It is no longer a hard sell to talk businesses into moving to VoIP; the advantages of reduced costs and added features, among other benefits, have made the move to VoIP almost imperative. The transition can still be daunting for some businesses, however, so here 10 steps that every business should take when adopting VoIP.
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First, identify the business and user needs. Once you’ve prioritized your business goals, identify the specific capabilities you need to attain them. To understand user needs, conduct interviews with key players in the company to discover what really matters for your rollout.
Second, understand how VoIP works. This includes understanding the concept of packetization of voice, and how there are is the possibility of using the public Internet for its transport or going with a private network or virtual private network.
Third, assess your network situation. If your LAN and WAN is more than a few years old, there is the possibility that it could cause trouble for VoIP.
Fourth, identify the right partners and providers. Going alone might sound good, but don’t. Just don’t. Seek help from a VoIP solutions provider.
Fifth, design the solution. Will it be integrated access? How many SIP trunks will you need? Will the IP PBX (News - Alert) be managed or on-site?
Sixth, select a proposal among competing providers. You get what you pay for, so be weary of going with the lowest bidder. Instead, look for a provider with experience and good service level agreements.
Seventh, install and test the system. Contrary to what you may think, the best way to test the system is to schedule a cutover during the day to see how things perform in a real-world environment.
Eighth, manage service and support. This includes training, support issues and response times.
Ninth, understand your bill. Make sure that the billing for your VoIP service is not overly complex, as this will add implicit cost as your personnel will require extra time to review it each month.
Finally, plan for the future. VoIP is well established at this point, but that doesn’t mean the technology is static. Even if there are no plans to upgrade in the foreseeable future, it is wise to keep an eye on where things are going and prepare.
If you follow these 10 steps, VoIP adoption should be relatively painless.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey