Thursday, May 29, 2014

Important Things to be Considered while Choosing a Hosted PBX Service

VoIP technology and Hosted PBX services have a critical role in moulding the business communication strategies. To enjoy and exploit the full features and benefits of the hosted PBX system, a proper service provider should be chosen. Nowadays a number of VoIP service providers are available. In this competitive market, it is very hard to choose a right one that serves your business in the desired way. Hence it is not easy and simple to select a right service provider. Considering some factors will help you to select an appropriate hosted PBX service for your business.

There are many things to be noted or kept in mind for choosing the most appropriate hosted PBX service.

  1. Coverage Efficiency

A major thing to be considered is whether the service provider has coverage in your area. That is, find out whether the service provider can port your business telephone number to their service. If they couldn’t provide service in your area, then you cannot use their service. Some of the Canadian hosted PBX service providers deliver their service only to restricted local area. Hence it is crucial to make sure that the service provider you choose has service coverage in your area. It is better to be with a service provider who has a wide coverage area to support expansion plans.

  2. Satisfies the business requirements

Another important thing to be checked is whether the service provider is capable of satisfying your business and communication requirements. For this, first identify your business needs. The needs can be broadly classified into two; business features and call control features.

       Business features include the following;

The business phone system should support you in branding businesses and operations such as multiple phone numbers for marketing purposes, Possible to keep analytics of your call data, Call recording feature for ensuring customer service and also for further training, and additional features such as Multi-party Conferencing, Dashboard Application to control and modify your system, Call analytics, etc.

       Call Control Features consist of the following;

       Features like Call Forwarding, Call Holding, Call Transferring or  Diverting,Caller ID, etc are important nowadays. It is more efficient if the service provider could extend its services to incorporate big business features such as Call Queue’s, Ring Groups, or Apps for advanced phones.

  3. Infrastructure Facility

The Hosted PBX service provider should review your current network infrastructure for flexibility and compatibility. For example, many businesses lack PoE (Power over Ethernet) which transmits power to the devices plugged into the switch. This can be a phone, camera, wireless access-point or other similar IP device. If you don’t have a compatible switch, then collect one or more from the service provider to support the quantity of phones.

  4.  Security

Security is always a major concern hence ensure that the voice network is secure. There are chances of various hazards such as hacking one of your devices or providers devices and using to launch an international calling blitz can, external interruptions or crosstalk, signal failure, etc. therefore high security should be provided for voice transmission. So choose a hosted PBX service provider who can ensure the safety of communications.

  5.  Quality of Service

The most important factor that determines a best hosted PBX provider is the quality of service. A reliable internet connection and network are essential to support VoIP traffic. The key measures of quality are jitter, latency and packet loss.Jitter is defined as a variation in the delay of received packets. Congestion in IP packets causes jitter. The congestion can occur either at the router interfaces or in a provider or carrier network if the circuit has not been provisioned correctly.
Latency refers to a delay in a VoIP call that is, the time it takes for your voice traffic to go from one spot to another. Most companies recommend that the entire voice path, the Internet, the service provider and your own network should have a combined latency of less than 150 ms.
Packet loss is a dangerous thing and it affects VoIP networks very drastically. Even a 1 percentage of packet loss is intolerable.The good hosted PBX provider will have a fair balance of these three metrics. So choose a service provider who efficiently uplifts quality of service by reducing these measures.Selection criteria of a good hosted PBX service provider include many more factors. Taking into account of these factors will help you to get a fully compatible hosted PBX service for your business. 

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