Business VoIP implementation: what you need to knowNov 28, 2018
So you’ve decided to make the move. After learning about business VoIP (also known as a cloud phone systems) and all of the advantages - cost savings, improved collaboration, enhanced customer service and greater security, to name a few – you want your business to benefit.
Great! But what’s next? It’s a question companies often ask, as they are about to take the leap from on-site to cloud-based phone systems like business VoIP. While they’re excited about the potential benefits, they have concerns about the implementation process. And that’s only natural.
To help prepare you for the transition I connected with Joseph Pizzoferrato, TELUS Customer Solution Engineer, to compile the top concerns his clients have expressed, and how he helps to address them.
#1: What about business continuity - Is there going to be downtime?
That is probably the most pressing question Joseph hears. You want to know exactly what is going to happen. When our team installs a business VoIP service like TELUS Business Connect, we do so in parallel with a client’s existing voice system. We provide secondary phone numbers that the client can use as we port existing numbers over to the new system. This porting process usually takes approximately 10 days.
During that 10-day period, clients can start learning the system and using it for outbound calls. They can identify any challenges and desired feature changes.
At TELUS, we also provide 30 days of complimentary service, as well as a large support team including a sales representative, a customer solutions engineer and our white glove professionals (if clients select that option).
The porting process can be complicated for many clients and can potentially cause downtime if not done correctly. As a result, our team works closely with clients to educate them and ensure that we have all of their numbers, including those from other companies, which they want to integrate. We also recommend transitioning one location at a time to make sure that the system is working effectively.
#2: What can I do to prepare my network for business VoIP?
If you employ 10 or more people or host your own data services (such as windows applications or file servers), you probably have a lot of Internet traffic. So it’s important to explore bandwidth, network set up and firewall configurations. Some of the things that Joseph discusses with clients include:
Quality of Service
How do you prioritize voice traffic over data traffic? Does your firewall and/or router have the capability to prioritize voice traffic? If the answers are no, he recommends hardware and configuration options that can enable traffic prioritization. If you have a third party IT provider that manages your network, our team can work with your current provider to communicate the requirements to support TELUS Business Connect.
Do you have the proper cabling? Some clients only have traditional (RJ-11/14) wired cabling, which won’t support VoIP. CAT 5e/6 cabling is required.
Have you ever used Wi-Fi for voice? Where is your Wi-Fi router located? Voice is real-time data, so signal strength dips are unacceptable. Many clients tend to have unrealistic expectations about how their current Wi-Fi configurations and network can support VoIP.
Side note: Where clients were apprehensive about VoIP performance, Joseph gave them access to a VoIP account. This allowed them to test it on their mobile devices as they walked around their Wi-Fi enabled office.
#3: Will my employees adopt the solution?
Is it difficult for some of your employees to learn? You may have traditional users that still think phones are only supposed to provide dial tone. These users in particular need training and education to maximize the system’s capabilities. And in these situations, in addition to demo videos, Joseph recommends a white glove service, which provides expert installation support, as well as user and administration training. It’s only natural that some users will take to the new solution, while others need more guidance and support.
If you are looking to take advantage of the benefits of business VoIP, don’t hesitate. If you choose the right partner, with the right expertise and support – your network and your users will both be ready to make the change.
Still have questions about your transition to business VoIP? Request a callback from a TELUS representative.
Interested in learning about TELUS Business Connect online? Watch our new YouTube demo videos.