Posts Tagged ‘hosted phone system’

Should I Get A Hosted Phone System for My Business?

Friday, March 9th, 2018

We hear this question a lot from customers and potential customers.  Some of them have old, antiquated phone systems, others have somewhat up to date premise-based phone systems.  Either way, the question remains: Should I switch to a hosted phone system?

Is the answer as simple as “Yes” or “No”?  Of course it is!  But not right away.  Not before the right questions are asked to determine if you business’ infrastructure, connectivity, culture, budget, can handle a hosted phone system or not.

If you’ve investigated hosted phone systems for your business before you have no doubt encountered a litany of options.  Most of them are between $20 – $30 per “seat” per month depending on what option you want.  Some can cost more, if you have advanced features, or a call center setup.  Did you get a chance to meet with a sales rep in person?  Did they go through qualifying questions to make sure the implementation and ongoing operation and service of the system won’t be a complete disaster?  Hopefully.

If you do talk to one of the dozens – if not hundreds – of hosted providers, do me a favor; ask them if they’re certain a hosted system is right for your business.  See what they say.  These companies have one option and one option only… hosted.  If you were trying to find the best pickup truck, would you go to a dealership that only sells Ford and expect to get an honest assessment of Ford, Chevy, Toyota, and Nissan trucks?

At McEnroe Voice & Data, we have 4 main products.  Mitel premise-based, Avaya premise-based, Mitel Hosted (MiCloud), and Star2Star hosted.  We intentionally have 2 strategic options in each category because they are all reputable and quality manufacturers whose product(s) offer slight variations that allow us to uniquely qualify each customer.  We are the dealership that offers Ford, Chevy, Toyota, and Nissan.  This allows us to be a true consultant and figure out the best product for your company, instead of trying to fit your company into one product.

Back to the question we posed at the beginning.  Should I get a hosted phone system for my business?  My advice is this; deal with a company that has multiple offerings, but if you’re talking with a one-trick-pony hosted provider ask the following qualifying questions:

  • How much bandwidth per call does your solution require? (most will say 92k)
  • Will I need a dedicated circuit for this hosted solution? (most will say maybe or yes. Some can do BYOBandwidth, if it’s enough bandwidth)
  • How do you implement QOS (Quality of Service)? (if there is no mention of an edge device that does ‘traffic shaping’ and separates data and voice traffic, proceed with caution)
  • How many users are on this product? or – How many seats do you have in the marketplace? (if it’s anything under 250,000 users, proceed with caution)
  • What happened if somebody has to come on-site to troubleshoot, who do you send out? (hosted companies will swear up and down they can troubleshoot everything remotely. Really?  What if there’s a faulty jack, faulty cabling, user error, POE switch issues?  There’s no possible way to troubleshoot everything remotely, but they’ll do anything possible to avoid incurring the cost of sending an on-site technician – which most of them don’t have anyway)

There are a bunch of other questions to help qualify a hosted solution, but those will give you a good start.

My best advice is to seek out a reputable, local company who has multiple offerings and a good track record.  Our goal is not how many users per month we can sign up.  Our goal is the right product, the right technology, for each unique customer.

How Do I Get the Most out of My Hosted VoIP Business Phone System?

Monday, May 23rd, 2016
VoIP business phone system

Utilizing all your phone’s features will help you to get the most out of your phone system.

Imagine having a smartphone and only using it to make calls. You would be missing out on using apps, the internet, GPS, and several other features. That would be a huge waste of resources! Only using your VoIP business phone system to make calls is strikingly similar. There are many features that you may be paying for, so it’s essential that you get as much use out of them as possible. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your VoIP business phone system. (more…)

When Should I Upgrade My Phone System?

Thursday, April 14th, 2016
upgrade phone system

If you’re feeling restricted by your phone system, then it may be time to upgrade!

Upgrading your phone system when it already works can be difficult to justify. But just because it already works doesn’t mean that it couldn’t become better. When you choose to upgrade your phone system, you’re giving your business a competitive edge. However, there are times when an existing phone system is fine. So, how do you know if you really need to upgrade? Here are a few hints that will help you be able to tell whether or not your business really needs a phone system upgrade. (more…)