Let’s face it: a new item or service, within any market, is likely to be introduced by a company as the best thing since sliced bread. The execution and subsequent initial success, though, largely depends on how knowledgeable the marketing team is about the product, how effective the PR division is in spreading the right message, and — ultimately — how well the sales staff is able to resound that message.
Although, on the surface, VoIP services may all seem the same to the untrained eye — this couldn’t be further from the truth. Execution and knowledge are often the difference makers…
A major player in the UK market for small to mid-size businesses, Telappliant, has carved out a niche by recognizing that the game is a little bit different for the smaller businesses — as needs can vary greatly depending on the scope of business. Large corporate enterprises usually fall into a more general category, as far as usage, when implementing a large communication network, but — nonetheless — decision makers should do their homework.
Telappliant offers a variety of services that include: hosted VoIP services through VoIPOffice™; their own VoIP application, easyspeak™ (think Skype or Oovoo); and even hardware, such as the VOIPBOX, that compresses the data packets for VoIP communications to optimize data movement across a network without expanding existing service. Each form of VoIP service has its benefits and drawbacks, which are why a business should analyze the depth of each service to determine which type of solution, if any, will be most effective.
Telappliant has, quite thoughtfully, broken down the selection process by suggesting seven items a business should consider when making the decision to adopt a VoIP service. The suggestions made are as follows:
1. Understand the needs of your staff. Even if this means going to every desk to get feedback. Hint: create a survey – make sure you’re actually meeting needs and not just assuming.
2. Look at current communications expenditures. When looking at a VoIP provider, contact customer service and provide them the information about your communication usage to see how much it will actually cost. Hardware could be an expense too, so make sure you uncover this stone as well.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are a lot of technicalities to the process represented by acronyms that may intimidate those who aren’t fluent in ‘IT speak.’ If you don’t know it, don’t be afraid to ask!
4. As the business grows so will the requirement for additional communications. Make sure the system selected can be upgraded easily and inexpensively.
5. VoIP uses the Internet as a conduit for transferring information. If you’re not already on broadband, the time to upgrade is now. Ideally, this should be done when switching to VoIP for the benefits provided over older ISP solutions.
6. Make sure it will work for you. Although most VoIP providers allow for one to make calls as if you were anywhere in the world, make sure phone numbers can be transferred as this can affect business continuity if customers are suddenly not able to contact your business.
7. There will be needs — but try to eliminate surprises. Equipment will be required to upgrade, that’s probably a given. But you can get direct answers; even if it means bringing in one of your IT guys on the sales call. This should lay everything out clearly so that there are no surprises.