When you need to find the right business telephone provider for your company in Michigan, it can be confusing choosing between the options available to you. However, the telephone is the first way that most people, especially clients and vendors, will get in touch with you, so having the right type of phone service is very important to a successful business. You want a service that is reliable and that will provide you with every feature that is necessary for you to run a smooth business. Carefully consider the two main types of business phone service companies, VoIP and Analog, before you decide which one is best for your company. You'll need to understand the drawbacks of each service, as well as the benefits. That way, you can make an informed decision about the one that is best for your business overall. Compare these providers in Michigan below and base your final decision on the company that you think is best.
What is Business VoIP Service?
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and it is the most advanced type of phone service available in Michigan. VoIP phone service offers business customers an alternative to using the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) with an analog line. VoIP has been around for over a decade. In the last few years, the service has become more popular as more businesses are making the switch from PSTN to VoIP.
The main difference between PSTN and VoIP is the way in which the calls are carried. A PSTN service offers an analog signal to carry the call, while a VoIP digitizes the calls and carries them through the internet. Before choosing a VoIP service you must make sure that your internet service can handle the bandwidth required. You can use the Wirefly Internet Speed Test to check this. Sending and receiving data from the internet is much cheaper than using the phone network, and if you make frequent long-distance or international calls your phone bill can rise very quickly. However, with VoIP service you will find that the cost of each call is significantly lower to that of a PSTN provider. As well as offering a significantly cheaper service, many VoIP providers also offer a flat-rate package that allows you to make unlimited calls to certain locations without worrying about per-minute charges.
There are many features regularly included in business VoIP service plans. Most Michigan providers offer the regular PSTN services such as multiple extensions and caller ID's, as well as offering other interesting features like remote access to voicemail, ring groups, fax-to-email, call forwarding and many other useful add-ons that will ensure that you get the best service for your business's needs.
VoIP service providers offer many different plans. Whether you are a small company with only five lines, or a large corporation with hundreds of extensions, there is likely a VoIP service provider in Michigan that will offer you a plan that is suited to your needs and budget.
How to Choose a Business VoIP service in Michigan
Since VoIP is a very popular feature nowadays, there are many different companies that provide it and will compete to get your business. It may seem difficult to make the choice of who gets your business, but you will actually be able to use this to your advantage.
To begin, consider what your needs are when it comes to needing a telephone line for your company. Think about how many lines you will need to have, what types of features your company will absolutely need on a regular basis and if your business could expand in the future. Of course, you will also need to consider how much you can pay for your VoIP service.
After you decide this, consider the different companies in Michigan that offer business VoIP services. You'll be faced with many, but take your time to compare their features and rates. Look at what services they offer, how much they cost and whether they provide service in your area. You'll also want to consider the actual reputation of the company and how long they have been in business. Don't lose sight of the fact that a working business phone is absolutely crucial to your business. You need a company who can deliver on their promises and be there when there is a problem. A good track record of the company and great customer service is also quite important.
Traditional Business Phone Service
Traditional phone service carries your calls over the PSTN, the public switched telephone network. This system is available nationwide, comprised of telephone lines, mobile networks, satellites and cables. The PSTN network, the first type of phone network used for business purposes, has existed for almost a century.
Using a PSTN telephone service in Michigan costs more than VoIP. The PSTN infrastructure, being very old as well as large, tends to requires regular maintenance. It also has a more difficult time sending data over long distances.
When making calls traveling long distances over the PSTN, data stops at numerous locations along the way during the course of its transmission. Since the data flows through equipment owned by various companies, costs for PSTN calls can accrue expensive charges. Although most of the infrastructure being used to carry, switch and route calls is digital, the connection between the local central office and the customer continues to be analog.
Combining PBX Service With a POTS System
Most enterprises in Michigan use PBX (private branch exchange) service, which directs the calls that come into their office to certain departments. PBX is what enables the usage of different professional communications functions like extra lines, live meetings, call redirecting, voice messaging, and others.
With a conventional POTS telephone line, the PBX may be housed either at the customer's location or on a remote server. Regardless of which solution you go with, analog PBX systems have one major disadvantage: They are quite pricey. Configuring a comprehensive company phone network that runs a PBX requires the purchase of different kinds of machinery, which means making an investment of roughly $1,000 at minimum - and that doesn't include installing, setting up, and maintaining the system. For that reason, you'll have to either assign the chore to an on-site worker with technical skills or hire an expert, which could cost upwards of $100 per hour.
In case you do opt for a standard PBX system for your company's communications needs, it's important to remember that updating or growing it might be problematic and cost a lot of money. A lot of PBX circuits in Michigan have limitations on how many lines they can accommodate. If your company expands and requires you to add extra lines, you'll have to buy even more equipment to support this expansion.
Similar to other pieces of digital machinery, a PBX can encounter issues and malfunctions. You might have to spend a lot of money out-of-pocket to repair and replace hardware if some component in your PBX fails. In addition, it could grow to be outdated and require replacement every couple of years.
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