News and Views

What’s going on in the world of VoIP business phone systems

The 3CX Phone System

The Covid19 Pandemic has put IP (Internet Protocol) Telephony on speed dial. Organisations all over the world have switched from outdated digital phone exchanges to newer internet-based platforms, like the 3CX Phone System. Here is a guide to the 3CX Phone System.


Software-based phone solutions offer enhanced functionality, opening up all kinds of extra communications possibilities in lockdown and beyond. They comprehensively outperform their analogue counterparts. Meanwhile, the biggest shake-up in the phone industry since the ’80s will see older ISDN and copper lines phased out almost completely by 2025. Legacy, hardware-based telephone systems will become obsolete.

Does your organisation still have a traditional PBX telephone system? At some point, you will want to transition to an internet-based phone solution instead. The advanced features of the 3CX Phone System make it an attractive proposition for organisations of all sizes. Winner of many awards, it has a long list of all-inclusive, cost-saving benefits. Businesses in all sectors are deploying 3CX to regain control over their telephony.

Why are so many organisations switching to 3CX? What are its advantages over traditional phone systems, and how do you set it up?


3CX is a software-based IP phone system that can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. Through SIP trunks, it enables Voice, Video, Data and Messaging to be sent over an internet connection. It’s an open-standards platform. You have the freedom to make your own choices on everything from numbers to hosting solutions.

With more than 250,000 installations, 3CX is fast becoming one of the world’s favourite unified telecommunications platforms. Scalable, affordable and simple to run, it embraces voice, video, messaging and chat, thereby providing organisations of any size with an all-inclusive, unified communications solution.


On a traditional PBX (Private Branch Exchange), calls are made over standard copper telephone lines. These connect to the PSTN from phones or fax machines. The Phone System is often a physical box on a wall or in a data centre. This hardware needs regular maintenance and costly software upgrades.

By contrast, software-based IP phone systems, like 3CX, combine internet connectivity with different technologies. Voice calls, video, data and messages are conveyed across the Cloud rather than through physical analogue or digital lines. An IP PBX has no limits for outside lines, nor the number of internal extensions and devices which can be connected.  Affording all the advantages of new technology, these far outweigh the capability of older-style telephone systems.



The scope of the 3CX software makes it much more than just a phone system. As well as voice, 3CX enables video, messaging and chat, plus synchronisation with many popular business CRMs. With the integrated softphone and smartphone clients, 3CX users automatically get access to all these advanced, unified communications features. Everything runs from a single platform so you don’t need to learn separate programmes to use them. Phone calls, emails, live chat and video meetings are shared across the same UC interface. This speeds up communications efficiency and opens up all sorts of possibilities for remote working.

  • Fully Unified Communications platform
  • Voice, Video, Emails & Chat across the same interface
  • Dial-in to 3CX web meeting by phone
  • Better communication and opportunities for remote working


As a cloud-based system, 3CX can be accessed wherever an internet connection exists. That makes it the perfect phone system for home working. With the 3CX client software, telephony goes wherever you do, enabling you to use the company phone system even when you are away from the office.

Ideal for remote working, 3CX makes it possible for staff to take or make calls from anywhere. They can also arrange video meetings, message suppliers and chat with colleagues in different branches or locations. You can use 3CX on any device, such as a mobile or laptop, by downloading the Softphone app. Privacy and professionalism are guaranteed. Personal details are hidden to make it appear as though you are calling from the trusted company number. And if you are busy, you can update your status so everyone can see you are not available to take calls.

  • Access your phone system from anywhere
  • Set your presence and view that of colleagues
  • WebClient for remote working on any device
  • Softphone app keeps staff personal details private


Most traditional phone systems required monthly maintenance contracts, with occasional hefty repair bills. With 3CX there are none because it is a software-based phone system, deployed in the cloud.

The 3CX pricing model saves money elsewhere too. There is no per extension licensing. Unlike traditional systems, charges are based on simultaneous calls so adding extra users won’t increase your costs. If the number of simultaneous calls does go up, we have the tools to monitor this and quickly move you up to the next level if required.

