Choosing a business telephony provider
As phone systems are so crucial to business operations, it's essential that you ensure you are with the right provider and that your platform of choice is set up to meet your requirements.
Asking the questions at the start will make you confident that the provider you select will work in the long term and that you won't have to switch telecommunications providers as your business grows. Not only that, but you minimise the chance of being landed with unexpected surprises when using the new provider.
This post explores the most important questions you should ask your telecom provider to ensure that you're acquiring the proper support, system and services you need for your business.
1. Can we bring our phone numbers with us?
Not all providers will have porting arrangements with others, so before you get too far into the process, one of the first questions is whether you can bring your business numbers to the new system. Make sure to ask for details about the process and what the number transfer involves.
Usually, to keep your business number, you'll need to request a PAC (Porting Authorisation Code) from your old provider and then deliver your new provider with the code. Your new provider should then schedule the switch, which can take a few weeks.
2. Where is our data stored?
Before switching providers, you need to know where they store your data. Will it be in the UK, EU, or US? Somewhere else in the globe? This is important as it's your and your customer's data, and you don't want it to be subject to laws and access rights that might exist in other countries. You'll need to ensure that your data is stored in a territory that meets your internal compliance requirements, the infrastructure and the security protocols used.
Some providers may use third-party billing platforms for invoicing their customers; these providers may house your data overseas. Get this checked, so you can avoid any issues down the line.
3. How many people will the system support?
Some VoIP systems are almost limitlessly scalable, meaning you can support as many people on the network as you wish. However, some VoIP systems will only support a limited number.
All businesses should have plans for the future, and you need to ensure that your chosen service provider can deliver what you need for now and in the future. If you're a small, medium or large business expecting to grow, ask this question early on to avoid needing to switch.
4. What level of support will you get?
Will your business require near-instant support if issues arise with your phone system? Then you'll need to ask about their response times to issues, their support process and whether you can speak to someone if needed.
Some bigger international providers use live chat and email support for smaller clients, which can be frustrating if you have an issue that needs prompt attention. Many VoIP providers keep their costs down by offering "ticket-only" support. But speaking to a human and explaining your problem can be invaluable, especially during a crisis.
If you're a business that requires fast support, that is one of the many benefits of working with T2k. T2k will provide your business with telephone and email support with a quick response whether you're a small or large business.
5. What handsets can we use?
Many VoIP providers limit you to specific handsets that they supply. In this case, you need to look at the provider's reviews and their handsets. Not all headsets will fit your business needs and requirements, so we recommend taking the time to research the different options that your provider offers.
Others, however, such as 3CX, will work with any IP phone so that you can choose the best handsets for your business.
Are you looking for a reliable business telecom partner? T2k are here to help
T2k has been helping many businesses with their telecoms for more than 25 years. Our expert advisors are here to help you find the most beneficial telecom system for your company. We're here to assist you in finding the easiest, most beneficial systems for you and your employees. For a jargon-free conversation about telecoms systems, contact T2K today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will my PAC code be active when porting my business number?
Your PAC will be active for 30 days. If you still need to contact your new provider after 30 days, you'll have to request a new PAC from your existing provider.
What makes T2k different from other telecom providers?
We are proud to say that we are a market-leading business telephone systems company with outstanding UK-based customer care. We regularly review the market and only partner with and offer the best, most reliable systems available in the UK.
Which phone system will work best for my business?
If you want to find out which telecom system will work best for your business, get in touch if you want help identifying the best fit for your company.
How do I make the switch from one telecom provider to another?
You'll need to contact the provider you wish to switch to and explain what you want to do. Your new provider will then give you details on which process you need to follow. Remember to ask all the necessary questions to ensure that the new telecom provider matches your business requirements.