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Looking to move to a new VOIP company

Have a call center/answering service with 150 lines.  our VOIP phone equipment is in our office.  it sucks, call quality not that great, and i can't do half the things i was quoted.  looking to move to another provider.

need recommendations on a good company, service, hardware and i'm thinking i want to go to a cloud based host.  i like the thought that if one of my operators  has to run out i can be in another city with a phone, plug into internet and be running.

what are some of the pratfalls that i need to be on the lookout for when switching?  kinda new to this VOIP thing and reading up on it.  all i know is the setup that AT&T promised me a couple months ago is not the setup that i have.
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coonasty
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coonasty
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masnrockCommented:
What is your exact setup now, and what were you promised? Assuming you have your own PBX using a SIP trunk, it could come down to configuration of your PBX, phones, or your network that is causing your issues.

If you want everything cloud based, I'd recommend 8x8 or Appia. I've seen Vonage Business be very hit or miss, plus they like to insist on managing your network equipment as well. RingCentral is very low cost, but horrible.

Each VoIP provider has its own preferred phones, which a number will make you get from them, but others will give you the freedom to bring in your own.  Cisco and Polycom phones tend to be amongst the most commonly used by providers. (Some have private label phones, which are really rebranded Polycoms) Just inquire on what your available options are, and what brands you can get. I've seen places work fine with either set of phones, it just really comes down to the feature set you desire.

Advice:
  • Be sure you know what features you want and make sure that the provider offers them. Also check what places are included in the call plans.
  • On occasion, you may see a gotcha (like HI and AK not included in the calling plan), be on the watchout for those before you sign up.

How much bandwidth does your office have for its internet connection now, and how many people tend to be at the office? I am assuming you only have one location, and people sometimes work remotely) You may want to look at increasing your connection speed. Also, you may want to look at creating a VLAN for the phones in order to segregate the network traffic and prevent slowdowns to network resources.



Potential downfalls: If your ISP is having issues, your call quality may suffer as well. If there are call quality issues, VoIP providers like to point fingers at the ISP. Naturally, there can also be issues with the company itself, or whomever they use to connect to the telephone networks. Level 3 had a number issues recently, which affected a number of VoIP providers (8x8 and Appia were fine as far as I recall).
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coonastyAuthor Commented:
thanks for reply

yeah we are hosting our own equipment. pbx from a local phone company and a cisco box from at&t on a 10meg line.  cisco box has an open port that we are supposed to plug into to get regular internet from but it doesnt work.  i have gone 2 months with them promising to get it fixed and still not done to this day.  we are supposed to have caller id that doesnt work.  call quality is not good and constantly is low volume.  

and we tend to have hurricanes hit from time to time so thats why i would like to move to a cloud based pbx system.  so that its ez to move the office when one comes barreling at us.

so ring central is not good...like bad service? quality?  that just so happened to be the one company i talked to.   though i dont care who i go with, i just need better service.  i dont mind paying for it either.  lord knows im paying at&t almost double the original quote and very not happy with them.

basically my clients forward their phones to one of my 150 lines/numbers when they close at end of day.  when they get a call it forwards to us and i need to know which company is being called and the number of the person calling them.  then just need the ability to forward the call to whoever the on call person is and then have my operator hang up once the 2 are talking.  its very simple in theory, just need a good voip company and of course internet line to support it.
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masnrockCommented:
Wow. Sounds like you're really getting screwed by AT&T. Sounds like you need to really escalate the issue assuming that you are stuck in a contract. A nasty enough call and/or letter will generally get the ball rolling, especially if you threaten to cancel. Weirdly, depending on what part of your state you are in, sounds like Comcast would've even been a better option.

Ring Central is bad from a quality and service perspective. Only advantage of them really is price.

How many phones are on your end? I'm understanding the 150 lines, and the fact you want to know both the number of the caller AND the number of that they called.

Send me a message, and I can refer you to a salesperson who might be able to help.
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coonastyAuthor Commented:
i have escalated over and over.  I have spoken to no less than 20 different people from at&t over the past couple months.  everyone has given me the same spill and only one was able to fix one of the many issues we have (unfortunately it was a small issue as well).  no contract so im bolting.

we have 2 phone in the office to handle incoming calls, not in comcast area....yet :)

actually based on your advice i spoke with an 8x8 person and got a quote.  just got to make sure that the call quality and reliability is there.  right now we have really good reliability....system is always up for what works.  its just the call quality is not great and of course the missing features are killing me that they wont fix.

however i may still need an internet line from at&t depending on what cable company has to offer.  what kind of low latency connection would i need to support good quality/service?

we have a uverse line right now to supplement no internet from the big voip line but it is slow with really bad latency, so cant use it.  averages about 400k down, 60k up, which is a joke
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masnrockCommented:
Uverse is a nightmare, but better than nothing. Are there other ISP options in your area offering 10 meg lines at a reasonable price?
Appia offers SIP trunks as well as hosted VoIP, so that's another route you can explore if you like your existing equipment that much. Bandwidth.com would be another option if you were to go the SIP trunk route.
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coonastyAuthor Commented:
thanks for advice, getting quotes from both to finally have good service!
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