A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article about updating your Internet bandwidth. Since then it has occurred to me that a similar study would be prudent to make concerning your voice provider. There are so many new flavors and players in the voice game today, that I feel it merits further discussion. Let’s dig in, shall we?
Tossing aside the cherished acronyms like DMARC, MPOE, MPLS, and DLCI, voice communications comes down to a few general questions. First, do you have multiple offices you would like transparent communications with? Second, are you married to your existing phone system? How much savings would it take to consider a divorce? And third, do you have customer service, dispatch, or support groups which work off a call center or separate numbers?
Armed with the answers to those questions, it’s time to do some shopping. You’re going to be accosted with VOIP, Unified Messaging Systems, and a myriad of resellers bundling packages from the big telco players into suites of services guaranteed to satisfy your every telecom need for millennia. And to be honest, there are some great packages out there, and certainly VOIP and UMS are technologies worth investigating, both for cost benefits and efficiency, but what you want right now is leverage. Pick one of the resellers in your market. CeBeyond and Telepacific are a couple of the big players in the LA metro area. And talk to them about just mirroring your current service, you just want a quote. Let them know you want to compare apples to apples, then you’ll decide if you want to trust your business to them.
The pencil will be about half sharp on this first volley of numbers, they’ll know who you are with and what their prices are for services as old as you have. They’ll likely price themselves below your current provider enough to make you interested. Now take this number to your current provider, and see what they’ll do to keep your business. Odds are they will counter with a ‘special’ billing promotion they can put you on right away which will save you more money and allow you to maintain their sparkling level of service. If you’re not interested in swapping phone systems, and the savings seems worth your expenditure of effort so far, jump on their offer and sail away on the smooth waters of your new savings.
But, if you’re not afraid of a little choppy water, and you want to see how far you can save, entertain your new broker friend with the idea of switching to a VOIP system. VOIP, or Voice Over Internet Protocol is familiar to almost everyone now. Everywhere from Jack Bauer’s TAC center Cisco system on 24, to the Magic Jack infomercials, VOIP is here to stay. And for good reasons, business quality VOIP systems can exceed traditional analog systems in voice quality, initial costs, cabling, and TCO.
Sure there will be a learning curve, the hassle of switching carriers, systems, and lines, but once through those rough waters, you may find all new ways to put your telecommunications system to work for you. Like unified messaging. Simpletech’s VOIP support services can help you in making informed choices when it comes to VOIP systems, installation, and support. Call us for a consultation on your business needs.