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What's the difference between National VoIP Providers and BW Communications, Inc.

Many time clients will ask us what makes BW Communications different from other VoIP provider companies like RingCentral, Vonage, Shoretel and 8x8.

It’s a great question, and here are six differences when it comes to comparing our local company with National VoIP business phone providers.

Location

When you deal with some National VoIP Providers, you’re likely dealing with someone in a remote sales office hundreds of miles away from Washington DC Metro Area.  They may not have any local presence in terms of sales or support, meaning you’re going to be doing things 100% remotely. That may not seem like a big deal but there are different challenges and service experiences that can arise from hiring a national provider.

Site Survey

It’s difficult for any sales associates to truly learn much over the phone about your business, if there is no onsite meetings or survey conducted, there are many business & technical assumptions they will have to make. This lack of familiarity and understanding of your staff, office layout and technical design may cause massive headaches and problems down the road.  Most importantly, the solution is usually over the telephone simplified because no one physically came to your office to understand your real communication problems. 

Typically, national providers will send a quick proposal with many technical and business assumptions. If you’re a smaller office with less than 10 or so phones, this might be alright. If you’re a larger organization with more complexity, this will become an issue. It’s difficult to engage your current operation with an “over the phone” type relationship. At BW Communications, the sales engagement is on-site. This means we survey your current operation, as well as interview you to get know your communications needs.

Product

Most the differences have NOTHING to do with product feature set or capabilities.  Most of the phone systems available have very similar features and phone hardware; the differences are usually not even noticeable to most end users and businesses.  The difference primarily has to do with the service experience you prefer.  There is no right or wrong in hiring a National VoIP Provider located hundreds of miles away but there are major differences you should be educated in.

The type of IP Phones may impact your overall price. There are best in class phone hardware like Cisco and Polycom, and there are less expensive and lower quality alternatives. You may even hear “free IP Phones with your hosted phone service”.  Be careful because they are free for a reason, and always the least expensive and least user friendly type of phone. Like cell phones, there are many brands and options nowadays that it can get overwhelming. Think of Polycom like you think of your Apple iPhone; they are very popular and widely accepted as the leader in IP phone technology.

Installation

If you got with a national provider, it’s likely that your phones will be shipped to you in a box and a link to a video to help you set it up. The national providers expect you to either plug it in yourself, or hire a local IT vendor to do it.

This could be a disaster, especially if downtime matters to your business. It’s an even bigger disaster if there are more than 10 phones, due to more network complexity. You will really need to be on their A-game on the day of the installation.

Many IT vendor don’t want to deal with the installation and ongoing support services related to the phone system.

End User Training

Another thing national providers over simplify is the end-user training. This is either going to happen over a webinar, or through watching some tutorials online.  you may have no idea how to get the most out of your phones.

VoIP phone systems have a ton of new technology that comes along with it. From the actual IP phones themselves, to additional network demands, to software applications on computers and smartphones, to the online portal for the administer the system, there is a lot to take in. If you aren’t sure how to use everything correctly, you won’t be getting the most out of your system.

At BW Communications, a staff member will train you & staff, and spend time with you to ensure you know how to use the technology you paid for. They’ll teach you what you need to know quickly so you can start using your system correctly as soon as possible.

Support

If you go with a national provider, you’re going to reliant on your IT vendor or someone via phone or email for support. With BW Communications, we can provide on-site support services and changes as needed. We can send out our technicians to address and fix your issues.