VoIP Phone Number Portability
The Importance of Phone Number Branding
For a well-established business, its telephone number is part of its brand just like the name or address. It might be a special number where the numbers spell something out for example. But even if they don't, you probably have a lot of marketing campaigns with that particular number displayed on various media such as billboards, telephone directories, coupons, newspapers, and the Internet. Like most businesses, you never know from where you will receive a customer and so it is important for you to keep the same telephone number at all costs. Clients and other shareholders should also be able to reach you at the same address no matter what happens.
So when you shift to a new VoIP systems, you want to make sure that you carry your existing telephone number over. Fortunately mobile phone number portability allows you to do this provided you're not moving to another geographic location entirely. If you're experimenting with VoIP, you should start off on a small noncritical telephone number and try out various services to find out one that suits you best. After that, you can continue to roll out slowly to more and more employees till you have a fully Internet enabled communications network.
Flexibility and Preventing Lock-In
Unlike regular telephone companies, VoIP service providers do not own the numbers that they handout to their customers. Rather, those numbers are leased from the telecom companies themselves. The implications of this for VoIP customers is that they cannot carry over those numbers allotted to them by their SIP provider to another service. This creates the danger of lock-in which you want to avoid at all costs. One of the greatest benefits of VoIP is its flexibility and you don't want to compromise that by having to stay with one provider simply because they have your established phone number.
The answer therefore is to port over your existing telephone numbers to VoIP. Unlike the ones giving to you directly by the VoIP service, you own these numbers and have the capability to move them again and again to any VoIP service provider of your choice. It's never good for a supplier to take you for granted and if your hosted PBX VoIP provider knows that you can move away at any time, they are likely to take better care of you.
Don't be held hostage to any specific SIP system. Make sure that you have all of your options available to you at any point of time even after you have settled on one. And you can do that by keeping your regular phone number for a small monthly fee.
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