VoIP phone services have become huge in the communications industry and have been able to change the landscape of office phones systems. The ability to access such robust phone services along with hundreds of features and tools for just a fraction of cost compared to traditional phones has increased the demand for VoIP phone systems. Rather than using the copper wiring for making and receiving calls the VoIP phone systems use internet connection which your business already uses. Through this kind of connection, you can get additional features which a lot of business value like the ability to make calls with your computer.
However, a lot of businesses are now using VoIP phones and there are a lot of providers entering the market every year. Since there are so many VoIP providers in the market it can be tough to choose the right one. other than tools, features, price and remote accessibility you have to take into account several other factors for a VoIP system. this guide will tell you everything about VoIP phones and providers so you can make a well-informed decision.
What to Expect in the year 2019?
Every year, business VoIP service providers find new means to improve their services. In the year 2019, extra attention is being paid to artificial intelligence and voice analytics. While call centers have long employed these kinds of tools to analyze how their agents operate. There is expected to be a rise in the number of VoIP service providers looking for ways to work these tools into their main services for every business.
For example. Ringcentral has taken these steps. The company announced a new partnership with three businesses to provide users artificial intelligence enabled voice analytics. One of the businesses is Velvetech, which is producing a custom, real-time transcript solution with machine learning facilities to discover the insights which can help in enhancing the performance sales teams.
One more trend which took hold in the last year was the increased importance on the unified communications which is expected to continue in 2019. Rather than developing business phone systems which have the fundamental function of making and receiving calls, a lot of VoIP phone providers are focusing their attention on integrating other communication essentials into their VoIP platform. This comprises of options for video conferencing and instant messaging.
With the increasing number of businesses seeking unified communication features, it is expected that more VoIP service providers will continue to add these tools to their VoIP platform. For example, this move towards unified communication is what most providers are doing with social messaging. The Vonage VoIP provider revealed new incorporation with facebook messenger. This enables users to respond to messages which are sent in messenger via all apps of their Vonage service. This trend of adding new communication opportunities to business VoIP system platforms will continue in the year 2019.
The price structure for a VoIP business system varies based on whether you have an on-site PBX or a hosted cloud-based system. The cloud-based phone systems have monthly charges, however with little to no upfront cost. On the contrary, the on-site phone systems have huge upfront cost with small monthly charges.
The exact cost for every kind of system if different based on how many phone lines you require and how many features you want access to. The cloud-based VoIP system can run anywhere from £6 to £20 pound per month, per user. Your per user charges usually reduces with the more users you have. Other than user cost, a number of VoIP providers also charge an additional cost for things such as extra toll-free phone numbers, vanity number, and international numbers. But, as the majority of cloud-based phone systems are plug and play ready, usually there are no major installation fees involved.
With the on-site VoIP phone system, the majority of your costs are paid upfront. You can expect to be charged from some hundreds to over a thousand pounds per user. This cost will depend on the number of users you have and the features which are included. Also, there are a few important installation charges to consider on-site phone systems. As these phone systems will be housed in your business, they have to be installed professionally, which will cost you a few thousand pounds minimum. In addition, there are smaller monthly charges with on-site phone systems for SIP trunking or the PRI circuits which bring a dial tone into the phone system.
The other cost you have to consider with VoIP phone system is the cost of IP phone systems, despite whether you have an on-site or a cloud-based phone system. There is a wide range of handset phone systems in the market and a wide variety of price points. Phone systems can run as cheap as £40 each to over £312 each.
While a lot of VoIP service providers have set pricing plan there are some steps you can take in order to get the best deal.
- Check if it will provide you a lower price to begin if you plan on adding more phone lines in the future.
- Check if the provider offers any discounts for agreeing to a long-term agreement or paying for a complete year in advance.
- Ask the provider if they will be willing to match a competitor’s cheaper price.
- Check if they will be willing to provide your phone systems for free if you are tied to a long-term agreement.
Irrespective of whether the provider is ready to negotiate the charges with you, an important step while signing a contract is to carefully read the whole agreement before signing anything. You have to ensure that the terms of the agreement are precisely what you did expect and do not include any hidden charges or cost increases. You have to be sure to get the exact cost of tax and any other surcharges. A lot of businesses are surprised to see their initial bills after they sign up for VoIP services because they didn’t anticipate the ancillary fees such as taxes and surcharges.
Also, it is essential that you completely understand the VoIP phone provider’s cancellation policy. You have to know how much notice is required to cancel and whether there are any charges for it. Ensure that you have all the important knowledge to select a provider. Some of the VoIP best business phone system chosen by us include:
- VoIPBusiness: Best overall
- RingCentral: Best VoIP Business Phone Service
- 8×8: Best VoIP Phone System for Small Businesses
- Ooma: Best VoIP System for Very Small Businesses
- Jive: Best VoIP System for Features and Tools
- Dialpad: Best VoIP Phone System for Use Without Desk Phones
- Cisco: Best VoIP Phone System for Enterprises
- Nextiva: Best VoIP Phone System for Multiple Locations
- Avaya: Best On-Premises VoIP Phone System
- Mitel: Best VoIP Phone System for Call Centres
- Vonage: Best VoIP Phone System for Growing Businesses
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