An IP telephony system follows the same principles as regular telephony. The one thing that differs is that the calls are made over the Internet, resulting in lower costs. Wherever you are, you can use the same number to call – the only thing you need is Internet access. In this post we’ll help you choose the right IP telephony plan for your business.
IP telephony within companies is pretty straightforward – since you most likely already have an Internet connection. So why would you not use it to also start making calls online? Of course, the needs and wants vary between different companies, which also applies to IP telephony. Huge companies could have very simple needs, while start-ups might need a seriously advanced solution. Some companies that need to have fixed phone numbers might want to combine regular telephony with IP telephony – and others just want to get rid of their phone jacks as soon as possible.
Whether you already have an IP telephony system or are thinking of investing in one, you’ll find that it's a complete jungle out there with different providers offering licenses and subscriptions for IP telephony. To make sure you go with the right choice, here are some things to keep in mind.
5 things to consider when choosing a plan for your IP telephony system
1. Period of notice
A lot of telephony providers have a notice period on their contracts, usually one month. This is why it’s important to review your agreement to ensure what’s applicable for you. However, there are also a number of suppliers who don't have any notice period at all – they just let the subscription run to the end of next month until it ends.
2. Binding period
Traditionally, long binding times were customary – but there are several suppliers who exclude this today. You can of course cancel a subscription anytime, but it will still not end until after the period of time you initially signed up for. So be aware that you are liable for payment throughout the whole period. To avoid getting a notice period after your binding time expires – make sure to cancel the subscription at least a month in advance.
3. Current plan and monthly fee
If you’re paying a lot for variable costs, where the minute fee is relatively high while the monthly fee is lower – you might benefit from switching to another subscription. If you can find a solution entirely without a monthly fee, and that have lower variable costs, it can actually turn out financially smarter to start a whole new subscription even if there’s binding time left on your old one.
4. Make demands and compare providers
An effective way to get a better deal for your IP telephony system is to send your latest invoice to another telephony provider to see if they can match – or surpass – it. For this you will need to review which countries you primarily call, how large your calling volumes are, and what additional services you currently pay for, such as voice responses.
5. Extra features and services
Some functionality that may cost you extra are for example linking your IVR to email addresses, use of queuing systems and fax mailboxes, as well as forwarding calls to several different calling groups. These types of additional services can be expensive, so be sure to review what features and services are included and which you pay extra for and compare it to other subscriptions.
Is there an IP telephony system that fits all?
There might actually be a subscription for IP telephony that could fit every kind of company. Basically, most companies are trying to chase a golden solution where everything is included – which is almost impossible. Instead consider what functions you really need. After that, try to find a subscription that is cost-effective – but first and foremost easy to use.
An IP telephony system that is easy to manage for anyone within the company, regardless of IT experience, is the best one! Keep that in mind, and you’ll avoid falling for an advanced solution where cool features are put before ease of use.