These calls are very low for landlines and mobiles with reduced rates for international connections. This has proved to be a budget-saving phone solution for the likes of schools, universities, charities and hotels. These all have high employee numbers – all potential phone users – but with relatively small individual call volume.

  • Slash call charges
  • Fair pricing model with no per extension call charges
  • Low local call and reduced international rates
  • Scalable phone solution that grows with your business


It’s very straightforward to set up and integrate 3CX. Once you have the relevant 3CX licence for your organisation, all you need is a browser with an internet connection and a SIP Trunk. Your 3CX partner, such as UFONE, can set the system up for you, or you can plug in an IP phone or Gateway, and connect with prominent SIP trunks within minutes with pre-configured templates.

On installation, you can manage the entire system from the intuitive 3CX Management Console. This interface gives you total control over all functions. From here you can deploy IP phone firmware, automate software updates and build lists of contacts, extensions and DDIs.

3CX Management Console - 3CX Phone System Guide
3CX Management Console
  • Needs only an internet connection, SIP trunk and licence
  • Pre-configured templates integrate easily with SIPs
  • Intuitive management console, with automatic system updates
  • Full control over phones and calls with multi-configuration options


When it comes to VoIP security, 3CX provides the peace of mind that IT managers need. All traffic to 3CX clients is encrypted via a Session Border Controller (SBC) to protect your phone network from attacks. This software programme that we will provide resides on-site.  Built-in disaster recovery means that if your system goes down, all your phone data and configurations are safe.

  • Advance security protocols, including traffic encryption via 3CX SBC
  • A+ rating for VoIP security
  • Built-in disaster recovery
  • Automatic failover for instant backup

The 3CX phone system is a flexible, scalable platform. Choose whether your 3CX installation is managed on your premises or hosted separately in the Cloud. If you decide to deploy on-premise you can do so on an existing server, MiniPC or Raspberry Pi using Linux or Windows. You don’t need any expensive hardware to set up 3CX.

Alternatively, you can deploy 3CX separately in the Cloud. For best results, we recommend outsourcing to a managed solution, which we can arrange as an authorised 3CX hosting provider. Whatever you choose, you will have access to all the latest automated system updates, the scope to rapidly scale up your 3CX phone system as your business expands, and the freedom to move your PBX to another server using built-in backup and restore.

  • Provision either on-premise or in the Cloud
  • No expensive hardware required
  • Swift deployment, portability and scalability



At the heart of the 3CX system, the 3CX Web Client is an intuitive control dashboard that sits on your browser. From here you can manage and personalise any of the communication possibilities included with your 3CX software licence. Log in and organise your contacts, make calls, record a voicemail greeting, set your presence, initiate conferences and chat with colleagues. You can also use the Web Client to select where and how you take calls – either direct from the browser (3CX Windows or 3CX Chrome extension), on an IP phone, or on a smartphone.


3CX is the phone system that has it all. It comes with all the everyday call centre features you’d expect, like Call Queuing, Group Ringing, Automatic Call Distribution and IVR. But with 3CX you always get more. The 3CX Call Flow Designer (CFD) presents you with a visual gateway so you can decide how and when you handle calls. Customise everything from standard phone functionality (press 1 for Customer Service, 2 for Accounts etc) to more bespoke options, such as routing calls based on incoming number or time of day. Make such decisions by looking at the advanced Call Centre reporting. This gives you near unlimited data to help you monitor all your call statistics. All of this is simple to manage and understand, with no programming skills necessary.


The 3CX softphone is a free Windows or IoS app, that simulates all the features of a desk phone for employees who are not based in the office. With a powerful system like 3CX, staff retain all the advanced features from the office phone system no matter where they are. Downloaded onto a PC, laptop or mobile, it enables staff to make and take calls over their internet connection, rather than a more expensive landline. Integrated WebRTC technology helps minimise bandwidth usage. Perfect for remote working, the 3CX softphone app has helped organisations maintain their communications, and proved a connectivity lifeline for countless workers forced to work from home because of COVID-19.


