If your business needs to make calls to other countries, you’ve almost certainly considered the attractions of using a VoIP telephone service. International VoIP can offer you lower calling costs to most parts of the world and call quality equal to that of a PSTN service.
As a business, however, you need to be sure that you’re going to get a reliable product that’s secure and offers you the standard of service you expect. So, what are the things you need to look at to ensure that the service is going to add value rather than stress to your organisation?
Choosing an international VoIP wholesale provider
Whatever means you use to make a phone call, it almost inevitably passes through the hands of a number of different providers. It’s routed to its destination between services in a process called termination. For international calls, there can be many different connections involved.
When choosing a provider, therefore, you need to look for a firm that has proven presence and / or partnerships in the regions in which your company operates. This will ensure that you get consistent quality of service and you should look for this to be backed by a service level agreement.
You should also be asking your VoIP provider about how its service is maintained. Most will actively monitor their connections and routes to ensure that they’re delivering an acceptable service and that any problems are spotted early before they become a major issue. This allows them to quickly select alternative termination routes in the event of quality problems.
If much of your business is with a particular region, you may wish to look for an international VoIP provider that has its own presence in that area. This may help with consistent call quality and you should also benefit from lower pricing. It also means they’ll be able to offer you local dial-in numbers, allowing customers to call you at low cost. A local presence should also mean good relationships with PSTN providers in the region, this means termination of the call to PSTN can take place near to the call’s final destination.
As with any service, VoIP can be subject to fraudulent use. You need to look for a service provider that has effective anti-fraud measures. Service providers should actively monitor call usage, not just for quality but also in terms of how the service is used. This is analogous to the way in which banks monitor your account for fraudulent transactions, so that they can spot suspicious ‘out of profile’ activity. The better VoIP providers do something similar so they can spot if your account is being used in a different location or from a different device.
They should also be able to offer you detailed billing information so that you can get a full picture of your call activity. This will allow you to allocate call costs to your internal departments according to how they use the service.