By now there should be little surprises about the benefits of cloud phone systems in Canada. As Canadian businesses scramble to discover and realize the true benefits of VoIP and other cloud communications services first hand, the market quickly becomes flooded by VoIP Cloud PBX providers, leaving decision makers scratching their heads as they try to weed out the best from the rest. In hopes of finding the very best solutions provider, there are a few key questions that you will want to have answered. Not only will this ensure that your investment is protected, it will also provide you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you are receiving the very best in technology, innovation and service.
Questions to ask Cloud PBX Providers
Questions relating to technology
The chances are good that if you’ve decided to contract the services of a hosted (or managed) PBX provider, that you’ve done so because you have little interest in the responsibilities of having to manage, maintain and run a complex phone system. Overall success is dependant up your ability to trust that you are delegating this responsibility to a solutions provider that has the infrastructure needed to do the job correctly. It is important to ascertain that the software and the system hardware are robust, secure and resilient.
A communications solution is only as successful as the software that backs it and allows it to integrate with existing business applications. Do not be afraid to request an overload of information relating to the history and future of each software you audit. Unknown to many is the fact that a staggering majority of business VoIP solutions providers license their core software (also known as the softswitch) from third party providers. There are serious drawbacks to this and you owe it to yourself to research the implications further.
Here are a few questions to ask all potential Cloud providers.
- Are you able to describe your network infrastructure?
- Is your redundant equipment configured?
- Explain your disaster recovery capabilities?
- Have you developed your own softswitch?
- Do you licence any core software or applications from third party providers?
Questions relating to service
The most reputable providers of business VoIP solutions do not shy away from going the extra mile to deliver superior customer service. High quality solutions seldom arrive in a box with an incomprehensible user manual and a cheeky card wishing you well. It is offered as a complete solution that capitalizes on best practices and years of expertise. Here are a few questions to bring up when trying to determine the best provider for your needs.
- Are you able to provide referrals from customers in a similar industry, or of a similar size or complexity as me? Can you provide me with case studies?
- Are there any costs for upfront or ongoing maintenance or support?
- Do I have to pay for upgrades?
- Is there a contract? How long is it?
- Are you able to provide me with the details of your implementation process?
- Do you provide implementation support?
- Do you have an SLA?