The integrated 3CX video conferencing solution enables businesses to arrange virtual meetings, internally or externally. Presentations, webinars, document collaboration, even interviews can all be conducted over the VoIP connection. Maintain all the advantages of face-to-face contact but without anyone needing to be in the same office. In just one click, and for no extra cost, you can set up a conference call for up to 250 participants, connecting from any location.


Many organisations use a live chat widget on their website as a means to handle customer requests quickly, provide support in real-time, or capture casual leads for future targeting. In many cases live chat is a paid-for option but with 3CX it comes free. Go to the 3CX Management Console to configure and coordinate design to match your corporate branding, then embed it onto your website, through a plug-in or CSS code.


Most businesses depend heavily on a CRM for customer contact details, order processing and support history. You can integrate 3CX with popular CRMs like Salesforce, HubSpot, ZOHO and Microsoft Dynamics. Inbound calls are matched to the caller ID and automatically logged into your CRM call records. Outbound calls go direct from your CRM package, saving you time in finding contact details and numbers. All contact details are managed from the 3CX interface, where you can generate insightful reports on call duration, response times and number frequency.


To set up 3CX, you first need a licence. There are three licence options: Standard, Pro and Enterprise. As a Platinum Partner for 3CX, with more than 20 years of industry experience, UFONE can advise on what is the best option for your organisation.

After choosing your licence, you will need a SIP Trunk to connect 3CX to the phone network. The SIP Trunk runs over a standard internet connection and is the virtual link you need between 3CX and your VoIP service provider.


Organisations of all sizes use the 3CX phone platform. There’s no limit on 3CX because it’s a fully scalable phone platform – it grows as you do. That’s why 3CX is used by organisations as diverse in size as multinationals American Express and Mitsubishi, public sector bodies like local government, hospitals and schools, a number of independent charities, law firms and hotels, plus smaller businesses and individual freelancers working from home.


Most organisations that move to IP phone systems like 3CX never look back. In the past, when the main forms of communication comprised mostly of voice calls then the older analogue systems were fine. They could handle phone conversations perfectly well, but nothing more. Now, as voice is joined by audio, messaging and other forms of data communication, older phone exchanges have had their day. These traditional phone lines are being replaced with high-speed fibre. The process to decommission the copper-based network has already begun. Chorus is working on phasing out copper over the next few years. If you are still using ISDN lines then you’ll need to move to another solution.

In anticipation of the change, many organisations have already upgraded to VoIP phone systems. With its many advanced features and extraordinary flexibility, 3CX eliminates the cost and management headaches of outdated traditional systems, and future-proofs your phones against change.

  • A state-of-the-art IP phone system
  • Affordable pricing saves you money
  • An open standards platform for extra control
  • Easy to set up and deploy
  • Easy to manage
  • A full remote UC working solution
  • Full of advanced features for better customer experience
  • Flexible, scalable and secure
  • A tried and tested phone system with many awards
  • Choice of 3CX supported phones


UFONE - 3CX Platinum Partners - 3CX Phone System GuideIf you are looking to upgrade your phone system, we can show you how easy 3CX deployment is, and answer any queries you may have. If you wish we’ll be happy to audit your current system and suggest the most suitable 3CX licence for your organisation. You can depend on our expertise to show how to set up 3CX, how to install or update 3CX phone software or download the 3CX app.

As a Platinum partner, we provide our 3CX clients with the latest system updates and developments and provide ongoing training according to your requirements. We will also guide you through any technical issues, including adding new users, changing your ring groups and setting up new branches. Also ask us for information on 3CX supported handsets, such as those from Yealink.

Contact us now if you’d like more information or wish to book a 3CX consultation with us.

0800 508 888

3CX Version 18 Upgrade – during Summer 21-22

3CX Version 18 Upgrade was released back in August and we have many happy customers already running it.

UFONE has held off upgrading everyone until we were sure things were stable and we’re happy to report that they are, so we’ll be slowly rolling out the upgrade to all 3CX systems over the break while most people are closed.

