Often, the decision to transition to a VoIP solution is a significant one. While adopting the technology can have substantial benefits for your business, the actual act of deploying the system is complex, regardless of the size of your company.
There are numerous steps between deciding to go VoIP and having a working solution, and failing to manage the deployment properly can lead to unnecessary headaches and delays. To help ensure your implementation is successful, here are some tips about handling your transition to VoIP.
Create a VoIP Strategy
Shifting to a VoIP solution isn’t as easy as flipping a switch, regardless of whether you are currently on a PBX or PSTN system. You will need to analyze your current hardware and investigate new solutions that meet your needs in the most cost-effective way. Then, a migration strategy is required in order to help map out how the transition will occur.
Without a comprehensive strategy, you may find yourself encountering challenges that could have otherwise been avoided. So, taking some time to coordinate a plan at the beginning of the project is crucial, especially if you are on a tight deadline.
Assess IT Training Needs
While many VoIP solutions are fairly simple, requiring few modifications once out of the box, that doesn’t mean your IT team is prepared to manage the new system. If they aren’t already familiar with the technology, it is wise to review training options, both in-person and online, that can help prepare them for their role in the deployment and ongoing support.
This needs to be done well in advance to the system actually being installed, as it ensures everyone is up to speed before critical project phases. Additionally, this approach can make implementations go more quickly, as your IT professionals are ready to participate early in the project.
Consider User Requirements and Impact
Another early step that should be completed is to assess how your users will be affected by the change and what needs they may have in regards to the VoIP system. Certain employees may require specific features and those need to be identified before you select a solution or begin an implementation.
Regardless of the cost savings that can be associated with VoIP, the system won’t provide value if it doesn’t meet the needs of your users. By considering these points in advance, you substantially increase your odds of having a successful deployment.
Address the Network
VoIP solutions have a significant impact on overall network traffic and infrastructure that isn’t robust enough to adapt to the load will harm call quality and line availability. The network must be able to meet demand and ensure a suitable QoS which often means your infrastructure needs to scale automatically to manage traffic fluctuations during peak business hours.
Failing to address the network means that, even if the implementation is otherwise successful, the results won’t meet your or your users’ expectations. So review this early to make sure your network is up to the task.
Find the Right Solution
Once the above steps are completed, you are ready to identify an ideal VoIP system based on your needs. There are a lot of vendors available, but you need to understand your requirements and system limitations before choosing a supplier.
Don’t be afraid to review numerous options, as you are more likely to find a best-fit system by doing some research. But this process will go much more smoothly now that you have a solid plan in place.