Understanding the 3 Different Types of VoIP Vendors
Businesses that want to take advantage of an innovate, state-of-the-art business VoIP phone system need to make important decisions such as what type of technology they need, how many users they want to support, what kind of features they want (e.g. video calling, IVR, etc.), whether to add certified IP phones, and so on. Obviously, these are critical issues and cannot be overlooked or neglected.
However, before diving into the details, businesses need to take a step back and ask an even more fundamental question that, more than any other, determines whether their experience and investment will be rewarding vs. regrettable: what kind of VoIP vendor should we choose?
At first glance, this question may seem strange or even irrelevant. After all, aren’t all VoIP vendors basically the same? The answer to that is a categorical, definitive NO. That’s because there are three very different types of VoIP vendors in the marketplace, and understanding the differences between them is essential. Here is an overview of each type:
“Do-it-Yourself” Mass Market VoIP Vendors
These types of VoIP vendors care about one thing, and only one thing: selling as much hardware as possible, to as many businesses as possible. Quality assurance and customer support are not priorities — especially after the sale is made. Businesses that run into configuration challenges or want to optimize their system are lucky to be pointed to a technical manual or FAQ. As the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for” and most businesses that choose a do-it-yourself mass market VoIP vendor invariably wish they hadn’t.
Carrier Service Providers
Essentially, carrier service providers are traditional phone companies. Not surprisingly, they allocate the bulk of their resources to sales vs. service, and their focus is on selling long distance minutes and supporting their traditional phone service lines. Given this, it’s fair to ask: why do carrier service providers sell VoIP systems in the first place? The answer is simple: because they can. That is, these companies have significant brand name recognition (i.e. they’ve been around for a long time), and selling VoIP systems is profitable, even though it’s clearly not their priority. Businesses that have attempted to get after-sales support discover this fact quickly — and much to their frustration, cost and disappointment.
Solutions Providers are VoIP phone service specialists, and have deep, proven expertise on both sides of the equation: helping businesses choose the optimal system for their current and future needs, and just as importantly, providing world-class support and service long after implementation — not because something is bound to go wrong (because that isn’t the case), but rather because just as a business evolves over time, so must its telecommunications system. For example, remote users might be added to the team, and a dedicated and proven Solutions Provider knows how to integrate them onto the system as quickly, effectively and affordably as possible.
The Bottom Line
Carolina Digital Phone is proud to be one of the country’s most established VoIP Solutions Providers. Since launching in 2000, we’ve helped numerous businesses, educational institutions and government organizations reap the rewards of an innovative, feature-rich and cost-saving VoIP phone system — and our in-house team of experts is ready to help 24/7/365. Simply put, we don’t sell VoIP phone systems. We build lasting and value-added relationships that withstand the most important test of all: the test of TIME.