The biggest change that 3CX users will notice is the new streamlined web client and matching Windows app. There are also many other enhancements under the hood.

3CX Version 18 Upgrade – UFONE will upgrade 3CX users to Version 18 over the summer 21-22 holiday period to take advantage of the most up-to-date features available.

Please contact us if you do not wish to be upgraded.

  • Faster & more reliable Windows Desktop App
  • Mobile Apps have been improved for seamless remote working
  • Single Sign-On support
  • Integration with Microsoft Teams
  • Major improvements to voice quality and security
  • More energy efficient
  • Uses less memory

New 3CX Client and Desktop App

In Version 18, the Web Client has been improved and made available also as a native Windows Desktop App, eliminating the need for the browser extension. The new Desktop App uses the same Electron framework used by Teams and WhatsApp, integrating better with the OS for a faster and more reliable user experience. The Desktop App allows you to answer a call from the page you are working in (for example CRM) without having to switch between apps.

Improved Mobile Apps for seamless remote working

  • Better codec management – auto-set codec depending on Network (WiFi/3G/4G).
  • Improved reconnection in the case of network changes or drops.
  • Never miss a call – collaborated with Google & Apple to improve the reliability of PUSH notifications.
  • Added support for BlueTooth and hands-free devices.
  • Siri integration – iOS users can now tell Siri to make calls using 3CX.

Single Sign-On (SSO) support

It is now possible to log in to the Web Client using your Active Directory, Microsoft 365 or Google account. Local active directory accounts are supported through Microsoft’s free Azure AD Connect service.

Teams integration

The 3CX Teams integration offers a cost-effective alternative to MS365’s Calling Plans. There is now a seamless unified calling experience both for 3CX users dialling Teams users and vice versa. Users can dial out via UFONE’s 3CX SIP trunks using our low cost domestic and international tariffs. Businesses can cut costs while having a much more powerful PBX to boot.

Voice Engine Reloaded – better performance, more secure

With the 3CX Version 18 Upgrade, extensive changes have been made internally to improve audio quality, improve reconnection and strengthen security:

  • A+ in Security – V18 is updated to Debian 10, upgraded to the latest .NET core, OpenSSL and Postgres and now has the latest cyphers. Knocking out the competition on security, 3CX achieved A+ on Qualys labs and A on Immunilabs.
  • Better Codec Management – The mobile apps and web-client now use G711 to reduce transcoding, resulting in less processor usage and better audio. Mobile apps use G711 when on WiFi and G729 when on the mobile network.
  • Easy Call encryption with simple SRTP configuration.
  • Over 50% reduction in processor and memory usage.
  • Tunnel merged into the media server for faster recovery from network drops.

Contact us now if you’d like more information regarding the 3CX Version 18 Upgrade.
Also please contact us if you do not want to be upgraded to Version 18 for any reason.

0800 508 888

Are voice and data communications critical to your business?

UFONE’S 4GFAILOVER provides continuity of service for your voice and data communications.

If your data connection is cut or goes down for any reason other than a power failure, UFONE’S 4GFAILOVER will kick in, seamlessly taking over the static IP address* ensuring your communications keep running.

The benefits of 4GFAILOVER

  • Peace of mind – Stay connected to essential data and voice communications when wired connections are cut
  • Customer Satisfaction – Prevent interruption to business, ensuring sales and support processes can continue
  • Business Continuity – Prevent downtime for staff, even if a UFB or wire connection is cut

Interruption to data and voice comms can mean business downtime & lost sales, dissatisfied customers or public safety issues. UFONE’S 4GFAILOVER uses 4G LTE wireless networks to help keep your critical applications online or to support temporary or remote locations.

4GFAILOVER is essential for continuity of communications areas such as:

  • Healthcare, manufacturing or any industry needing reliable connectivity for critical applications
  • Organizations that need quick connectivity for new stores, branches or worksites 
  • Retail stores or sales sites where EFTPOS and security systems need to work
  • First responders, those in remote areas and others seeking to stay connected in adverse conditions

Where can it be used?

