges.

Manageability

There are two main options for the management of your VoIP network, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Some businesses opt to maintain an on-premise network and equipment in order to eliminate service and maintenance charges from a provider. Others have decided that using a hosted service better serves their needs and allows them the ability to change and expand their systems without the need for an in-house technician to maintain the network. Deciding whether to contract with a hosted service vs. an on-premise service usually depends largely upon a company’s existing network infrastructure.

The challenges that your business faces are unique, and the best solution is one that is tailored to fit your individual situation. VoIP systems are generally a much lower-cost and more adaptable solution for business telephone needs than their traditional counterparts, giving you the ability to function more smoothly and productively without affecting the bottom line.
 

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