10 Essential Questions to Ask Hosted Cloud Phone System Providers

Why your business will be better with a Hosted VoIP system from Carolina Digital Phone.

Your business has decided that upgrading from a costly, inflexible, and restrictive on-premise phone system to an agile, advanced, and affordable hosted cloud phone system is the way to go.

However, before you can start reaping the rewards of your wise decision, you need to choose the right partner. To help you make this decision, here are 10 essential questions to ask hosted cloud-based phone system vendors:

1. Do you specialize in installing and supporting hosted cloud phone systems?

You want to steer clear of vendors that “dabble” in hosted cloud, while they juggle other business lines. Many IT companies will tell you they can upgrade your current phone system and they may do a good job. However, when considering Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP providers, be sure to ask questions about their experience with cloud-based systems.

Think about it this way – would you want a handyman to install a new HVAC system in your home? While they may be skilled at many things, are they an expert in HVAC? Probably not. So, why would you trust a company that is not an expert in VoIP services to advise you on updating your phone system?

2. Do you offer comprehensive post-sales support?

You want to choose a vendor that can provide you with same-day or next-day on-site support (depending on when the inquiry is made and your location). With a VoIP system that has been properly configured for your needs, you shouldn’t have many issues. However, when you do have questions or need help, you want a VoIP provider that responds quickly.

Plus, you should have the option to add a wireless internet backup system, which will automatically switch your system from your existing connection to a 4G LTE cellular connection in the event of a local power outage.

3. How many years have you been in business?

If a service provider hasn’t been in the industry for at least 20 years, then it means there are scenarios that they haven’t faced and learned from. Unfortunately, you will pay for their lack of knowledge and experience — not them.

4. What do customers say about you?

Look for reviews and testimonials from actual customers (i.e. real names and organizations vs. “John S.” or “Mary M.”). Plus, if you wish to speak to a customer directly to learn about their experience, vendors should gladly facilitate this vs. try and talk you out of it. Business owners who are happy with their cloud phone provider are generally happy to give you a referral and those who are not satisfied will gladly telly you why.

5. Will you visit us on-site?

Many important implementation questions can be answered over the phone, and through video conferencing. However, it is essential for a vendor to visit you on-site to meet with your team and assess your infrastructure. If a vendor balks at doing this or tries to charge you a “travel fee” — then walk away.

6. What costs are involved?

  • Reputable vendors will provide you with transparent pricing that clearly identifies all of the following:
  • If there are any pricing or service tiers — and if so, the features/benefits that are associated with each tier.
  • If you will receive any third-party billing.
  • If there are any activation fees.
  • If you will face any upgrade, maintenance, or other additional costs after implementation.

7. Do you support total mobility?

Choose a vendor that offers a free mobile app for both iOS and Android, which your employees can install on their smartphones and access the hosted cloud phone system anytime, anywhere.

8. How do you ensure security?

Choose a vendor that runs and manages their hosted VoIP phone system on a private, highly secure data network that is protected by end-to-end encryption mechanisms including Transport Layer Security/TLS and Secure RTP for transmitting media. In addition, the vendor’s in-house team of experts should regularly install and configure all security patches and updates, and deploy multiple telecommunications fraud prevention systems.

9. What features are available?

Some vendors offer a limited selection of features and require that you pay an additional fee to access a full range. To avoid that cost and hassle, choose a vendor that offers ALL of the following:

Auto Attendant, Automatic Call Distribution, Call Analysis & Reporting, Call Queuing, Call Transfer, Caller ID, Company Directory, Conference Bridging, E911 Dialing, Fax Send/Receive, Custom Hold Music, Live Call Forwarding, Message Notification, SMS/Chat, Video Conferencing, Fax Email Messages, Group SMS Chat, Voicemail to Email with Transcription, Fraud Call Detection, Robocall Blocking. Click Here For a complete list of Cloud-based Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) Features.

10. What is the implementation experience like?

Key factors to evaluate include:

  • How long implementation will take?
  • If a dedicated project manager will be assigned to the implementation.
  • If on-demand training resources like videos are available.
  • How long it takes to port numbers, and if there are any fees?
  • If the system supports plug-and-play hardware and zero-touch provisioning tools.

Carolina Digital Phone: 10 for 10!

At Carolina Digital Phone, we answer the bell in ALL 10 of these essential areas. That is why we have been in business for more than 20 years, and have a growing roster of satisfied customers who trust us to be there when they need us — without compromise or exception.

To learn more, call us at (336) 544-4000 for your live, guided demo that can be delivered over the web or on-site at your location. Discover why our experience is your advantage!

Work from anywhere with a complete mobile solution for your business. The office is wherever you make it with our all-in-one solution that combines all the necessary communications needed with all the features you can’t live without! Enjoy phone, fax, texting, video, conferencing, and more! Put your office phone directly into your pocket and take your work to-go with Carolina Digital Phone.

  • Local North Carolina Support
  • Transparent Pricing, No Surprises
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