The service can be used anywhere in New Zealand that is within 2Degrees Mobile coverage, which is almost all of the country. You can check out the 2DEGREES coverage map here.

If voice and data communications are critical to your business contact UFONE now, to see how UFONE’S 4GFAILOVER can benefit your business.

*Static IP Failover is dependent on the use of a UFONE Managed Router.

UFONE Deploys Sydney PoP

Back in 2019, UFONE identified a strong need to increase our capacity and resiliency connecting with cloud providers, content delivery platforms and their networks. Not happy with having just one or two Transit Providers to these networks, we joined both the Megaport Internet Exchange and NZIX’s Auckland Exchange so we were able to connect more directly to these providers and also to other ISP’s who peer on these exchanges.

The advent of COVID-19 has changed both our day-to-day lives and the way we work with the ever-increasing need of internet connectivity by our customers to run their businesses or work from home. This has made the speed, flexibility and adaptiveness of Cloud Computing and Web-Based services transform from ‘nice to have’ to true mission-critical.

UFONE Deploys Sydney PoP (Point of Presence)

As part of UFONE’s continual investment into its Network and Infrastructure, we’re pleased to announce the expansion of our network beyond New Zealand and into Australia with our first Australian PoP in Sydney, New South Wales.

Some of the more immediate benefits are already apparent, such as the reduction in RTT (Ping time) to most networks in Sydney with our average dropping by around 13ms, which should show a noticeable improvement in responsiveness in video calling, real-time collaboration and access to content-rich services.

We determined that approximately 80% of the cloud and CDN (Content Delivery Network) infrastructure that our customers access is based out of Sydney. Our new Sydney PoP gives us direct connectivity not only to the likes of Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure and Oracle Cloud, but also with major Australian ISP’s and content providers. This leads to a greater quality of service and more visibility into how our network is performing.

UFONE’s Sydney PoP also opens up access to other exciting opportunities in the future, such as NBN access (Australia’s version of UFB) and allowing us to provide our customers with WAN connectivity spanning their New Zealand and Australian operations and offices, privately and securely.

The Sydney PoP along with the recent launch of our 4G Failover service ensures UFONE is ready and capable of providing New Zealand businesses with bulletproof unified communications and fast, reliable access to the internet.

Lance Hope
Network Manager


If data connection to Sydney or the world is critical to your business contact UFONE now, to see how our Sydney PoP can maximise your business communications.

3CX Reviews and Awards

3CX has garnered recognition from industry-leading publications and tech insiders. Positive reviews, awards and special recognition are being published across the web and below is a selection of some of the most recent. 3CX develops a simple, flexible and affordable cloud PBX solution and the industry has taken notice. To see the latest product announcements from 3CX visit VoIP news.

The latest 3CX reviews and awards

Software Suggest - Best Software 2021 Award

3CX Named the Best Software 2021 by SoftwareSuggest
3CX has been awarded the title of ‘Best Software 2021’ by SoftwareSuggest. The PBX phone system was recognised for delivering a unified communication solution that meets business goals while keeping user experience at the forefront. The report exposed how the unified communication solution embeds more than 100 unique features available to its users today, numerous options for integrations and competitive prices.

Digital Award Logo

3CX Makes’s Top UC Software List and more!
3CX has been named as Best Unified Communications Software Company 2021 by The communication system made the list based on 3CX’s ability to help improve collaboration between onsite and remote staff, and was recognized for its seamless CRM integration, and inclusion of multiple communication channels on a single platform. What’s more, 3CX was also named as one of Digital’s Best VoIP Phone Services and Best Web Conferencing Software.

Comms Business Awards 2020

3CX Gets Gold at the Comms Business Awards
3CX has just been named UC Platform Supplier of the year at the 2020 Comms Business Awards. Fighting off fierce competition from 8×8, Gamma, and more, the judges felt that 3CX’s commitment to the channel, affordable pricing, and innovation pipeline made us fit for the top spot. Every year the Comms Business Awards brings together the best of the ICT Channel, and we’re proud that the 3CX Communications solution was recognized by these industry leaders.

