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Questions To Ask When Selecting a VoIP Provider
There are many options when it comes to VoIP. Choosing the right provider can be a challenge in this crowded marketplace, so it is key to know the important questions to ask when selecting a provider.
One of the most important questions is, what is the VoIP system built upon? The right tech foundation matters, and ideally the VoIP solution will be built on a carrier-grade platform such as Broadsoft, GENBAND, Mitel (News - Alert) or Cisco HCS.
A second important question is how many locations the provider has its core software installed upon. If there is too high a concentration at a single location, this can create vulnerability, because there is a lack of resiliency.
Where the switching fabric is hosted also can matter due to regulatory issues. The European Union, for instance, requires that data be hosted within Europe due to data protection issues. A second reason to care about switching fabric location is because it can potentially affect call latency.
An under-asked question when deciding on a VoIP provider is whether it sends any traffic over the public Internet, or if it uses a private pathway. There is less chance for disruption with a private pathway.
It also is good to ask what codec is being used for the voice traffic. The G711 codec is a better answer than G729 as it is uncompressed and gives better quality. It requires more bandwidth, however.
Paying attention to how VoIP is positioned also can be telling. There are many advantages to VoIP, ranging from lower costs to number retention and mobility. Look for a focus on easy deployment, flexibility and scalability, as this shows that the VoIP provider understands the market well.
It goes without saying the the number of users also matters; ideally look for a company that already supports more than 15,000 customers.
It also is good to examine a VoIP provider’s Web portal for completeness and ease of use, since this is the main way that you will be interfacing with VoIP. They are not all created equal.
The decision of which VoIP provider to use still can be a tough one. But it is easier when working from this list of key considerations.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson