A carrier’s success depends greatly on which provider it chooses for its VoIP termination services. This is due to the impact a telecoms infrastructure can have on a business’ expenses, revenues, profit margins, and customer satisfaction/retention rates.

Reputation

Choosing the correct provider will have an impact on a carrier’s reputation because potential clients will look at the combination before deciding whether or not to use them. If the carrier partners with a high-profile, well-known provider then it will be seen as a sign of confidence and quality. If the carrier opts for a smaller, unknown entity, clients may be unsure as to what they will be getting in terms of quality.

Expenses

Choosing the best provider can result in significant and consistent reductions in expenses for a carrier. VoIP systems are often cited as being reducing telecoms costs by 50 per cent or more. For most larger carriers, this is a substantial saving.

Revenues

A good provider will be able to offer extensive termination and origination networks which will give the carriers access to numerous markets across the globe. This access, together with new products and technology, can help carriers generate new revenue streams.

Profit

The increased revenues together with the reduction in expenses can result in an increase in net revenue and profit.

Customer satisfaction/retention

Choosing the best provider can essentially have a significant impact on the levels of customer satisfaction and overall retention rates. High call quality and reliability will be reflected in both of these metrics.

Selecting a provider for your voice termination needs

The decision as to which provider to select is becoming increasingly complex. The key factors to consider when choosing your VoIP service provider are:

Quality

In the early days of VoIP, call quality could sometimes be variable, but today’s VoIP calls sound as good or even superior to traditional PSTN calls. Quality will inevitably vary between providers but ultimately depends on a wide variety of factors including the speed and bandwidth of your internet connection, the type of codecs used, and the quality of other equipment. Experienced providers such as IDT can advise you as to how you can get the best quality voice calls even before they connect you to their service.
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Reliability

The importance of reliability can’t be overstated. Check that your potential provider offers a comprehensive and detailed service level agreement (SLA) that deals with call quality levels, uptime and fall-back procedures, scheduled outages, and disaster recovery procedures.

Price and features

The price you pay for VoIP can vary significantly between suppliers and is also dependent upon the features you are looking for. The features and pricing structure that works best for you will depend on the nature of your business. You should choose a vendor who can understand your business, its unique circumstances, and who can then tailor and offer a bespoke package that meets those needs. Pricing models are usually one of fixed rate, usage-based, or arbitrage.

Technology

You will want a provider who can offer the best, up-to-date technology and equipment. This may push you towards a larger provider but be aware that some of the smaller firms are actually ahead of the curve in terms of their technology platforms. The best providers will also offer easy to use control panels so that carriers can add/remove features and numbers, monitor performance, troubleshoot, and efficiently manage their business VoIP.

Security

A top priority in selecting any provider will be the degree to which they can protect your business from fraud, hackers, and other security risks. They should have a fully effective and comprehensive security infrastructure in place.

Support

Technical issues and outages very rarely occur at a convenient time. High-quality customer services and technical support should be accessible and available around the clock and via multiple channels. Smaller providers will often be able to provide a more personalised and dedicated service than larger companies – but larger companies may have longer opening hours.

Hosted or on-premises PBX?

VoIP systems can be bought, leased or rented and these systems and associated hardware can be either kept on site or at the premises of the VoIP provider. The principal benefit of leasing VoIP equipment is that there are no significant upfront CapEx sums.

The advantages of hosted PBX include adaptability, reduced maintenance costs, minimal need for in-house expertise, and no equipment to manage.

The disadvantages can include lack of customisation, higher monthly fees, unavoidable service down time and limitations in features.

The advantages of on-premise PBX include greater customisation potential, more control over costs (in-house PBX can be cost-effective for organisations with over 50 extensions), more control over the phone line/extension management, and easier integration with existing CRM platforms.