If you’ve taken the decision to migrate from your old PBX system to VoIP, you will undoubtedly have done so with two kinds of savings in mind.
Firstly, savings your bills – using a VoIP means that you will be utilizing the internet to connect calls, which will cut out cabling costs and call charges, since you will of course, in this day and age, already have an internet connection.
Secondly, the money you will save in terms of efficiency and productivity – feature-rich VoIP will enable much more streamlined communications both with customers and between employees and departments in-house.
VoIP offers many benefits for users, and so it’s no wonder that now that the technology has become more accessible and affordable for SMEs as well as big corporations, that now it’s proving to be one of the most popular forms of communications system for businesses around the globe.
Migrating From PBX To VoIP
Perhaps it’s the case that the end of your PBX contract is approaching, and so that has further sparked your decision to migrate to VoIP. If this is you, then now is the time to start putting all the necessary things in place to try and make sure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.
As with everything, the more you plan ahead, the more chance you have of ensuring that a better service will be achieved early on when the migration is finally complete.
Ideally, you will want a fully-versed IT team to support you throughout the transition. Indeed, without this, the checklist that is provided below will not be accomplishable – which is why I place IT at the very top of the list.
What You Will Need In Place During The Migration
- IT Support As mentioned above – you will be committed to migrating to VoIP not least, I’m sure, because of the long-term savings that you will be making. With this in mind, you will probably be ready to hire in some professionals to ensure that IT all goes smoothly – and if you’re not, then you should be. The cost of this team will be very quickly offset against the money that you will be saving with VoIP, so there’s no need to worry. Ok, so now that’s been cleared up, let’s consider exactly why you will need strong tech support in the first place.
- Ideally, Obtain A Public IP Address For All VoIP Devices If you can, IT will be best practice to avoid a connection with single Network Address Translation (NAT). NAT is a firewall technology that enables multiple devices on a Local Area Network (LAN) to use just a single IP address. However, doing things this way will inevitably see you encountering a number of complications, which, put simply, can be gotten around by avoiding this potential problem altogether by obtaining a public IP address for all your foreseen VoIP devices.
If this can’t be done, then there are ways to work around it. You will need to use IP tunneling between those devices on different LANs. Organize a LAN assessment to see what alterations (if any) you will need to make to your network in order to enable a smooth migration – this is why you will need the tech guys in.
- Check Your Dates!! The last thing that you want to happen is to be out of service for any amount of time. So, take the time to make sure that your VoIP package is ordered to arrive in advance of your PBX expiration. You will also want to allow yourself a period of grace where you can perform tests on the new system before rolling IT out proper (after which there is no going back!!).
- Make Sure you have ordered enough hardware for what you need Since you are having an upheaval, you may as well take the time to consider if simply the amount of phones you have in operation is enough (or too many) to suIT your business’s requirements. Are they strategically placed around the office for optimum productivity and privacy? Now is the time to get things organized, and your service provider will probably be able help you do that.
- Allow For Business Disruption Whenever there’s something new that needs to be installed (or uninstalled (or both) for that matter), there is always the inevitable physical disruption to the office space that comes part and parcel. This indeed may not be able to be avoided – if you need a new Cat5 cable installed for VoIP, which may well be the case, then expect the tradesmen in creating plenty of noise and dust. Prepare for this, though – move employees temporarily out of the office so that productivity is only minimally impaired, if not at all.
- Allow Time For Employee Training It’s not just physical disruption that’s an inevitability. You must also plan ahead for the time IT will take to educate your office users on how to get the most out of the new VoIP system. Be sure to organize group training so the minimal amount of productivity is lost.
Have you recently migrated to VoIP? What difficulties did you encounter? Ley us know in the comments below.