Financial Services: Does your VoIP System Fit the Purpose?

Posted on: 2017-05-16 | Categories:SIP

VoIP technology is very versatile and flexible, making it suitable for companies in many industries. While you can no doubt benefit from the multitude of features on offer, each business is going to find some tools more valuable than others. A small business may appreciate the significant cost savings while a large corporation might love the more advanced features like visual voicemail.

Businesses in certain industries face more constraints than others too. If your company operates in the financial sector, you’ll have to comply with the appropriate legislation as well. You need to make sure that all your enterprise tools follow the correct procedures and have controls for audit purposes. These laws often extend to communication systems as well such as email and phones.

What Does Fit for Purpose Mean?

Fit for purpose means that a system, institution or tool is properly equipped for its goal or purpose. It signifies different attributes depending on what you’re talking about. Let’s take a simple example. Suppose you have an umbrella. Its purpose is to keep you dry when it rains. The shape, design and material used in its construction should be suitable for that goal. If it has holes in the fabric, then naturally it won’t be ‘fit for purpose.’

You can apply the term for businesses, regulatory bodies and enterprise systems as well. So if you have a VoIP system or purchase hosted services, this question becomes important. Is your current system fit for the purpose you want it to fulfill? You should also think of this when you are looking to select a VoIP service for your company.Some organizations sign up for a particular service without considering such details. Down the road you may find that your phones are not performing as expected or you’re paying for features you don’t really need.

VoIP Systems Should Comply with Legislation

Traditional PSTN based systems have always been in their own silo. They rarely interacted with other enterprise tools. Phone networks and operators were governed by distinct rules. But a lot has changed with the arrival of VoIP. The technology allows voice calls to be routed through data networks such as the Internet. That being the case, many people consider VoIP to be similar to email rather than a separate, self-contained system. So which rules apply to VoIP?

Countries around the world are modifying legislation or introducing new laws to cover VoIP system. Since this changes depending on where your business is located, you should make sure that the provider is compliant with the relevant laws. While VoIP technology allows phone numbers to be location independent, your business is still covered by your country’s laws. So one important point to check is that the VoIP service is compliant with all applicable laws or at least it can be customized for your particular needs.

Are You Getting What You Need?

Another aspect to think about is the featureset. What features are important to you company? What tools can you do without? Once you have this list, compare it to the features you’re getting in the current systems. Some businesses find that their VoIP service fits their needs while others discover that they’re overpaying for all the wrong features.

Suppose your company has a lot of long distance traffic coming in and out regularly. Then plans with unlimited international calling or cheaper long distance rates would be more appropriate. When comparing two providers, you might want to go with the plan that has cheaper international calling rates rather than the one with a boatload of features you don’t need. On the other hand, if your employees frequently travel and need to work on the road, mobile apps are a must. The low prices from your vendor won’t matter if your staff is not able to make/receive calls when they need to work!

Is your VoIP System Safe and Reliable?

Security and reliability are critical for voice communication, even more so with VoIP. Since we’re bringing voice data to the Internet, the phone network faces the same security challenges as your computers. You don’t want to come to work one day and find out that hackers have racked up thousands of dollars to your VoIP account!

The same goes for reliability. It is perhaps a tad more important than even voice quality. Your staff may be able to manage with poor audio for a couple of days but can you run your office without phone calls completely? Ensure that your provider has backup options like multiple data centers in the event of a natural calamity or other emergencies. Some VoIP vendors even give you the option routing incoming calls to a designated landline or mobile phone in case something happens to your office.

So take a moment to check that your phones are fit for purpose. If you find they’re not, it might be time to switch vendors.