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October 12, 2022
8-Step PBX to VoIP Migration Plan For Simple Transition
Written By: Vadim Kononyuk
Given its wide selection of professional telecommunications features, digital data handling and integration with multimedia and online information types, flexibility and cost-effectiveness, it’s little wonder that increasing numbers of businesses are switching from traditional premises-based telephony to Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP.
VoIP Migration Checklist
It’s a whole different technology from the on-site PBX and public switched telephone network (PSTN), and VoIP migration requires some attitude adjustment and careful planning.
- Establish Your Goals
- Set a Budget
- Set a Time-frame
- Get Your People On Board
- Choose A Provider You Can Work With
- Consider Your Existing Infrastructure
- Consider Continuity and Quality of Service
- Do a Test Run
Related: What Are The Different Types Of Phone Systems?
1. Establish Your Goals
It doesn't matter what system you use now - traditional PBX or PSTN, migration to VoIP starts with establishing your goals. Changing your business phone system is a step that needs to be taken in line with your overall business objectives, so you’ll need to make an assessment of how you expect your new VoIP phone system to impact on and improve your existing and future operations.
This existing network evaluation needs to be made across the board, so you should invite input from all departments and levels of your organization: Human Resources, IT, marketing, finance, etc.
2. Set a Budget
Take a look at your books, financial projections, and bottom line, and determine how much you’re prepared to commit to the migration to VoIP – and the kind of value you expect to receive from the transition.
Related: What Is VoIP and How Does It Work?
3. Set a Time-frame
First decide whether you’re prepared to make an all-in-one PBX to VoIP transition (which might be the case for single owner and smaller-scale enterprises), or a phased move, in stages. If it’s the latter case, you’ll need a timetable for each phase, and be prepared to adjust the time-frame in response to conditions on the ground or external factors.
4. Get Your People On Board
Acceptance and understanding of the new system will be crucial to its successful deployment, so people at all levels of your organization will have to be on board. Some of the groundwork for this will have been done at the planning assessment stage, with the call for input from various divisions, and the formation of a team consisting of representatives from across the enterprise.
Part of their responsibility should be to act as a channel for communicating knowledge about the new system and the effects of the migration to their own departments and onto the organization as a whole. This process should also take in feedback and suggestions.
5. Choose A Provider You Can Work With
A smooth transition will be more likely if your VoIP provider is one whose service offerings and working practices are in line with your own operations. If your existing telecoms carrier now offers VoIP services (and you’re happy with the way they’ve dealt with you in the past), this could be your starting point. But be prepared to shop around and do some due diligence to identify providers who may be a better fit.
The provider you choose should be able to give consultation and guidance before installation, a stress-free and efficient set-up, and always available technical support once things get running. This, in addition to all the features and capacity you actually need (without hidden charges or superfluous tools), some room to grow (easy, with online provisioning), and assurances about network availability, security, and data integrity.
6. Consider Your Existing Infrastructure
Some of your legacy hardware may still be usable — a condition which might sway you toward a phased transition. And options like Analogue Telephone Adapter or ATA peripherals may make it possible to give VoIP functionality to existing desk phones. Note that this could be a first step, as ATA technology on legacy phones won’t give you the full benefits of today’s business VoIP.
Related: What Is A VoIP Phone?
For a true migration to VoIP, you’ll need to make an IT assessment of your existing network infrastructure — particularly your connectivity and the bandwidth which will have to be shared with the new installation. Remember that you’ll now be moving data and voice traffic across one network, so you may need to add bandwidth, upgrade switches, or add gateways. A fully hosted and managed VoIP solution in the cloud may be the answer if your on-premises infrastructure is likely to prove inadequate.
Related: Hosted PBX Vs Onsite PBX. The Key Differences
7. Consider Continuity and Quality of Service
Improvements in broadband provision and the evolution of higher bandwidth mobile technologies like 4G and 5G have made voice transmission over digital channels much smoother than in the early days of VoIP, so call quality is less of a concern these days.
More critical are network availability and business continuity — without which your services won’t be accessible, your customers and users may be disappointed, and your business and reputation will suffer. So your choice of VoIP provider needs to take in their provisions for assuring business continuity and Disaster Recovery.
Related: How Hosted PBX Will Save the Day with Disaster Recovery
8. Do a Test Run
In all cases, a test migration (perhaps for a single branch office or department) will demonstrate how well or otherwise the new system works, and enable you to fine-tune configurations and features for the next stage.
What Are The Advantages Of Migrating From PBX To VoIP Phone System?
Migrating from PBX to VoIP gives your business a bunch of advantages you can enjoy.
- Flexibility. Businesses can scale up and down as the needs of the company evolve. Increasing call capacity is as simple as calling up to the provider and adding more lines.
- The remote working option is easier than ever as employees simply need to log in from any location and can make and receive calls as if they were in the office.
- Maintenance costs are also kept to a minimum with VoIP because there is extraordinarily little physical hardware required and everything is hosted digitally in the cloud.
- No installation and quick onboarding. The lack of hardware also means there is no installation required and your business can be set up quickly when onboarding a new VoIP phone system.
Get in touch with one of our VoIP experts today for more information or PBX to VoIP migration support.
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