Business VoIP implementation: what you need to know

When you decide to make the move to VoIP (also know as a cloud phone system) you want your business to benefit. VoIP has the advantage of – cost savings, improved collaboration, enhanced customer service and greater security, and this is just a few ways it will improve your business.

What’s next? Often a question companies ask, as they are about to take the leap from on-site to cloud based phone systems like business VoIP. While they’re excited about the potential benefits, they have concerns about the implementation process, and that’s only natural.

To help prepare you for the transition we have it compiled the top concerns with clients and how to address them.

#1 What about business continuity – is there going to be downtime?

That is probably the most pressing question, we hear. You want to know exactly what is going to happen. When the team installs a business VoIP service like TELUS Business Connect, we do so in parallel with a client’s existing voice system. We provide secondary phone numbers that the client can use as a port existing numbers over to the new system. The processing time for this usually takes 10 days.
During that 10-day period, clients can start to learn the system and use it for outbound calls. Clients can also identify any challenges and desired feature changes.
The porting process must be done correctly, otherwise it can cause potential downtime. This is why our team works closely with you as a client to educate you and ensure we have all of your numbers, including those from other companies which they want to integrate. We recommend transitioning one location at a time to make sure the system is working effectively.

#2 How can we prepare the network for VoIP?

If you employ 10 or more people or host your own data services (such as windows applications or file servers), you probably have a lot of Internet traffic. So it’s important to explore bandwidth, network set up and firewall configurations. Some of the things that Joseph discusses with clients include:

Quality of Service

How do you prioritize voice traffic over data traffic? Does your firewall and/or router have the capability to prioritize voice traffic? If the answers are no, he recommends hardware and configuration options that can enable traffic prioritization. If you have a third party IT provider that manages your network, our team can work with your current provider to communicate the requirements to support TELUS Business Connect.

Cabling

Do you have the proper cabling? Some clients only have traditional (RJ-11/14) wired cabling, which won’t support VoIP. CAT 5e/6 cabling is required.

Wi-Fi

Have you ever used Wi-Fi for voice? Where is your Wi-Fi router located? Voice is real-time data, so signal strength dips are unacceptable. Many clients tend to have unrealistic expectations about how their current Wi-Fi configurations and network can support VoIP.

Side note: Where clients were apprehensive about VoIP performance, Joseph gave them access to a VoIP account. This allowed them to test it on their mobile devices as they walked around their Wi-Fi enabled office.

#3: Will my employees adopt the solution?

Is it difficult for some of your employees to learn? You may have traditional users that still think phones are only supposed to provide dial tone. These users in particular need training and education to maximize the system’s capabilities. And in these situations, in addition to demo videos, we recommend a white glove service, which provides expert installation support, as well as user and administration training. It’s only natural that some users will take to the new solution, while others need more guidance and support.
If you are looking to take advantage of the benefits of business VoIP, don’t hesitate. If you choose the right partner, with the right expertise and support – your network and your users will both be ready to make the change.
Still have questions about your transition to VoIP? Contact us today:  phoneexperts.com

References: businessblog.telus.com