5 Reasons Hosted VoIP Sucks (And why you might want to try it)
I recently wrote an article about Business VoIP. In doing a bit of research for it, I noticed that when you do a google search on "business voip," you get a ton of hits for hosted voip. Many of them are 'referral engines.' You put your info in and they send it out as a lead to hosted voip companies that then compete for your business. (Disclosure: Those services exist for PBx vendors as well - and TTM uses them)
Some of those companies are legitimate H-VoIP companies - though again, there are so many of them with crazy names and located all over the country, that is can be a little unsettling.
But when all is said and done, is H-VoIP a good idea...and for who?
Well, let's start with this:
5 Reasons Hosted VoIP Sucks
- Quality of Service: QoS is the process of giving your voice priority on your internet/network over your data. If you don't have this dialed in, your call quality will be bad.
- Lack of Customization: There will be some level of customization available in terms of the auto attendant, voicemail options, etc...but you've going to have a very basic system - compared to something like a Switchvox which is customizable at every turn and can have custom API's written to do just about anything.
- Potentially Inferior Customer Service: I say potentially, because at the end of the day, you're dealing with people at a company that you've never met...and there's only so much you can do over the phone some times. This may never be an issue for you. Just be aware that it may be...and sometimes it's helpful to get to meet a person from the company you're partnering with...and to have them available to stop by if you need it.
- Growing can be painful: Every phone call and every intercom call and everything goes over your internet...so you'd better be sure you have enough bandwidth!
- Features, features, features: At this point in time, you just can't get all the features with a hosted VoIP system that you can with one that is located in your office. Someday...maybe. But not now. This is not a big deal for many small businesses, but I just want you to be aware of it.
Now, with that being said, here's why you might want to try it:
- It can be a less expensive way to get started...equipment and all
- You don't have to invest in a phone system, and for some start ups and small companies, that is a huge benefit
- Sometimes, they give you the phones for FREE! (Don't expect top of the line phones - but some companies will provide entry level Polycom phones, which are really nice)
- You can get by with less IT help - sort of.
- The QoS issue above is a big one. Having the right telecom/IT help to make sure your QoS is right can be very important.
- It's not impossible for a H-VoIP provider to help you set up your router, so it is possible to do this yourself.
- The industry is growing all the time - so you may be able to find a hosted VoIP solution that I don't know about...and it is awesome. (Way to go!)
Have you come across a hosted VoIP solution that you are especially excited about? Let me know in the comments section!