Planning Guidelines – moving your phone service to the cloud

Key Benefits

  • Integration of mobile, remote, and fixed users into one system, without traditional call forwarding.
  • Improved productivity as users can seamlessly have calls directed to their office, cellular, or home devices.
  • Improved collaboration as multiple users can access the system using a variety of collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and others. Some VoIP providers include collaboration tools integrated into the system without requiring separate meeting setup.
  • Ease of change management as users or extensions can be easily added, deleted or changed with the VoIP on line software. You can also easily manage multiple sites on a single VoIP platform.
  • With the growth of VoIP, cost savings are possible with many providers now offering lower cost solution compared to traditional phone service plus maintenance and support costs for a traditional phone system.  Though these savings may be offset by increased bandwidth requirements (fixed and wireless) to support VoIP.

 Key Considerations – Planning Steps

  1. Determine your primary objectives in order of priority. Do you want to integrate video conferencing for team collaboration with your VoIP solution? You can then evaluate vendor responses based on the range of features vs. cost.
  2. List your users and extensions based on type – office only, mobile only, or dual, and contact center groups.
  3. Check the additional bandwidth requirements (approx. 100 kbps per active call) to your current data bandwidth capacity and usage. A key planning decision will be whether to utilizer the existing site’s data connection for VoIP or to set up a separate VoIP only connection. If you decide on separate VoIP and data connections, then one can act as a failover for the other. If you decide to use a single connection, then the system should be able to prioritize voice over data connections.
  4. Check the Quality of Service configuration of your current data connection to ensure latency is within specs for VoIP.
  5. Prepare a backup voice routing plan in the event of a failure of data, power or other emergencies at your main or remote sites. One advantage of VoIP is that call routing can quickly be switched or modified.
  6. A switch to VoIP will likely require new phone sets and possibly additional office cabling. With many providers, the phone sets can be either purchased or leased.
  7. Then you can prepare the RFQ for vendor quotes from qualified providers. Evaluate the RFQ responses to determine the best fit for your company and budget.
  8. Prior to implementation, you should identify and list your current phone services, costs, and contracts.
  9. Once you determine the approximate implementation timeline, then you should discuss the contract cancellation costs with your current provider and consider advising them not to auto renew your current contracts.

For more information or to schedule a no obligation 10-minute discussion to discuss your objectives and identify a strategy to come up with the right solution, click here.

Derek AtkinsPlanning Guidelines – Moving your phone service to the cloud