Every time I hear this question it reminds me of the scene from the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where the Grail Knight tells the German scientist to choose the chalice of Christ and upon his choice and after the German disintegrates the Knight says… “he chose poorly.” This article will help you avoid choosing poorly with respect to your business VoIP voice provider.

Knowing exactly what your requirements are ahead of time will make the transition fast, easy, and cost effective.

Each and every business VoIP Provider will have a slightly different list of services, feature sets, and associated prices. The reality is most people use he same basic few features which are common in every cloud business VoIP provider.

Before choosing a business VoIP provider it is important to look at two areas being your internet provider and your local LAN.

  • With respect to your Internet Provider you need to insure there is sufficient consistent bandwidth to support VoIP. It typically takes 85K of bandwidth per simultaneous call to support a VoIP service. Therefore doing the calculations you need to multiple 85k by the number of concurrent calls which will tell you how much bandwidth you will need for VoIP.
  • As for your network you will need to ensure both your switch as well as your router are VoIP ready and will support VoIP.


In both cases, we can advise you. Now once we know the network is ready then these are some of the questions to ask a potential provider:


How long have you been deploying business VoIP?
This is important to know if they have the true understanding of how to deploy, troubleshoot, and support a VoIP Solution.
Pen Telecom have been supplying VoIP to businesses since 2008

What are the start-up & recurring costs? Are there any hidden fees? Is VAT included?

Will you provide me an exact quote which will include all of the taxes and fees?
This is very important to get a full quote, so there are no unexpected charges.


Can I keep my current numbers? What is the cost to keep and port them?

Pen Telecom will advise if you are able to keep and port your existing numbers and also allow number portability so if you should ever decide to leave we will let you take your numbers with you.

Is there a contract? Are there any cancellation fees? What are they?

It is important to know and understand the cancellation process.
Pen Telecom typically offers a 90 day rolling contract agreement.


Which features are included at what pricing level? What are extra features and their associated cost?

We have found some providers will lead with special pricing for their service and find the required features such as voice mail and Follow-Me are excluded. Even we have found some which charge for your minutes of use.
Pen Telecom offer many standard features and will provide you with a complete list of chargeable additions if needed.
When my internet connection is down what happens? Will my calls automatically be rerouted or will I need to contact the provider?
Pen Telecom will set your service to automatically reroute calls to another number including mobile phones.
Do you offer an equipment rental program?
This truly allows for no upfront costs and it allows you to continue to upgrade your technology on a regular basis. Much like your mobile phone upgrades as VoIP phones are really computers which look like phones.
Other benefits include the ability to truly mix and match the phones which best suit your specific users as well as most rental programs will warranty the phone for the entire length of the rental as opposed to the one year factory warranty.
Pen Telecom offers a rental option which typically includes a professional onsite installation and customized training program for your specific requirements as well as an equipment upgrade program.
Do you have a user as well as a management portal?
Let’s face it many do not want to manage their own system. However, for those that wish for full system control is it available.
Pen Telecom offers both options.
Do you offer a call centre add-on?

Pen Telecom offer a complete robust call centre solution as an add-on.
Do you allow for the ability to decrease your users as well as increase the number of hosted users?

This is important as many cloud providers will only allow you to add users and never allow you to decrease the number.
Pen Telecom within the 90 day contract allow you to add users at any time as well as decrease the number of users at any point in time.
Do you have the ability to add-in old world technology such as over-head paging and analogue devices to their network?
Again sometimes companies have and will continue to have legacy devices on their network and it is important to work with a provider who not only can integrate but also understands on how these devices will work on their network.

Dependent on the technology many analogue options can be added.


For more information please call Pen Telecom on 0208 150 9300 or email info@pen-telecom.co.uk