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What I Wish I Knew Before Switching to VoIP
March 16, 2015 By The mVoice Team No Comment
Transition to VOIP: how to avoid common pitfalls
If your business is on the brink of making the transition to VOIP, then you need to make sure you’re still going to be happy with your decision this time next year.
The good news is you’re in the envious position of being able to benefit from the hindsight of other businesses. So here are some top tips for a regret-free future.
Get senior management’s buy-in and cooperation
It goes without saying that senior management will need to approve the transition to VOIP and all associated costs, so you need to put together a credible and factual business case including a detailed ROI analysis.
Even after the project is approved, it is important to keep providing management with regular updates and adequate opportunities for discussion.
Ask them to link VOIP back to the overall vision and goals of the organisation when they communicate with employees and consider setting up forums and drafting materials to help them.
If senior management proactively champions the transition, you’ll have a much better chance of achieving widespread satisfaction. On the other hand, if they are dissatisfied, you can bet everyone else will be too.
Develop a communications plan and build it into your project timeline
All too often, business only focus on the technical transition to VOIP and fail to consider the overall needs of their organisation. This can really have a negative impact on the way a new service is perceived and used.
The last thing you want is a disgruntled workforce who neither understands nor wants VOIP. Effective change management and regular communication is critical to the success of your project. So here is a good presentation to get you thinking about the ‘people’ side of your project. And before you start developing your plan, have a look at this checklist.
Lastly, consider tailoring your communications: if you have groups of employees who work – or want to work – remotely, for example, then tell them how VOIP can help support more flexible work schedules. You’ll get them onside from the start.
Know your business needs
Accurately estimating your business requirements will make the difference between VOIP working for you or against you.
How many calls does your business receive and make each day and each month? What bandwidth do you need? Can you support technology for better sound quality? What kind of hardware and equipment do you need? Do you foresee an increase in network traffic over the next few years? How will you deal with a power cut?
It pays to conduct the right research up front so you can ensure your VOIP service is going to meet your current and future needs. Take a look at this article to learn more about preparing your network for VOIP.
Be realistic about your timeframe
Don’t be over optimistic about the time required to implement VOIP. We cannot overstate the importance of planning and preparation.
If you can, get advance input from other business departments to ascertain what they need, or what they would like to see, conducted as part of the project plan so you don’t find yourself trying to juggle last minute requests.
Include communication, training timetables and management updates in your timeline and always leave room for unforeseen delays that might interrupt the schedule, such as employee travel schedules.
Learn about codecs, if you haven’t already
The last thing you want is to transition to VOIP only to find you have issues with call quality. To ensure you get the best audio available for your budget, ask your service provider to outline your options. Listen and test the call quality before you move ahead.
About the Author
mVoice is a leading Australian internet telecommunications provider that supplies VOIP products to both small and enterprise businesses.
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