10 Things to Consider For Successful VoIP Implementation
Before you start using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), you need to understand how it works and carefully plan your implementation strategy. Following our tips will help you have a more successful implementation process, too. Before you start doing your research, choosing a vendor and setting up service, be sure to carefully consider these steps.
In this article, we will suggest ten different considerations to make if you are shopping around for VoIP service and considering a business phone system. We hope that this piece will help you decide if VoIP is right for you and help you get started if you decide you need a business communications system. Along the way, do not forget to do additional research or ask questions if you become confused or encounter something about the process that you are unfamiliar with.
- Test your VoIP system before you go live.
- Shop carefully for the right VoIP provider.
- Consider adding a second Internet connection.
- Use Quality of Service (QoS).
- Pay attention to security issues.
- Talk to other VoIP users to learn best practices and swap stories.
- Know what you are doing and have a plan.
- Use a private branch exchange (PBX), and consider a cloud-hosted system.
- Obtain the right training.
- Keep improving!
1. Test your VoIP system before you go live.
You may be surprised by how many companies avoid pre-implementation testing, but this stage of testing is your big opportunity to identify problems before they become disasters. It is really important to take the time to look for potential problems, liabilities and vulnerabilities in your system before starting to actively use it in your business. You are investing a lot of time and money in your company, so you need to be sure and get each step just right before moving forward.
2. Shop carefully for the right VoIP vendor.
Vendors come in all shapes and sizes, and it is important to find the right one for your organization. You may end up, over time, spending hundreds or thousands over the lifetime of your VoIP service (maybe much more than that if you have a large enterprise phone system). So why would you rush your decision? Make the time to carefully shop VoIP vendors and find the right service provider in the first place. This can help you avoid costly mistakes or buying the wrong equipment, connection or services for your business.
3. Consider adding a second Internet connection.
You may need a second Internet connection, if you want to completely ensure access to your VoIP system is always uninterrupted. VoIP depends entirely on the Internet, so having an extra Internet connection can help you make sure your system is completely reliable and does not have extensive downtime. Maximizing uptime requires that you make efforts to ensure you always have access to the Internet, even if a crisis occurs and you lose access to one of your connections.
4. Use Quality of Service (QoS).
QoS standards can be set on your VoIP system to allow you to optimize the transfer of data in your VoIP network, so that quality is managed correctly and data is prioritized appropriately. Without QoS, your service may not have a high sound quality or may fail to offer the level of service you really need. QoS standards allow you to improve the overall quality, making it very similar in practice to traditional phone service.
5. Pay attention to security issues.
Security compromises with your VoIP system can cause significant damage to your organization as a whole, allowing secrets to be stolen or private information to be made available to the public. This is a very serious situation, so you need to be proactive about preventing security problems. Without the right software and other direct measures to stop intruders, you may encounter significant issues with your system and may even lose control of your phones to hackers. Stop this problem before it starts by carefully protecting your phones.
6. Talk to other VoIP users to learn best practices and swap stories.
By talking with other VoIP users, you can gain much-needed perspective on what the best practices, latest ideas and greatest strategies are with VoIP services. You can find out the dirt on different vendors, get help shopping for the right service and learn tips and tricks to use in your own VoIP system.
7. Know what you are doing and have a plan.
It is really important to start your implementation process with a solid plan in place. Do not jump into a VoIP implementation, especially at a large organization, without a solid strategy for how to proceed. You will need to know what to do in what order and carefully follow each step as you go. Without a plan, you could quickly encounter problems that occur just from a lack of direction or a failure of leadership.
8. Use a private branch exchange (PBX) and consider a cloud-hosted system.
You will need to use a PBX if you plan to have your calls managed properly, whether you choose a PBX box that is a physical, onsite computer or a cloud-hosted PBX system from your vendor. Either way, calls that enter your organization must be routed somewhere and managed so that there is a queue, calls reach the right people and everything is managed properly. Cloud-hosting ensures that you are not responsible for direct equipment maintenance, so it is a worthwhile investment in many cases.
9. Obtain the right training.
Whether you are running a sole proprietorship business with a single employee or you have a large operation, you need to make sure everyone using the phone knows how to use VoIP features and protect the security of the system. If it is just you, you still need to make sure you know what you are doing and can provide basic troubleshooting. If you have employees, invest in the right training so everyone is up to speed. This includes answering phones and communicating with customers and others, too. If you are using text, chat or other communications in your business, it is also important for you to make sure you get the training and provide the training necessary to really move forward with your communications system.
10. Keep improving!
You are never really finished with implementation, in a real sense. As the technology changes and software changes over time, you need to stay updated and make sure you know what you are doing. Becoming a student of VoIP, particularly if your company is very dependent on phone systems, you need to make sure you are always improving your strategies and looking for better ideas. Having this attitude of continuous improvement can help you ensure that you always have a system that works effectively for you. If you find yourself needing to make changes, too, it is great to know you can quickly make the necessary adjustments. VoIP makes it easy to keep improving–stay in contact with your vendor and study any new resources they publish and ideas they share. Provide feedback if something is particularly helpful, too. From there, be sure to share what you know with others in your organization so they can also keep your company moving forward.