Voice over IP (VoIP) systems are the best thing since sliced bread when it comes to business communication. There’s no need to assign desk phones to every employee, wade through a sea of cords and number codes, or spend precious time on IT troubleshooting physical infrastructure issues.
And with the exponential growth of remote work, VoIP simplifies and streamlines all sorts of things through features like texting, video conferencing, mobile and web apps. While VoIP systems are designed for quick implementation to keep your team moving, that doesn’t mean it will happen at the snap of your fingers! Check out these tips to help you transition to VoIP.
Get Your Network Ready
First thing’s first, take a look at your network to determine if your internet connection can handle the added network traffic while providing quality voice service. Unless you’re running a call center, then the bandwidth you have is likely all you’ll need. But it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If you or your IT team has decided that you need dedicated bandwidth for your VoIP calls, based on your network setup, you can configure priority for voice traffic. QoS (Quality of Service) means that there’s a priority set for any VOIP traffic to get first rights to the Internet. So when Jerry is streaming TV on his lunch break, your phone call can continue without interruption.
Your business should already have some sort of backup set up for your data, but you may consider a secondary failover for the transition to VoIP. VoIP offers plenty of benefits in terms of functionality and interface, but you have no phone system if you have no internet. Whether you’re using VoIP internally or as a direct line to your clients, you don’t want to lose access to your method of communication.
If you’ve ever run into internet connectivity problems, you know that one of the first things to do when troubleshooting is to check if it’s just you or the entire circuit area. If you look it up and find messaging saying something similar to, “we’re aware, and we’re working on it,” then you know all you can do is wait. But when you’re running VoIP calls, waiting isn’t always an option, so that’s why a lot of organizations use a secondary failover provider that differs from the primary connection. For example, if your primary internet provider is Verizon, you could use Comcast as the secondary. That way, if a Verizon area goes down, you won’t see an outage. It will be just a blip on your radar.
As a last resort, you might also utilize your organization’s cellular carrier as a wireless backup. If you’ve ever used your phone as a hotspot, LTE backup functions very similarly. The service provider can install a cellular wireless router with a SIM card so you can pull WIFI from it. While LTE backup is not meant as a first choice, it will do in a pinch.
Most VoIP solutions come equipped with intuitive call features and actions, but you should still plan on providing training for your staff. Solid training will make the transition to VoIP much easier. If everyone knows how to operate all the valuable features, you can bet that they will be happier all around.
For example, if staff understand how to use the Receptionist View to administer calls, dragging and dropping calls for a swift call transfer is easy breezy. But if they don’t, they could end up hanging up on an important client or sending callers to the wrong person.
It’s best if you can conduct group onboarding calls or webinars to review features in real-time. That gives everyone time to ask questions upfront that they might not later. It’s even better if your provider can hand out FAQ cards for new users.
Partner with a Managed Services Partner
VoIP systems are only as good as the provider who supports them. You can have all the bells and whistles that will make your life easier, but what happens when you can’t figure out how to make them work?
As you transition to VoIP, make sure your provider is responsive (and is an actual human). If support looks like an automated phone tree that buries you in layers of “Press 1 for…” that’s not great. Because your business relies on effective communication! Whether you need to talk to your colleagues about the next steps of a project or call a client for timely feedback, trouble with your phone system can cause some real issues.
A managed IT service provider like Exact IT offers personalized support from a real live human that understands your business. No need to search for an account number or listen to awful hold music while you wait for the dreaded “next available representative.”
Our dedicated VoIP team works to help clients understand their business phone requirements and prepare a custom-tailored solution. Exact IT Consulting provides clients with a robust feature set, ongoing user training, and access to our live person help desk for responsive support, answering questions, or making system changes. Our VoIP system ensures communications come through sounding professional with ease of use and optimized call flow.
If you’re ready to make the change to VoIP, let us know! We’d love to partner with you and help your organization take full advantage of all the VoIP features and benefits.