Key purchase considerations when choosing a supplier

Core Voice Functionality

A Hosted Voice solution can offer valuable new features, but it’s no good if you lose a lot of the functionality that your users currently rely on. Your existing phone system probably provides a lot of features that you take for granted, such as hunt groups and call screening. Those features aren’t necessarily supported by all Hosted Voice systems, particularly those provided by traditional IT application providers.

Resilience and Service Levels

If the ability to maintain communications and access information is vital to the running of your business, then business continuity measures will be a high priority. For example, automatic redirection to a mobile if a desk phone is unreachable could help ensure your customers can still reach you in the event of a fire, flood or network failure.

Key questions

  • What PBX features do you currently use?
  • What are the features that you cannot live without?

Key questions

  • What level of resilience does your business require – what’s your tolerance to occasional downtime?
  • How essential is consistent, guaranteed quality of service for applications such as voice and video?
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Scalability and Flexibility

Different Hosted Voice solutions have different limitations when it comes to scalability and flexibility. Some, like ours, can easily scale up to handle many thousands of users, and allow you to flex up or down as your business requirements change. Others are more restrictive, either because of technology constraints or because of the way that the service is priced. Ensure that whatever solution you choose is able to scale to support anticipated business growth over the medium to long term.

Your Mobility Requirements

The ability to support mobile workers is one of the key advantages of Cloud Communications compared with traditional PBX solutions. You need to consider how important mobility is for your business and what functionality you need to support mobile workers. Some advanced solutions, like ours, also enable business’s users to be fully integrated within your business’ phone network, with seamless moving of calls between fixed and mobile devices, and access to features such as the company directory. Our solution also includes the ability for services to be delivered over a combination of fixed, wireless (Wi-Fi) and mobile/cellular networks,  with automatic switching to the most cost-effective and highest quality network available as users change location.

Key questions

  • How ‘peaky’ is demand in your business – how much flexibility do you need to quickly scale up or down?
  • Do you have a need to regularly add and remove users (such as large numbers of short-term contractors)?
  • How much growth should you allow for if you achieve your business goals?

Key questions

  • How important is it that your mobile workers are fully integrated with your business’s communications network?
  • What devices and platforms (such as Android and iOS) do you need your solution to support?

Dispersed Workforce?

Multi-site businesses and businesses with a high proportion of mobile or remote workers need the ability to communicate effectively across different geographic locations, and are more likely to require sophisticated functionality. Smaller, single-site businesses may not require advanced communication functionality however may still need to communicate with external people such as customers, prospects and suppliers when on the move.