What you should know before migrating to VoIP
In today’s digital era, many businesses are cutting their landlines in favor of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems. Whereas traditional telecommunications systems transmit calls through telephone lines, VoIP solutions transmit calls through the internet.
If you already have a business phone system in place, that doesn’t mean you're stuck with it forever. Migrating to VoIP can be within reach, with many providers offering solutions to help ease the transition, regardless of your current telecoms technology.
In this article, we’ll explore what businesses should know before migrating to VoIP, including what that process can entail, the benefits of making the switch to IP telephony, and some of the issues to watch out for.
The process of migrating to VoIP
Migrating to VoIP depends in part on the telecoms technology and services that you already have in place. Some of the areas you’ll need to switch include:
- Telecoms contracts: If you have landline service, you’ll need to look into the cancellation policy so you can migrate to VoIP without having to pay for both services. From there, you’ll need to compare VoIP providers to see which one offers the contract that aligns with your budget and telecoms needs.
- Phone systems: If you already have phones at all the desks in your office, you’ll need to weigh how to move forward. Some companies may prefer to consider these phones a sunk cost and move to more flexible VoIP solutions like softphones, which are digital, software-enabled phones that you can use on various devices like desktops or mobile phones. Or, you may want to get adapters to convert existing phones to VoIP phones. Buying new VoIP phones that resemble traditional handsets is also an option.
- PBX: On the more technical side of things, you may need to make some changes to your private branch exchange (PBX). A PBX allows you to make internal calls within your company’s telecoms network while also connecting to the external telephone network. With VoIP, you may decide to migrate your PBX to an internet-enabled system known as an IP-PBX, or you can use what’s known as SIP trunking to configure your existing PBX to use VoIP.
Benefits of migrating to VoIP
Using VoIP instead of landlines or even cell phones can offer several benefits, including:
Since VoIP calls are transmitted via the internet, you may not have to pay a separate fee to make calls other than what you’re already paying for the internet. If you’ve ever made a voice call through a communications app on your phone, for example, you may have experienced VoIP. That said, a more robust business VoIP system will likely have some cost, but it can be less than you pay for landline service, especially for international calls.
Work from anywhere
This new era of remote work aligns perfectly with VoIP. Instead of being tied to a landline at a desk, VoIP means that employees can make calls from basically anywhere with an internet connection. By using softphones, for example, they can make calls from a business number while working from home.
Many VoIP systems also provide new features that your legacy landline system may not provide or which may be too expensive for small businesses otherwise. For example, a VoIP provider may offer a package that includes features like call forwarding and the ability to easily set up interactive voice response (IVR), i.e., the touch-tone menu that greets callers and directs them on what number to press to get to the right department.
Issues that you may face migrating to VoIP
While VoIP offers several benefits, it’s important to recognise that there can be a few issues that you’ll need to deal with along the way. A few examples include:
Depending on how you migrate to VoIP, there may be a learning curve for employees. For example, if you switch from landline handsets to softphones, employees may have to get used to making calls through the computer.
If the internet starts lagging, so too could your VoIP calls. And if the internet cuts out entirely, then you wouldn’t be able to make calls at all. When these connection issues start to happen, it also may be a bit difficult to figure out where to turn to. You may need IT support to fix an internet issue, or there may be something non-internet-related that needs specific troubleshooting through your VoIP provider.
Still, landlines and cell phones can have connection issues too, and it’s possible to receive WiFi to make VoIP calls in areas where there’s no traditional phone service.
Get Ready to Migrate to VoIP
Despite a few issues that might occur when making the switch, the positives of VoIP outweigh the negatives for many businesses, who appreciate the flexibility and cost advantages voice over IP can provide.
If you’re ready to explore your options to migrate to VoIP, Software Advisory Service can help. We're a technology consultancy using procurement best practice and data insights to save companies time and money. Our goal is to make business technology procurement simple, transparent, and cost-effective. Click the button below to book a consultation at your convenience. We won’t charge you anything, and we won’t share any of your project details without your explicit approval.
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