Over the past decade, the telephony market has been moving towards VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). As the name suggests, this means that your business phone system is becoming just another piece to your growing network infrastructure. For most small businesses, this means that the IT vendor has become a trusted consultant when researching and choosing a new phone system. While this can bring a certain amount of continuity to the decision-making process, and makes sense in many cases, there are pitfalls. How your IT vendor decides which VoIP solution to sell you may surprise you.
The Make-Believe Telephony Expert
Most IT Vendors are great at what they do, but when it comes to business phone systems they aren’t nearly as informed and skilled as they would have you believe. Making a VoIP system work is relatively simple and the IT vendor should be able to accomplish this task. However, making a VoIP system work the way it is supposed to by building out QoS (Quality of Service), VLANs and proper call routing is not an easy task. The problem is that telephony has forced its way into the IT landscape and the IT vendor is forced to provide support for technology they haven’t properly prepared for.
When it comes to VoIP and business phone systems, the IT vendor is generally nothing more than a middleman. They do not provide their own VoIP solution and must rely on other vendors to supply their customers with the phone system. Historically this meant that your IT group resold either a premise-based PBX, or some kind of hosted VoIP offering. What this means is that your trusted IT vendor will not be responsible for the programming, deployment, or on-going support.
Since IT Vendors do not supply and support their own VoIP platform, this means that they must choose from the dozens of VoIP providers competing in the market to bring to the customer. The nasty underbelly to this is that most IT groups select the VoIP provider that will pay them that largest commission, not the VoIP solution that is best for their business customers. The IT vendors can sell many different types of VoIP solutions through Master Agent companies which provide hefty commissions and bonuses which can vary a lot through time. When your business is negatively impacted by a substandard platform, the IT vendor places all of the blame on the VoIP provider, rather than the person who recommended the VoIP service in the first place, which of course is the IT vendor themselves. The cruel irony is that your IT guy actually makes another commission selling you a second VoIP service, even if you had a bad experience with the first. Human nature is difficult to curb, so be careful that your IT vendor selects the best platform for your business, rather than the best commission for himself.
Altus is the premier choice for cloud-based business communications, providing companies with flexible and secure technologies that help employees and customers stay connected more easily. Whether looking for basic voice service, comprehensive unified communications, or contact center, business executives trust Altus to deliver the latest features and functionality without costly capital spending programs. Start communicating better with Altus. For more information, visit www.altusuc.com or call toll free 866.922.4001.