The best VoIP providers aren’t enough: time to target Unified Communications
Still looking for the best VoIP provider? You might need to start exploring the bigger picture.
VoIP used to be one of the most exciting new technologies on the market. It allowed businesses to connect with customers, colleagues, and contacts worldwide, with minimal expense. VoIP helped to make the age of global business a reality.
However, it’s not the “next big thing” anymore.
VoIP, as wonderful as it can be, needs to be dropped from the discussion about business communications – it’s too small scale. Though some people still see the tech as “modern”, it’s becoming increasingly old school in a world where we can unify our conversations across multiple channels, build API connections, and connect the contact centre.
Searching for the best VoIP providers won’t give you the best communications experience for your business anymore. It’s time to upgrade, and start looking at UC.
I was installing VoIP services and phones when they first hit the mainstream for businesses in the UK. That was way back in the 2000s (over 20 years ago). VoIP back then was complex, and a hassle to install. Many companies considered the technology to be unreliable, and incapable of offering a consistent level of quality communications.
In fact, the reputation of VoIP suffered pretty badly for quite a while. VoIP technology has evolved somewhat over the years, improving its image in the communications landscape, but it’s still not the best we can do right now. VoIP is just making calls over IP networks, like Local Area Networks (LANs) and public internet.
Most of the positive feeling towards VoIP is actually borrowed from UC and UCaaS. Unified Communications as a Service is starting to be the term that people use to refer to VoIP, but they’re not the same thing. UCaaS really does offer a full suite of communication channels (voice, messaging, and video), and it does so with reliability.
Looking for the best VoIP providers, in my opinion, is setting yourself up for a sub-par communication experience. It’s important to look for a full UC solution instead, one that offers a complete suite of functionality, optimized for the hybrid world of work.
Whether you’re looking for VoIP or full UC, my advice is to start by doing your research. Find out what kind of communication features you really need and look for a vendor capable of delivering results. Remember, not all providers will sell the same services. Additionally, just because a VoIP solution is cheap doesn’t mean it‘s good value.
In the age of remote work, digital transformation and business growth, companies need to invest in their communication more carefully than ever. Going cheap and getting fewer features than you really need is a dangerous strategy. Your business and its employees are worth a lot more than just saving an extra buck or two on your phone service.
If you get this part of your strategy right, you’ll see some amazing outcomes. UC will deliver a fantastic employee experience, strong customer experience, and wonderful opportunity for team growth. Get it wrong, and you could find that your business simply crumbles under the weight of bad communication and productivity issues.
The right strategy for comparing the best VoIP providers now includes looking at more than just Voice over IP. You’ll need to consider all kinds of VoIP and UC vendors carefully. Remember, those conventional hosted voice platforms are growing increasingly outdated. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, and empower your team, you’re going to need more.
Rather than restricting yourself to a list of the best VoIP providers, make sure that you’re searching for the right full-stack service provider. Expect a full set of meeting, calling, and collaboration tools from your vendor. Look for opportunities to connect your UCaaS offering with your contact centre or build in your own integrations.
The future of UC is brimming with incredible opportunities in the form of meeting room kits, analytics, APIs, and Microsoft Teams integration. If you’re not taking advantage of this environment, then you could be missing out. Check out our Market Guide and online directory for a few insights into the vendors and service providers you can consider in UC.