Nightmare VoIP Scenario #2:
There are two different types of IP phone system providers. We refer to those as facilities based and non-facilities based. You could also refer to them as regulated and unregulated. A facilities based, regulated hosted VoIP provider can provide reliability, voice quality, etc. As examples, in Louisville, you often hear about Smoothstone and Norlight. They don’t do a bad job, but the solution can be expensive.
Please be very careful with non-facilities based, unregulated VoIp phone system providers. These are often called “bring your own bandwidth” (BYOB) providers. There are hundreds of these companies out there and we hear about more every day. It can be enticing to buy from them because they make it sound so simple. The problems are that they do not understand your business and the solution is not reliable. In most cases they have trouble even making it work. I understand there are some success stories….but I don’t hear about those. So you get to hear a horror story through this blog.
I met with a company that recently made the decision to move to a “hosted” VoIP phone system from one of these BYOB providers. Wow. Where do I begin?
One of their employees called it the “worst business experience” he has had in 27 years. Unified designed a new solution and communicated to this individual that we want him to provide one of the best business experiences he has had in 27 years. Dropped calls, poor quality, calls lost in mid-air were just a few of the comments we heard from them.
He said we were already a better experience because we asked him what he wanted and asked him about his business. This person was the VP of their company and oversaw operations at 2 locations. We were in shock. How can a competitor try to implement a technology solution when they have no idea what they want or need?
It’s shocking but it happens all the time. I have a true appreciation for the unique manner by which Unified Technologies provides technology solutions for our business partners.
It should be no secret that technology can be a great thing…if it is deployed properly and is designed to help business processes. As advanced as VoIP is, it is not as simple as “plug and play”. You can’t just plug something in and hope it does what everyone wants. There has to be discovery, there has to be an understanding of business goals and objectives and there has to be communication. With our customers, we err on the side of over-communication.
Please choose the business partner you can trust. Choose someone who can see the entire picture of your organization. You are choosing a partner to help your business achieve goals and objectives.
As we untangle the situation and move them to a Shoretel solution, we now have to rely on an unregulated hosted provider to get the companies phone numbers back. I’ll have to update you later on our progress…..Melissa Johnston is working her magic as your read this…