A communication breakdown within a company between employees, or externally between an organization and its customers, is the number one reason that businesses fail. While there is a major social and relational aspect to effective communication that is often managed by HR and customer relations professionals, designing, implementing, and sustaining a business phone and IT system can make or break even the most solid communication plans. In this global market ecosystem, the most capable managers and employees need a reliable organizational communication infrastructure in order to do their jobs effectively. And, beyond human communication issues, there are important decisions to be made around the cost and technical functionality of different business phone systems.

At VersaTech, we specialize in business telecom solutions. By and large, the most cost effective, flexible, and modern business phone system to-date that we recommend is Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, a communications technology that transfers information over the Internet (via broadband/ISP) instead of over traditional landline cables. This means VoIP enables everything the Internet does, such as video chat, mobile phone integration, and more. Today we’re going to outline some basic questions and guiding principles that every business should consider before setting up VoIP phone systems. If you have further questions about VoIP telephone systems, new trends in telecommunications technology, or information regarding IT consulting and how we can help you install, integrate, or repair a business phone system, please feel free to contact our expert team in New York City, or give us a call at 212 725 0100 for a free consultation. (We also provide 24-hour emergency IT service for clients at 800 551 6261.)

Here are five questions and guiding principles that will help you and your business make a good VoIP business phone decision.

1) Plan for scale: How many users do you think will need a business phone number?

How many employees do you currently have and how many employees would need to use a VoIP business phone one, two, five, or more years from now? Whether you are a small startup or mid-market company, change and growth are natural features of doing business. Luckily, a VoIP phone system has the flexibility needed for a rapidly evolving technical business landscape, but having a plan is crucial in order to make wise IT investments.

2) Check your bandwidth: Can your current Internet or broadband provider support VoIP?

Some locations have good Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and broadband packages, but some might not have good available plans that support VoIP phone systems. Video conference calls and other features take up a lot of bandwidth, so knowing what you are working with before investing in a VoIP phone system is important. (An easy place to start is by testing your connection’s quality with RingCentral, our premium hosted phone service partner.)

3) Know the end goal: What are the core functions and processes that your business VoIP system would need to allow?

Beyond getting a grasp of how many users you might have, and whether or not your current plan supports a VoIP system, it is important to learn what core functionalities you need and why. Do a large number of employees talk to customers and need a CRM integration? Do many employees travel or communicate consistently with clients across the world? Take some time to write down what needs your business has and will need in the future, or talk with the expert team at VersaTech to learn what features are out there and best suited for your needs before setting up a VoIP phone system.

A good place to start with this is from your clients’ point of view, as well as an industry lens. This is because different customers desire different features and services in different industries, and they might have a predetermined image of you and your services. VoIP phone systems can give your industry and clientele contacts different experiences, such as a more personal one where there is always a choice set of individuals interacting with clients, or a robot Q&A system directing large quantities of calls toward certain departments and teams, for example.

4) Budget: What does your budget look like and can you justify the investment in a VoIP phone system?

VoIP phone systems provide many features, but once you know how many users you will have, what bandwidth you’re working with, and what general features you will need, sit down and determine what your IT budget is. This will help you determine generally what plans to explore and types of VoIP to invest in because knowing your budget can be the difference between investing in on-premise telecom equipment and hardware or a cloud-based phone system—both of which have their pros and cons in terms of features, cost, security, and capabilities. To learn about both on-premise and cloud-based phone systems, you can find more information on our services page, or contact us at 212 725 0100 for a free consultation.

Equipment is a major part of this decision process. On the one hand, hardware can be costly on premise, requiring maintenance, adaptors and integrations, and more, but they can also provide more security. On the other hand, while having another third party manage your system via a cloud service can be more cost effective, the service might not be available in your region, or not secure enough for your needs. Understanding the pros and cons in terms of a cost-benefit analysis is critical for an informed decision, and VersaTech can help you do that via a free IT assessment and business phone system consultation.

Founded in 2002, and based in New York City, a globally-recognized information communication technology hub, VersaTech is uniquely suited to help your business make an informed IT and business phone system decision. When it comes to VoIP phone systems, we provide all of the hardware you will need, and we are more than happy to install and set-up your brand new VoIP phone system, as well as train you and your team members on the new system. Read more about VersaTech VoIP phone solutions, as well as our Avaya on-premise services and RingCentral hosted services today. Feel free to contact us online with questions, or give us a call at 212 725 0100 for a free consultation.