5 Steps to VoIP

voipVoIP is quickly replacing premise telephony. Now is the time to take the leap and migrate to VoIP. While it may seem a daunting task, a little planning and preparation make it plausible. Ziff Davis wrote Five Key Success Factors to help you get started on the road to VoIP. We summarize those steps below.

1. The first step towards VoIP is considering each involved party: the executives or owners, the employees, and the IT team

The first will want to be assured that VoIP will be worth the cost and stress of migrating. Study up on the benefits of VoIP so you can win their support. Employees will be the primary users of the system. Think about their daily communicating habits and how VoIP can benefit them. Finally, consider your company’s IT team and what type of system it can support. Some deployment models call for more IT support than others. Which brings us to the next step…

2. Choose a deployment model: Premise, Cloud, or Hybrid

Premise VoIP is the most similar to legacy and thus a less radical transition. However it is also more expensive and requires more maintenance and support. We talked about the benefits of Cloud or Hosted VoIP in our previous post. It is a less costly and less involved option. Finally, Hybrid is just what it sound like – a combination of the previous two. This may be ideal for a company that is not ready to part with their premise hardware, but wants to add some VoIP capabilities.

3. Choose a VoIP Provider

Once you know what kind of VoIP solution your company wants, it is time to find a provider. Today’s market allows you to shop around, so take your time and find a provider that fits your needs.

4. Prepare for implementation

The implementation period can be stressful and long, so make sure your company is prepared beforehand. Work with your provider to establish a clear plan with deadlines, contacts, and sufficient testing. Do not accept that implementation is complete until the service is functioning as you expected. Make sure all of the users know how to use the system as well.

5. Prepare for journey

Finally, the last step is to adopt an open-mind and prepare yourself for the inevitable bumps in the road. In the scheme of things VoIP is still a relatively new technology; and more importantly, it is ever-changing. Remember that the changes and risk mean new features and capabilities. These will be not only beneficial to your company, but vital to keeping up with the market.

Are you ready to start? Contact us today!

2 Tips to More Profit

voip profitWould you like to discover the secret to selling VoIP more easily? Gain a competitive edge and multiply your profit?

We’ve created a FREE fact sheet with 2 secrets to becoming the number one VoIP service provider in your field!

Whether you are looking to start offering VoIP services or to improve your existing revenue and reduce your churn, click here to download your free fact sheet now.

VoIP: On-Premise vs Hosted (Cloud) vs Hybrid

voipIn our previous post we listed 5 reasons to migrate to VoIP. If you have made the decision to switch to VoIP, the next step is choosing between an on-premise, hosted, or hybrid solution.

Here’s the difference between the three:

On-Premise VoIP is a good option for larger companies that want more control over their telephony solution. While some companies will benefit from managing their system in-house, smaller companies may not have enough staff or budget for this option. On-Premise VoIP involves a large up-front investment, but then the system belongs to the company.

Hosted (Cloud) VoIP is the opposite of on-premise. The system is owned and managed by a Service Provider company that rents it on a monthly basis. This is a better option for smaller companies that do not have a large up-front budget or a large IT staff. Cloud VoIP is less expensive in the beginning, but may be more expensive in the long run due to monthly payments.

Hybrid VoIP is a combination of the above two options. A typical hybrid VoIP solution would mean a hosted system run on a premise server and hardware. This brings in the best of both worlds and is an attractive option to growing companies that have some money to invest but do not want to purchase and manage an entire system.

Which option is right for your company? We recommend you do research a variety of solutions and Service Providers to find the best match for your company.

Get started on the Bicom Systems products page or sign-up for a FREE Account Manager to guide you in the transition to VoIP.

5 Reasons Why Even SMBs Should Use VoIP

All too often it is large businesses that have all the advantages and many SMBs assume the same is true when it comes to VoIP. But Ziff Davis brings us 5 reasons why SMBs should be using VoIP too.

#1 VOIP IS A SERVICE

VoIP is a service, not a product, which makes it accessible to any kind of business. Unlike legacy systems that came in a one-size-fits-all (or does NOT fit, in the case of many small businesses), VoIP solutions are flexible and can be customized to fit even SMBs.

#2 VOIP DOES NOT REQIURE A SWITCHED SYSTEM

Many SMBs incorrectly assume they will need an expensive switched system to use VoIP. While this may be the best option for larger businesses, it is not necessary. Other options like a Key Telephone System are available for small business at a significantly lower price.

#3 VOIP DOES NOT REQUIRE A FULL IT TEAM

Legacy systems necessitate a fully trained IT team to manage the separate voice and data networks and implementations. VoIP eliminates the need for a voice network and can be run without much IT support. Hosted or Cloud systems take implementation and support out of the hands of the SMB and allow individual users to manage their own line.

#4 VOIP DOES NOT REQUIRE A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT

SMBs that are hesitant to make large purchases with a long-term commitment can use VoIP on a month-to-month basis without a contract. This removes the risk of being stuck with a system that is not working for your small business. VoIP allows you to back out at anytime if it is not working.

#5 VOIP OPENS MORE OPTIONS

Incumbent providers have always catered to large businesses with SMBs as an afterthought. VoIP has so many options that even the smallest businesses can find a perfect-fit. With VoIP the customer is in charge of their solution. VoIP also opens the door to non-local solutions that can be purchased and maintained online.

In conclusion, there is no reason for SMBs to feel left out in the world of VoIP. With a solution available for any size of business, now is the time to make the switch! To learn more visit Why Your Business is Not Too Small for VoIP from Ziff Davis.

How to Choose a New Provider after Nortel

nortelAre you ready to move on from Nortel and BCM 50 but unsure how to choose a new provider? Life After Nortel: SMB Migration Roadmap and Buying Decision Checklist from Ziff Davis provides five guidelines to keep in mind as you compare providers after leaving Nortel Networks (also known as Nortel Norstar or Meridian Phone Systems):

1. VoIP Pedigree
The VoIP market is full of newcomers with offers that will dazzle and impress. Be cautious and look for an experienced company that has a long and positive track record. Read case studies and ask for references.

2. Core Business
Most telephony companies have more than once focus; look for a company that is committed to phone systems and that shares your outlook on telephony. Find a company that will innovate and progress but continue offering what you need.

3. Range of Features
As you dive into the world of VoIP for the first time do some research on the options and features available. You are going to want to stay with the same telephony provider for a long time, so make sure they have everything you need and want.

4. Customer Base
Does the provider usually serve large enterprises? SMBS? Is there niche a specific industry like hospitality, medical, or government? Seek a provider with customers similar to your own company so that they will understand your business needs and obstacles.

5. Viability
This is going to be a big move – go with a provider that will be around for many years to come. Ask about the provider’s financial situation and their plan for the next several years. Pay attention to how the company is doing and choose one that appears to be viable in the world of ever-changing technology.

Ready to get started? Talk to one of our experienced Account Managers about upgrading to PBXware today! With a fast & easy setup, PBXware encompasses the most advanced technologies and unified communications features along with an understanding Account Manager to help you with the transition and beyond. Just email us at sales@bicomsystems.com today!

Additional Reading:

What Happened to Nortel?

How to Move On From Nortel

Five Reasons to Upgrade from Nortel to PBXware KeySystem

Life After Nortel: SMB Migration Roadmap and Buying Decision Checklist by Ziff Davis.

There’s Life After Your Nortel PBX from VoIP News

Or talk to an experienced Account Manager by emailing sales@bicomsystems.com