Transitioning to a VoIP business phone system from a traditional landline can be an exciting yet daunting prospect for businesses. There’s the thrill of using a new technology that promises to make business operations smoother and more efficient; at the same time, there’s also the risk of implementation, especially when a business neglects to set down the right tracks for VoIP.
Fortunately, all the surprises and challenges associated with deploying a business VoIP phone system can be avoided with proper planning. To ensure success in VoIP implementation, here are four deployment mistakes companies must avoid.
Incorrectly assessing bandwidth needs
VoIP technology delivers phone calls over the internet. Because the quality of VoIP calls depends on your internet service, it’s essential that you get a plan that offers the proper amount of bandwidth (the amount of data that can be transmitted from one point to another in a particular period of time).
Choosing an internet connection with larger bandwidth may lead to unnecessary spending. However, underestimating your bandwidth requirements may also lead to a host of problems, including slow internet speeds, poor call quality, dropped calls, and inefficient data transfer. One way to make sure that you have enough bandwidth for your needs is by looking at your company’s internet activities and calculating how much bandwidth they consume. Then, with the help of VoipReview.org’s Speed Test tool, check whether your current internet connection is VoIP-ready.
Choosing a provider without a business continuity plan
No one likes to think about what might happen to a business if there were an earthquake, flood, fire, or a simple power outage. But it pays to plan ahead and prepare for the unexpected to make sure your company weathers any disaster. Choosing a VoIP provider with a continuity plan is one of the keys to keeping your phone lines (and your business) up and running even in the most adverse conditions.
Vonage, for example, offers a Call Continuity service where calls can be routed to a specified backup number when a loss of phone connectivity has been detected. 8x8 also offers a mobile app which lets users make and receive calls (and therefore keep a business running) even if they can’t make it to the office.
Not consulting employees
Another common mistake businesses encounter when implementing VoIP is not reviewing the specific user requirements and simply settling for a one-size-fits-all approach. Remember, not all users may benefit from the same tools and features, especially in larger organizations. Some may need more advanced features, while others can do with less. It’s important to consider the needs of users within the company to get the most from your VoIP phone system.
For example, standard features (such as Call Waiting, Call Transfer and Call Screening) may be enough for one team. But a different team may need more value-added functionalities (such as Paperless Fax, Paging Group, and On Demand Call Recording). Checking in with your users and seeking direct feedback to identify what they need in a phone system is a great way to determine which features would help enhance productivity.
Disregarding VoIP security
Some companies are more concerned about cutting communication expenses, so much so that they tend to sacrifice security for cost savings. However, without proper security protocols, businesses may be susceptible to various security threats that could prove more damaging to the bottom line.
There are several measures businesses can apply to protect themselves (such as separating data traffic from voice traffic, using encryption to secure calls, and using quality firewalls) but the most important one is choosing the right VoIP service provider. Make sure that the provider you choose not only offers affordable services, but also offers safety and security on top of committed telephony and IT support. 8x8, for instance, provides solutions that complies with various security and privacy regulations.
Although adopting VoIP technology is relatively simple, there are several pitfalls businesses should avoid in order to ensure success. By knowing these common mistakes, businesses can avoid needless frustration and instead enjoy a smooth transition to VoIP.