In today’s ever-changing technology world, small to medium business owners struggle to keep up for the most part. I mean how could you not? It’s hard enough for seasoned IT Agencies to keep up and be experts at everything IT.

The world of cloud communications is now transitioning into not only the norm but an absolute must in order for virtually all businesses to be successful. The internet is changing how our world economy works and how we all interact with everything in life in general.

You know it and so do we…

Let’s talk about one aspect of cloud communications, specifically hosted VoIP. One of the biggest mistakes small to medium businesses make running their companies is thinking they can take care of all of their IT needs, especially their new cloud VoIP system they just got from 8×8 or Vonage.

The issue is these massive international VoIP providers are VoIP in a box and I’m here to tell you that you were sold a big fat lie!

Yes, VoIP was designed to be more flexible but because VoIP phones are now not a phone, but small computers that relay real-time audio through the internet, there are many things that can go wrong. It is not a matter of if things will go wrong but when.

The reality is VoIP is a very specialized sect of the IT umbrella that very few have mastered or even fully understand. And if you don’t have a ton of experience in the VoIP arena then you sure don’t know how to troubleshoot, diagnose then fix the issue in a timely manner. Remember, your business is real-time and so is your voice! You can’t resend your voice like you can a file.

Obviously, you get the point. VoIP is not plug and play and there are many things that need to be done on both the local side, internet side, data center side, provisioning, etc. And on top of it all, maintaining and monitoring these networks 24/7/365 is a dragon to tame by itself. You would be surprised how many different possible issues it could be from just a “dropped call”. And sometimes it’s not even the VoIP system!…

Let’s move on to a few tips to help you avoid doing it yourself or trying to troubleshoot yourself.

TIP #1

The MOST important tip of them all. Before you think about setting up anything VoIP or troubleshooting yourself, just STOP! Give the experts a call. Trust me, it will save you a ton of time and hassle and more than likely if you are trying to set up or troubleshoot something you don’t know how to do then odds are you can make it worse. Hey, I’m not a car mechanic and would never try to replace the pistons in my trucks engine, right.

TIP #2

Always demand expectations when dealing with a new VoIP setup or dispatch. As well as to have it all in writing, whether via email or the VoIP providers ticketing system. If the right expectation is set then neither you nor the provider will be blindsided by anything whether good or bad.

TIP #3

Separate the phone network from the computer network physically if possible. This means separate Cat5e or Cat6 cable runs dedicated to the phones as well as, separate internet for the phones as well. If this is not possible due to infrastructure or budget issues then consult the VoIP provider with an alternate solution and remember demand expectations.

TIP #4

Make sure the VoIP provider has outstanding 24/7/365 remote and onsite support. Support is arguably the number 1 trait to look for in a VoIP provider. This is the key differentiating factor between just about all VoIP providers.

TIP #5

If you want the absolute BEST in terms of overall knowledge and support then you want to make sure your business has access to engineers at the helpdesk level. This means you can pick up a phone or send an email in be directly in contact with an engineer. No one wants to deal with inexperienced low skill techs. All they do is waste everyone’s time, money and patience. Demand the best and nothing less. Time to resolution is everything in the IT community.

Conclusion

Take these valuable tips and let BNCVoice help you and your business today. Whether you are a current partner or someone looking to move on from the dreaded do it yourself VoIP solution.