One of the many advantages of VoIP Phones is the relative simplicity of deployment. Unlike legacy systems, VoIP does not necessarily mean a huge physical change and learning curve. While most VoIP deployments will likely run into a few hitches along the way, the following tips for preparedness will ensure the smoothest deployment possible.
#1 CURRENT PHONE SYSTEM
The first step is to evaluate the current phone system – does it stay or go? VoIP will support either option, but there is still a ‘right answer’ for each company. If the phones are still valuable to the company and its users, they can easily be tweaked to work with VoIP. This means less change for users and less up-front spending. But if the telephones are no longer serving their purpose, VoIP deployment provides the perfect opportunity to upgrade to new IP phones or even softphones such as gloCOM.
#2 CURRENT NETWORK
The next consideration is the network. Will it support VoIP? From sufficient bandwidth and the prioritization of VoIP voice traffic over other data, the network must be optimized or upgraded to support the new VoIP phone system. Ensuring a compatible network ahead of time will guarantee a smoother transition process.
#3 CURRENT SERVICE PROVIDER
Along those same lines, the service provider will need to support the new VoIP phone system. If there is a good history with the provider, it makes sense to stay and take advantage of the accumulated knowledge and understanding. A service provider that understands the system and requirements will be a major help in deploying VoIP. But if the service provider relationship has not been positive, now is a good time to find a better fit and perhaps a dedicated VoIP provider.
#4 CURRENT COMMUNICATION NEEDS
The way in which employees use the current phone system sheds light on how the VoIP system should be used. Whether users typically use desk phones, softphones, mobile, or something else, the VoIP phone system should be deployed with that in mind. VoIP is extremely flexible and can be catered to meet the specific needs of its users.
Finally, why is the company upgrading to VoIP? From management to users to IT, each party will probably have its own reasons and rationale for the upgrade. But for the sake of deployment, it is important to come to a company consensus on the goals and reasons for upgrading to a VoIP telephone system. A shared vision will ensure a smooth deployment. (See 5 Reasons Why Even SMBs Should Use VoIP)
In conclusion, each of the above should be considered prior to starting deployment. It is easier to brainstorm and plan before doing any of the hard work than it is to make changes later.