When shopping for a host based business telephone system, be certain to do your homework. All providers are not the same. Although one provider may tout more features, they might not work as described.
Host based VoIP phones solutions is a Numbers game in most circumstances. The "Bet" is knowing how many users will be using the Host based system at the same time. Lets say for example that you have five employees in your company and I have five employees in my company. What is the chance of all 10 employees being on the phone at the same time? That's the question. Host providers use an algorithm that says 2 of 10 users will be on the phone at the same time. This is most likely inaccurate in your situation. It is in mine.
So what? you may ask. Well this skewed number will reflect in poor call quality for users when users over two are introduced. In fact, all the users will start experiencing Latency (Garbled conversations) perhaps static or even dropped calls. So what do you do? The first step is communicating the issue and hear an excuse of an adjustment is being made and give it a few days. Then finally, search for a replacement service that will hopefully be better. This means (Controlled) down time and having to port your telephone numbers to the new provider. There are fees involved with Porting and setting up new services. Most likely the sum of these fees are greater than the company you should have gone with in the first place, so you could actually be loosing money while dealing with the hassles of a poor phone solution.
The best value may be spending an extra $10/month for services that don't have these issues. Bandwidth is King and the User ratio should be 50%. This means up to 50% of your users are EXPECTED to be on the phones at the same time. With cellular phones, this is most likely rare to see but a Host based provider that uses this ratio is the better choice.
Your good Host providers allow you to bring your own phone versus being locked into using phones from a particular manufacturer such as Polycom or Cisco. Both of these manufacturers are exceptional but there are also very nice options from Yealink and Snom. Yealink and Snom offer more features on their phones for less money. Features such as line keys that can be programmed as Speed dials, paging, BLF (Busy Lamp Fields) and more.
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