Monday, March 10, 2008

Checklist For Evaluating A VoIP Solution For Any Business

When looking at a Business VoIP solution, here's a checklist of 20 items your company should use to guide you through the selection process.

1. How can the business benefit from it?

2. Is senior management ready to invest and allocate the time for the employees to maximize the benefits? This cannot be done on the fly and require some dedicated time.

3. There are many hosted and premise based solutions that are available in the market? Which makes sense for the business?

4. Scale of support needed and provided by the providers?

5. Would it make business sense to use a provider(in case of premise based) that offers a hybrid solution(allows both PSTN and IP in their solution)?

6. What kind of technical expertise is needed for administration in-house?

7. What about future feature upgrades?

8. How is reliability addressed: Power failure? Network failure? DoS attacks?

9. What are the security risks of web-based administration?

10.How is e911 and 911 handled for multi-site distributed organization?

11. When considering a hosted solution, has the company outsourced other applications before?

12. Age/condition of the data network? Is it ready for VoIP?

13. Financial stability of the providers? Whether they are hosted or premise based, how well are they funded? Will they be around 2,3 5years from now? This is a question that needs to be carefully looked at and addressed by the company.

14. Quality Service - How about a SLA (Service Level Agreement)?

15. Great Support - Real people that you can understand and are helpful.

16. Features - PBX features like RingCentral.com or Packet8 Virtual Office.

17. Price - Competitive.

18. Ability to set an "after-hours" greeting or handler.

19. Ability to ring through to your cell phone during certain hours or when you're enable that feature.

20. Reliability.

Answer each question paying close attention to how each provider you're considering meets each item. To make your evaluation measurable ..... assign 5 points to each of the 20 items .... and rate each provider on a 1-5 scale for each individual question. Tally up the scores .... and then compare each provider against each other with 100 as the potential perfect score.

There you go. The questions to ask yourself and the providers you consider....and a way to rate your evaluation to arrive at the best VoIP solution for your business. For more help I recommend taking advantage of the FREE support provided here: Business VoIP Solution

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