Top 10 Features to Look for in VoIP

Ideas for Business From Ascentive:

VoIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol, allows users to make calls through a broadband Internet connection instead of a traditional phone line. VoIP is a great way for businesses of all sizes to save money, as switching over to a VoIP system often results in a reduction in communication and infrastructure costs. Here are the ten most important features to look for when shopping for VoIP system.

1) Simple Setup and Operation
A VoIP PBX system should be simple to set up. The IP phones should be preconfigured by the provider, ready to operate when connected to an internet connection. Most VoIP PBX systems also have a web-based control panel with which to operate the system.

2) Features
With VoIP there’s no shortage of available features. In addition to routing calls, handling holds and transfers, and allowing more than one person to be reached from a single business number, you should expect a good VoIP PBX system to provide voicemail, automated greetings or messages, touchtone menus, conferences, and call records. Also make sure that implementation of new features will be handled entirely by the provider.

3) Quality Tech Support
It’s arguable that a service is only as good as its support. With new technology, this means support with technical issues as well as general customer service. Make sure that the service’s customer support is available during your business hours, and preferably located in the same country as you and your provider.

4) Free Training
There’s always a learning curve with new technology, but your VoIP service should take that into consideration, and make your learning experience as painless as possible. Make sure that getting up to speed with your new service doesn’t cost you extra, and if possible, involves a walkthrough tutorial with the provider, not an outsourcing service.

5) Scalability and Customization
As your business grows and evolves, so should your phone system. Your VoIP should allow you to add more lines, users, extensions, or features as necessary.

6) Faxing
The ability to Fax is often an absolute necessity for businesses. Make sure your VoIP PBX has the ability to take a fax for you and then send it on via email in a PDF format.

7) 911 Access
Without a doubt, one of the most important things to look for in a VoIP service is the ability to call 911 in the event of an emergency. Although all VoIP service providers are expected to have this service per a Government mandate in 2005, make sure your Hosted VoIP PBX provides 911 functionality.

8) Low Rates for International Calls
One of the big savings with a VoIP service is the low rates for international calls. Inquire about the cost of international calls, especially the per minute charge to the countries that you will be calling the most.

9) No Busy Signals
A VoIP PBX should be able to manage incoming calls for the business that are not immediately picked up with no exceptions. In fact, the more advanced systems will automatically expand your number of available lines during heavy traffic periods.

10) Remote Access
Finally, your VoIP service should provide you with the option to listen to call recordings anytime day or night from any location that has an Internet connection, which will allow you to save money on your mobile calls.

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