I’m sure you probably get as much mail as I do trying to get you to convert your small business phone service to VoIP. This is an action you don’t want to take lightly. Make sure you consider the options and the risks before you move your lifeline to your livelihood to VoIP service.
- RESILIENCY & RELIABILITY. VoIP is dependent on your electrical power service. If you lose electricity, you also lose VoIP services. Landline services, on the other hand, can run for days without external power because they are independently and redundantly powered. Small businesses literally cannot afford to lose telephone access. Every minute that the VoIP lines are down is a minute that the customers can and will go elsewhere.
- COMPATIBILITY. Many security alarm monitoring services don´t work with VoIP. VoIP lines may also present problems working with some fax machines that need to use a phone line.
- QUALITY. VoIP services still lack the same level of consistently high quality as landline service. The Internet is not as stable as landline service. VoIP users sometimes experience echoes and “over-talk” (the inability of one party to hear what the other is saying if both talk simultaneously), and dropped calls, among other problems.
- SAFETY. Some small business owners are hesitant to go “VoIP only” because of uncertainty about 911 response. Enhanced, E911 service mitigates many of these concerns, but E911 service is not yet available everywhere. Prospective VoIP customers should ask their providers about E911.
- SECURITY. Because it runs on the Internet, VoIP traffic is subject to the same security risks as Internet traffic.
Take a good long look before you make the plunge. Make sure you’ve checked the pros and the cons. Thanks to Verizon for these helpful hints.