Deploying reliable business-class hosted unified communications is not complicated, but, there are some details to watch out for to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
In order to ensure a great experience, use these 5 practices to guide you to the right provider:
#1 Who does the Install?
If the cloud UC provider does not come onsite and simply ships you the phones ready to “plug and play”, I wish you the best of luck. It is important for your service provider to understand the onsite environment if they are going to manage it, which leads us to our next point.
#2 Network Management = Managed Service
Select a provider that has visibility into what’s happening on your network, as that is the single biggest determinant of call quality. The best providers even deploy a sentinel device to watch your bandwidth consumption. A major benefit of the cloud is your ability to handoff phone system responsibilities to an expert. Don’t be swayed by a low-cost service because you might end up being not only the VoIP User, but also the VoIP engineer.
#3 POE Switches
Your desktop phones will need power, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need power supplies for each handset. Consider using POE switches to save and streamline your operation. Talk to your salesperson about this alternative.
#4 Wire & Cabling
If the Hosted VoIP Provider is not asking about cabling and network, he or she is not doing their job. Hosted VoIP needs CAT5e or better to pass voice. Anything less and the experience will be terrible or you will be hit with a bill for wire and labor in the eleventh-hour.
This seems obvious, but for some businesses the question gets asked post implementation, “What is your bandwidth?” or “What type of connection?” A credible cloud UC provider will tell a potential customer that their DSL connection is not up to par for hosted VoIP.