6 Critical Steps You Need to Know When Switching to VoIP

 

 

Close-up view of a digital phone on office desk.

Many businesses are abandoning traditional analog landline phone services in favor of more modern VoIP communication services.

In fact, over 61% of today’s businesses switch to VoIP network services as soon as their previous landline communication contract expires.

However, even though VoIP makes managing your business communications more convenient, seamlessly switching your business communication systems requires significant planning and execution.

It’s important to carefully consider several factors before you switch to VoIP. Read on to learn more about the six crucial steps you need to know when switching to VoIP.

Contact G12 Communications today to efficiently switch your communication systems to VoIP.

Related: 7 Questions You Need to Answer Before Choosing a UCaaS Platform & Provider

 

1. VoIP Network Reliability

When switching to a VoIP network, a critical preparation step to consider is to ensure network service reliability. The last thing your company needs after switching to a VoIP network is to deal with service outages.

Luckily, many VoIP network service providers can offer stable and reliable service to businesses in need of such. VoIP network service is a digital technology service that makes dealing with and routing unlimited call volume easier for businesses. 

VoIP network technology is becoming progressively more reliable and attractive to businesses looking to switch from outdated and traditional analog telephone landline services.

Many VoIP service providers are even willing to guarantee reliable service uptime network connectivity in their SLAs or service level agreements.

A lot of businesses are now promising up to 99.99% VoIP network uptime SLA guarantees. To put that 99.99% uptime guarantee in context, that means that your business will have at least eight hours of annual downtime at the maximum. 

And a 99.999% uptime guarantee via SLA means that your business will only experience five minutes of downtime on an annual basis.

If that sounds great, you must remember that every professional business will verify before offering trust. If your business is looking to switch to a VoIP network, you need trusted reliability.

 

2. Verification and Trust

It’s important that you ask a potential VoIP provider the right questions when it comes to their products, services, and support.

Here are a few key questions to ask:

  • Do they have network redundancy in place? In other words, does the service provider have multiple redundant servers in place if one goes down? 
  • Can their servers handle your regular data traffic? Can they scale on demand when you need additional capacity?
  • What are the customer service and support operations like? Will they be available when you are experiencing technical issues?
  • How easily can you get in touch with customer support agents about potential VoIP issues? Do they offer 24/7 support? Is it local?

You need to ensure that a potential VoIP provider has the availability and service quality required to match your expectations.

And finally, check out customer reviews of several VoIP service providers on social media.

Know what you are getting into when it comes to reliability before your business contracts VoIP service.

 

3. Transition Process

 Two office workers consulting over data on a laptop.

The migration process, also known as the transition or switchover process, is where your business’ communication system is transitioned to a VoIP network.

Before switching to a VoIP network, find out what the totality of the transition process includes. Your business communication system to 

A VoIP transition will undoubtedly include multiple steps and technical processes. 

Make certain that you clearly understand each step in the VoIP transition process before it begins. After the VoIP transition, you don’t want to be misinformed, confused, or inconvenienced by technical issues.

After all, you don’t want to start a new business day with your new VoIP system only to slowly realize that neither you nor your staff knows how to use it or troubleshoot issues. 

Ask for a detailed list of the VoIP transition process. Many VoIP transition processes may be minimal for businesses with all digital communication systems. However, you shouldn’t take such an ideal for granted. 

Your VoIP service provider may require your business to port existing phone numbers to new devices and phones. New software may need to be installed. New phones and communication equipment may need to be installed. And existing phone numbers may need to be transferred to the new VoIP system.

Training on how to use the VoIP system should be a part of the transition process. Your new VoIP service provider should provide live or webinar training so that everyone knows how to use the system. Ask if you will get instruction manuals or online links to video tutorials.

Most critically, you should ask if the VoIP network transition process will involve any communication network downtime for your business.

 

4. Startup and Budgeting Costs

VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is analog phone calls converted into data signals transmissions sent over internet protocols. 

You can use VoIP to make phone calls over the internet in the same way you use email or visit websites.

VoIP data technology can be used with traditional analog phone systems or digital cellular systems. 

You need to understand all of this information to understand better how much money you will have to spend to transition or startup your VoIP service.

VoIP network service is inherently affordable in most business situations, especially since most businesses are transitioning to digital in the 21st century.

If your business is all digital, you don’t have to buy any new equipment, and your startup costs should be zero. Remember, VoIP is just phone calls enabled over the internet. 

To transition from a traditional analog telephone system to VoIP may involve low affordable costs. You may pay tens of dollars in fees to transition from analog to digital numbers and activation.

There may be mandatory training processes for your business to undergo so that everyone is familiar with VoIP. You may be charged for VoIP Training as well.

Monthly fees for VoIP service can range between $20 to $50 or more for small businesses. But as your business expands, these costs may change.

Talk to the VoIP service provider you are considering and ask about all startup costs. Some VoIP providers may require you to buy their phone equipment for your businesses to use, for example.

Make a list of questions and consider every possible startup cost so you can refer to your budget. 

 

5. On-Site or Online Hosted VoIP Services?

One of the most critical decisions you can make is having your VoIP service network hosted on-site or online.

There are benefits and drawbacks to either arrangement. Choosing the right VoIP hosting setup is a personal goal that depends on personal preferences and business needs.

If you have an on-site VoIP network setup, you may be required to buy additional equipment, install it, and physically maintain it yourself with support from the provider. And you will have to have areas or space dedicated to housing the VoIP hardware.

Hosting your VoIP setup on-site allows you more control over the service and study how it works. 

Choosing an online and cloud-based VoIP hosting service is very convenient. You can focus on managing your business needs while the VoIP hosting service installs, maintains, manages, and keeps your VoIP network running.

In this scenario, you don’t have to buy any VoIP-related equipment (or very little) or be responsible for maintaining it. However, you will be wholly dependent on the professionalism of the VoIP service provider to keep your business communications running.

Choose very wisely before you make such a decision.

 

6. Security

Two office workers focused on working on their computers.

Businesses are under threat from cyberattacks like malware and viruses embedded in emails, audio spam, call hijacking and tampering, phishing, denial of service, and other daily threats. 

Ask your VoIP service provider about their proactive cybersecurity protocols and encryption protocols. Ask directly how your VoIP service provider will protect your business and its data.

Contact G12 Communications today for a consultation on implementing customized cloud-based communications systems seamlessly into your business. 

Related: 9 Biggest Mistakes IT Makes When Deploying A New Phone System

 

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