VoIP has come a long way from its first steps and it is definitely here to stay. Flexible integration of communication software, 24 hours availability on the move, multitasking and a guaranteed high voice quality, no matter where you are calling to – are just some of the advantages that have made both large and small companies to rethink their communication strategy and go for the impressive cost-benefit result that only VoIP has to offer. Are you ready to make your move?
 

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Photo source: Plantronics Germany

 

Why do you need VoIP in your life?

Beyond long and impressive lists of technical, measurable and convincing arguments, the truth is that VoIP will make your work easier, your employees happier (including your accountant), your clients feel closer to you and better taken care of and, in general, remind you why you love your job. Like it or not, technology is keeping up extremely well with your needs, and it offers you a simple way to solve a lot of problems, without using the traditional phone lines that you got so accustomed with.

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Photo source: Camilo Rueda López

Still, changing from your traditional communication system to VoIP is not as easy as changing your phone with the latest model. Most of the time it involves changes made throughout your entire company at least at the level of your employees experience and training. It’s a complex process that needs to be planed carefully in order to benefit fully from its advantages and avoid transition issues and you need an experienced partner that can assist you along the way.

 

How do you make room for VoIP?

Making room for VoIP in your company means having the answers and solutions to some important aspects well before choosing your provider.

  • The capacity of your local network to support VoIP calls
  • Bandwidth at your disposal
  • Calling habits such as how many local or long distance calls you do monthly
  • How is the size of your business influencing your VoIP choice and transition
  • How and who will be using the equipment
  • Your budget for VoIP
  • Details of migrating from PSTN to VoIP
  • What procedures to put in place if your network goes down

These and other important issues need careful consideration and clear answers before considering making the switch. You need to know all this and much more and your provider needs to help you figure out each and every one of these elements before choosing the right VoIP solution for you and start putting into motion the migration process.

 

Five elements of a successful migration strategy

Investing in a VoIP solution has typical challenges, mostly determined by the fact that the change impacts all areas of the company, even if it is intended mostly for some departments as Customer Service or Sales. As any other strategy, your migration strategy will start with your objectives and will include specific issues and solutions regarding:

  • Necessary resources and technical changes
  • Departments involved directly and departments affected indirectly in every stage of the transition
  • Standard and customized trainings
  • Migration period and testing
  • Return of investment – estimated duration and factors influencing expected results.

Because the best way to make sure things go exactly how you want them to, is to invest time in planning ahead. A professional provider, and the best solution for you, is the one that will take you through each of these steps and support you in getting a clear image of what you need, how the migration process will take place and what to expect in each stage of the transition. It is a service that will help you differentiate between the real professionals that know exactly what your needs are and the rest of the crowd.

 

Your VoIP objectives

Why are you planning to switch to VoIP? What are your expectations exactly and what is the date you marked on your calendar as the day your company will be calling on-line? The clearer you define your expectations, the easier will be to find the right provider to fulfill them in time and at the required quality requirements.

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Photo source: Hans Splinter

Necessary resources and technical changes

Do you need a hosted or an on-site VoIP solution and what does that mean for your company in terms of space and investment in hardware and software? What do you need to change and adapt to make place for an on-site VoIP solution, if that is what you need? Do you have the technology? Do you have people with required knowledge, training and experience to manage it? Could you manage easier with a hosted VoIP solution? Would that be enough for your needs? Investing time in figuring all the details out will offer you the possibility of choosing the best solution and knowing all you need to know about the next steps.

 

Who will be affected and who will be involved?

Which department is the main beneficiary of this change? Will the VoIP solution be used in the entire company or only in the departments dedicated to Customer Services or Sales? What activity will be affected, how and for how long by making the switch? Figuring all this out can be difficult, but with the support of the right provider that can help you see exactly how the new VoIP solution should be integrated into your company’s communication network, all of these become a couple of simple decisions.

 

Standard and customized training

Although VoIP solutions are extremely easy to use after being put into place, standard and specific training helps employees use it more efficiently and at its full potential. If you are paying for it monthly or in any another payment form, then you should be able to take advance of each and every feature at your disposal and training is what makes it possible.

 

Migration and testing

And there it is, the moment you will need to put your phones down and take over the world via Internet calls. How will that happen? Will it be gradually or you will just make the switch one Monday morning when your employees come to work? Have they been properly prepared for this? In order to benefit from a smooth transition you need to think this through also.

Baires, 07 de abril de 2011: El Jefe de Gobierno porteño, Mauricio Macri, inauguró, esta mañana,  el nuevo Call Center del Banco de la Ciudad, en el Barrio de Belgrano. Foto: Sandra Hernández-gv/GCBA

Baires, 07 de abril de 2011: El Jefe de Gobierno porteño, Mauricio Macri, inauguró, esta mañana, el nuevo Call Center del Banco de la Ciudad, en el Barrio de Belgrano.
Foto: Sandra Hernández-gv/GCBA

 Photo source: Mauricio Macri

Return of investment

Remember this step because VoIP is made for business in general and for successful businesses with efficient technology in particular. Calculate your costs, estimate your benefits and put a star on the date that means you covered your transition expenses and you are starting to count your profit. It’s the only way to do business and that is what VoIP solutions are made for. To offer you a better cost-benefit solution for everything that means high quality voice communication.

Planning is as always the key to success and the difference between something you will do someday and a perfectly executed process. Yes, it can be complicated, but you don’t have to do it alone because a professional provider will always support you every step of the planning stage, helping you to find the right answers to every one of the questions we mentioned and even more. Wondering what other details you should take into account before migrating your own business to VoIP? No reason to wait. Leave it in a comment or send us an email and will get back to you.