In the VoIP world, businesses spend a lot of time…
Transitioning to a cloud-based VoIP phone system includes many moving parts. To ensure success, start gathering information and making decisions early in the process, and include project management to oversee the implementation.
Here are some key points to keep in mind on the road to deployment.
Taking Advantage of the New Solution
If one of the goals is to improve upon the old system, implementing on an as is basis will not be an option with regards to replacements of user devices, call flows, and other features.Thought should be given to how you’d like the new solution to function, such as a basic consideration whether staff who currently use a desk phone that might be better off using a softphone.
Many providers require the client to complete documents, which are then used to program the solution. When this method is used, errors in programming become the responsibility of the customer rather than the provider. If your organization does not have the internal resources to perform the needs review and analysis, consider having the vendor to look after this step to ensure the extensions and the system are programmed correctly.
Do you have a diagram of your current call centre call flows? Do they work the way you need them to? Would you like to take advantage of new functionalities such as skills-based routing? If so, these features require not only specific programming, but operational planning as well.
Evaluate Your Network Infrastructure
Another necessary step in the pre-implementation process is to verify your LAN and WAN are configured to support voice traffic and ensure Quality of Service (QoS). Do you have sufficient power-over-ethernet (PoE) switches and in the right locations?
Do you have the correct cabling in place everywhere a desktop phone will be located? Are you planning to use one jack for both the phone and your computer, with the PC plugged into the phone or a separate jack for each?
Team Buy-In and Training
How are you planning to get the users involved and engaged in the project? Early involvement in the planning process ensures project success. How will the implementation schedule be communicated to your teams, so they know when to expect the new device and other changes? Will training classes be scheduled for all users and the administrators?
Training classes, in-person or virtual, should be conducted as close to the actual go-live date as possible. Will someone be moving around the office on day 1 to answer questions, note issues, and put everyone at ease? Or will you elect a train the trainer approach, allowing a few power users to be trained in advance and available to answer questions for their groups.
When reviewing the list of considerations, it becomes obvious that a comprehensive, detailed project plan must be developed before services or equipment are ordered.
To ensure all issues are addressed, your project plan should include everything from phone line ordering and number porting to the network assessment, core components, integrations, and group-by-group installation plans and training and day-one support.
If all the steps are properly followed with all stakeholders engaged, a positive outcome will be better assured.