Five Things To Look For In A Hosted Phone Provider

Five Things To Look For In A Hosted Phone Provider

18:24 19 January in Mobile Solutions

Woman-on-phone-2-300x224When you’re ready to switch to a hosted unified communications system for your business or organization, there are plenty of things to consider. When assessing your options, make sure you review these 5 simple things with your service provider. You want to ensure that you know exactly what you’re getting as well as the level of support provided, how to make changes and additional costs and fees.

Scalability

Most service providers offer a few plans options and you contract for with them for the minimum numbers of users at various feature packages, sometimes for a specific duration. Zultys is scalable in every direction that you could possibly need. You may need to add a service package with more robust call center features, more users, less users or add new options as you go. When you’re selecting your provider, make sure you know exactly what you get for your monthly fee or start-up costs, and find out how much it costs to add new services as you go. Ensure that your vendor will customize a package to meet your needs that is flexible and scalable.

Service Level Guarantees

When selecting a provider, make sure to go with a company that provides 24/7/365 service level guarantees. Your business cannot afford downtime, and that’s exactly what you end up with if your phone system goes offline. Choose a unified communications system with fully redundant backup and failover capability. Look into what their protocols are for both scheduled maintenance downtime and unplanned outages. For customer service, be sure they provide real, live human customer service during your business hours. If there is a 3 hour time different between their customer support call center and your office, the potential for frustration grows substantially. Make sure that they are available when you need them. That means 24/7 access!

Legacy Equipment

One of the perks that customers who switch to new systems may appreciate is the ability to preserve their original investment into previous Voice over IP phone systems. When you’re searching for a hosted phone provider, ask if they can work with the hardware that you already have and integrate it into the system. This can significantly reduce start-up costs. Also many service providers work with a variety of SIP phones, not exclusively the proprietary phones they sell. Many unified communications hosts facilitate the use of both legacy and non-branded equipment, but make sure to verify what you can use and how it gets used before you sign on the dotted line.

Upgrading When The Time Comes

Investing in a fully hosted phone system like Zultys can improve productivity and efficiency so much that they create new growth throughout organizations. While growing the businesses is always the goal, your unified communications system provider should be prepared to do this without effecting a massive increase in your out-of-pocket cost for the month. Ask how adding users and features works, and if the pricing is tiered based on the number of features and users. Your unified communications system should grow with your organization, and it shouldn’t be cost prohibitive to do it.

Mobility Matters

Before you sign up, find out how the host handles things like software updates and mobile access. Most good hosted system now enable apps for mobile staff and telecommuters to work on the system. You’ll want a thorough rundown of how it works before signing on the line. More than that, as new updates for the software become available, find out whose responsibility it is to deploy them. Will the task fall on your IT staff or does it get automatically pushed to systems from the host? Downtime for software issues can be a crippling problem for organizations, and businesses shouldn’t suffer in the name of improvement. Make sure that your unified communications provider has provisions for remote services that make it possible to access it from anywhere while ensuring that upgrades are easy on the staff.

Ask Questions Before Signing

If you have any questions, be sure to ask them before you make your decision about what system to go with. Hosted systems can change the way you do business, but that should always be in YOUR best interest. For more information on what a hosted unified communication systems can do, contact your Zultys representative today with your questions in hand. We’ll be more than happy to go through them with you!