PC PRO Excellence awards 2020

And PC Pro’s Business Software of the Year 2020 Goes to…
This year we made PC Pro’s 2020 A-List, and now, in their Technology Excellence Awards, 3CX has yet again been selected as winner of Business Software of the Year. Taking into consideration the hurdles that 2020 presented, 3CX is recognized for its rich feature set, ease of deployment and management, and unrivaled flexibility which have helped countless businesses adapt to the challenges brought on by Covid-19.

See more awards and reviews for 3CX here.

If you want to upgrade to a VoIP platform that really works for you, call UFONE now, it’s not too late!

Business Continuity Planning – Ufone Can Help

Continuity planning for your business is about being prepared for all types of disruptions, for example, an earthquake a Pandemic, or even losing a key supplier. Plan to quickly adapt and get back on your feet, it’s vital to your business’s survival.

If you’re a customer of Ufone we can help you maintain vital communications during a time of crisis.

Develop Your Continuity Plan

Your plan will need to be multifaceted and include the risks for your particular business, for example:

  • Coping with cashflow issues.
  • Insurance.
  • Flexibility where your staff can work from.
  • Access to critical data and services.
  • Robustness of supply chain.
  • Key staff contact details, and systems for enabling others to take over key tasks.

These things need thought and planning well in advance of when a crisis actually occurs.  If you are a customer of Ufone then we have already set you up to be able to cope will communications in times of crisis.

Business Communications Will Be Critical

Whether it’s remote working capabilities or diversion of phone services to any location, a well-planned VoIP system is critical. Maintaining customer contact and showing you are still available and responsive is a key component in business survival. It’s even possible your business could thrive if you are prepared and operational whilst others are struggling.

Ufone’s flagship product 3CX is a VoIP system that is ideal for companies looking for flexibility.  For example, using the desktop client enables you to easily work from anywhere you have an internet connection.  If you’re on the move then the mobile client lets you be on call and in the queue wherever you are.  Your receptionist could be at home and transfer your calls directly to you anywhere, even overseas.

If you’re a customer of Ufone we can train you to utilise our services in a crisis, a key to business continuity planning.
If you’re not a customer call us now, it’s not too late!

Your VoIP Phone Service – Ten Questions to Help Decide

Your business probably relies on voice communication for its very existence. A VoIP phone service is an efficient, convenient and accountable way to manage inward and outbound calls. Therefore it is an essential part of a well-managed business.

Your VoIP Phone Service is a Critical Service

The delivery of a VoIP phone service can be glossed over by IT staff who may not understand voice services. Businesses expect phones to work and may not appreciate how difficult it is to provide a reliable and high-quality phone service. This combination of IT staff lack of experience and general ignorance can be dangerous.

“deals lost and goodwill eroded with long term business consequences”

A badly installed and configured VoIP system can lead to, not just inconvenience with bad quality calls, but deals lost and goodwill eroded with long-term business consequences.

VoIP Technology

Today’s telephony is completely different to what it used to be. Making a phone call on a VoIP phone service seems very similar but what happens in the background to deliver this service could not be more different. Your old telephone service had its own “copper” network connected to large phone exchanges strategically placed around the country. Today’s VoIP telephony is a data application delivered over a fibre-optic network, sharing the data connection with your Internet service, and other services such as “Netflix”. Large phone exchanges housed in warehouses have been replaced with high-end computer servers mounted in racks the size of large refrigerators.

However, the critical difference between old phone services and today’s phone services is that VoIP systems are susceptible to bad quality if installed and managed incorrectly.  This happens all too often which gives VoIP a bad name. Have you heard someone say that VoIP is unstable or provides bad quality voice calls? The real reasons behind these problems are either a bad installation or the wrong Voice Service Provider (VSP).

Avoiding bad quality providers is the best option

Choosing the right VoIP Phone Service will save you time and money, avoid headaches and downtime. It’s only when there is a problem that the true value of a good VoIP phone service becomes apparent. But it’s too late when you are tied into a term contract.

