Migrating from legacy to VoIP is a big and exciting move for most SMBs. Here are a few things to consider before diving in:
1. Your Network
If you are new to VoIP, your current telephony system is probably entirely separate from your data network. Neither has much impact on the other. VoIP, however, uses the data network and requires bandwidth and stability. Before implementing a VoIP solution, ensure that your data network is sufficient to support VoIP and all that it entails.
Today’s market offers a plethora of VoIP providers and solutions, so it is okay to be picky. Take the time to find a solution that is compatible with your setup. An easy deployment will set your company up for a successful VoIP experience. PBXware is compatible with most systems and can seamlessly integrate with all of our other products.
3. The Budget
Budget is probably the first thing most SMBs think of when they consider a new telephony solution. Do not forget to analyze all of the costs that accompany both your current system and the new one. From the cost of long distance calls to hardware to maintenance, carefully compare your options.
Finally, VoIP brings with it a brand new issue: Security. This was not a problem with legacy systems, so it is easy to forget or ignore. However a breach in security could mean huge consequences for your company. Take the time before migrating to VoIP to ensure your company will be secure. Products like sipPROT and sipMON do the work for you and guarantee security.
Cost What is the primary motive for most business decisions? Cost! From cutting costs to increasing revenue, the budget is central to an SMB’s agenda. Thus it is the first reason to migrate to VoIP. Check out a few VoIP options and crunch the numbers. We guarantee that VoIP will end up costing you less in the long run.
Employee Behavior Take a look around your office – are employees using their desk phones? looking at their computer screens? on a mobile device? Employee behavior is changing and the desk phone is losing its place as the center of any office. Modern business is done not only via voice, but also through email, instant messaging, and even video. VoIP integrates voice with all of these new technologies.
Productivity Along those same lines, the ability to integrate VoIP with a wide range of other communication methods means increased productivity. A desk phone limits employees to communicate only when at their desk, and only when the other person is free. A comprehensive VoIP solution opens the door to employee collaboration through a variety of channels. Features such as presence give the real-time status of users, saving time spent looking for coworkers.
Voice is Data Employees and usage aside, VoIP is a better option because it runs over the data network. A legacy system runs on a dedicated voice network, forcing companies to have two networks. This means paying two networks, maintaining two networks, plugging in two networks, etc. It is much simpler to run all of your voice and communication applications over one data network.
The Industry The final reason to switch to VoIP is simply keeping up with the industry. Not only users are migrating to VoIP, vendors as well are shifting from legacy solutions to VoIP. It will not be long until legacy support is difficult to find. Now is the time to take the leap – stay ahead of the industry, not behind it.
It’s going to happen anyway Depending on where you are in the world, the TDM networks may have already switched off, or will next year. Find out before you’re found out.
Whether you are ready to sign up now or still not convinced, we recommend taking a look at gloCOM. A business softphone that simplifies and enhances communication, gloCOM embodies the essence of VoIP and Unified Communications. gloCOM empowers business users to communicate and work better in modern workplaces. Among other things, gloCOM can
While VoIP has been around and available for over a decade, many businesses have yet to make the jump from a Legacy Telephony System to VoIP. Legacy Systems were a significant investment and were expected to last, so many businesses are hesitant to abandon them for the newest trend. However, VoIP is quickly becoming the mainstream choice in the world of business telephony, so it is time to take the leap.
The first step to transitioning from Legacy to VoIP is simply understanding that VoIP is constantly evolving and preparing yourself for constant change. But recognize that this change is not a bad thing; on the contrary, it means ever improving service and increased features. Moving to VoIP will entail some risks but we are confident that the benefits outweigh any roadblocks along the way.
ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF 3 STAKEHOLDER GROUPS
Once you are prepared to begin the journey of VoIP, your company must define its goals. VoIP will impact three major players in your business and each can potentially benefit:a) Employees – Your employees will be the primary users. VoIP can increase their efficiency and effectiveness. For example, VoIP features like a softphone will encourage employees to quickly and efficiently communicate with coworkers or clients.
b) Executives – The ultimate decisions will be made by the company executives. Points of interest to them will be the cost-effectiveness of VoIP, the increased worker productivity, and the ability to integrate the telephony system into a complete Unified Communications solution.
c) IT – Company techs will be responsible for the VoIP system. They will enjoy the fact that VoIP is more user-friendly and most features and updates will not require their assistance, freeing up time for other matters.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT DEPLOYMENT MODEL
VoIP gives you three deployment options:a) Premise – This is basically a continuation of your legacy system. It would mean a smaller change and more control of your system, but is more expensive and requires a comprehensive IT team.
b) Cloud – The opposite of a premise system, a cloud system would save money by outsourcing management or hosting. This option is becoming more common as the cloud gains popularity.
c) Hybrid – A hybrid system combines the best of both premise and cloud. A company that is not ready to part with its legacy system may choose a hybrid solution that will VoIP-enable their older system.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT VENDOR
The next step is deciding whether to continue with your Legacy provider or shop around for a new provider. If you have a positive business relationship with your current provider and they offer an enticing and affordable VoIP transition plan, that may be the best option.However this may be the time to move on to a smaller company that is more specifically suited to your company’s needs. Nowadays you will find many options, even outside the world of telephony.
PREPARE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS
The move to VoIP will be a big change and your company must be prepared.Step 1 – Review your phone system contract and determine whether you can replace your telephones and system.
Step 2 – Create a timeline with specific goals and targets. Assign responsibilities to specific people.
Step 3 – Perform a network assessment to decide if your system is ready for VoIP. This will also help in the decision between Premise or Cloud.
Step 4 – Determine what will change for your employees and prepare them for those changes.
Step 5 – Test the new system with a specific group of users to ensure it is working as promised, particularly during busy times.
Transitioning to VoIP may sound like a daunting task, but thousands of companies have made a successful transition with great benefits in the short and long term.
The costly and uniform telephony systems that dominated businesses for years are quickly becoming a thing of the past. IP Telephony is a more economic and flexible option that makes sense for most companies today. Whether you are looking to start fresh with a brand new IP Telephony system, or simply to upgrade your current system to better fit your needs, IP Phone: Top 10 Considerations, Buyer’s Guide from Ziff Davis is a must-read article. Below we highlight their top ten points that companies must consider when shopping for an IP Phone System.
Usage – While legacy phones were solely meant for voice calls, IP phones have a much wider range of capabilities and options. From video to conferencing to messaging, considering how the phones will be used allows you to get the most out of the system.
Who – We used to choose one type of phone and all employees would use the same one. IP phones, on the other hand, come in many varieties and can be used in more places. Now more employees can have phones and each type of employee can have a certain type of phone.
Type – Desktop phones were the only option in the past, but IP phones come in a number of forms. Decide whether your employees need traditional-looking desk phones, softphones, or even wireless devices.
Budget – Telephony systems are no longer a major investment expected to last for years. The cost of transitioning to VoIP has dropped greatly and the overall cost of telephony and equipment is lower as well. Different budgets may be assigned to different employees or departments.
Voice – Traditionally, telephony was only used voice. And voice is still the number one use today. While VoIP may not offer the same quality of voice as a legacy system, it is a less expensive option. HD voice is an emerging market to consider.
Features – Your company should weigh its required features and desired features. Choose a system that offers everything you ‘need’ and then look for extras.
Display – Different systems offer all different kinds of display options. From basic text to bigger and better screens to camera and video, your company must think about what kind of display it needs.
Video – Along the same line, video is now an option with IP telephony. If some or all employees need video, they will need video-enabled devices and a network to support it. However, IP phones can only take you so far with video.
Mobile – If desk phones are no longer a necessity at your business, you may begin shifting towards mobility. Some IP phones are compatible with mobile phones or can help the company begin to shift in that direction.
Power – It is no longer a requirement to use AC power and keep telephones close to outlets. Your company may opt for Power over Ethernet (PoE) which allows power and connectivity to use the same cable.