“do some homework and ask some important questions”

Every supplier of VoIP phone services will tell you that their service and support is the best, so how do you sort the “wheat from the chaff”? To select the right Voice Service for your business, you will have to do some homework and ask some important questions says Managing Director Nigel Rayneau of Auckland-based VSP UFONE.

1. Who is powering the VoIP phone service?

You need to establish exactly who provides your service because if your IT consultant is proposing a VoIP system then they will invariably be selling a service provided by a VSP. You need to know who that is because that’s who is ultimately responsible for the quality and stability of the service. It’s best to research the VSP and find out what their customer is saying, and how long they have been in business.

2. Does your VSP operate and manage their own VoIP Infrastructure?

Establish whether the VSP owns and manages the core VoIP infrastructure, or do they actually buy from someone else?  This is also important because they might not have the ultimate control meaning support will be 2nd hand. The actual VSP might be providing an inferior, or cheap service so it’s critical you understand exactly who provides the service.

3. What support channels do they provide?

No matter reliable they claim they are, the only thing you know for certain is that at some point you are going to need technical support. It may be as simple as configuring a phone for a new staff member, or more serious like a roadworks digger slicing through your local fibre feed.

You need to know that expert support staff is available when you need them. They need to be equipped to troubleshoot a wide range of problems.  Does your VSP provide support via a phone call? Or is it solely done by tickets and emails? Because the latter is insufficient for any serious business.

Also, where is their support located? An overseas support department might be cheaper to run but may not provide the immediate knowledge required for good support.

4. What experience does the installer/integrator have?

A bad installation can be the result of incompetence or inexperience. You don’t want to be a guinea pig for a company that has no track record or experience to speak of. Also, do they have sufficient Public Liability Insurance and do they follow ‘Best Practice’?  Fly-by-night operators are common so know who you are dealing with.  Research your installer/integrator and get a number of references from obviously independent customers, with a variety of different VoIP systems.

5. What protection is provided against fraudulent calling?

Telephony has been subject for a long time to “Fraudulent Calling Attacks” and in the new IP world of telephony, this has only increased.  Your chosen VSP should be guaranteeing protection against “Calling Fraud”, as the cost can be significant.

6. What large corporate or Government customers do they serve?

A good indication of the capability of a VSP is the quality of their customers. Corporates and government departments have stringent requirements that their service providers are strictly evaluated.

7. What is their system uptime?

In the “old days” telephone services rated their reliability by how many nines they could achieve, and the ultimate was 5 nines or 99.999% uptime. This equates to 5 minutes per year or 26 seconds per month, where the service was down, and needless to say is very reliable. VoIP systems by their nature cannot get close to this performance because they rely on so many more moving parts that are impossible to control.  System uptime over a 6-12 month period will give you a good indication of how reliable the VoIP service is.

8. Do they have a disaster recovery plan?

In the event of a disaster that wipes out a data centre, ask them what happens to your service? A carrier-grade VoIP service should be redundant over at least two physically separate data centres. If one data centre is disabled, another one should take over the load.

What will happen if your data connection is lost? The VoIP service will rely on this data connection. If it fails for any reason does your VSP provide a diversion to a cell phone? You could also have alternate routing to your Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menu.

9. Do they provide a Cloud-hosted “VoIP Phone Service” service?

A Cloud Hosted VoIP solution is the best option. This is because it off-loads the responsibility to keep the system configured, operational, and secure. It also reduces the need for capital expenditure because no server equipment needs to be installed on-site. A good Cloud Hosted solution should be housed in local “Telco Grade” data centres, rather than at an overseas location or worse at an insecure or inferior data centre. It should also be fully functional, for example, an internal extension to extension call should connect via the extension number, not a ‘dummy’ phone number.

10. Are mobile phone apps available for IOS & Android?

Many businesses are on the go or have remote workers, so having mobile VoIP solutions is crucial to their success. This is also critical if you are travelling overseas a lot. Ask your provider if their service allows you to take calls on cell phones and other mobile devices.

Contact us at UFONE for more answers to your questions.