5 Ways to Minimize the "Hassle" of Switching to VoIP

April 20, 2009 by Garrett Smith

Earlier today Doug Mohney wrote a piece at FierceVoIP about the resistance to migration many cable providers are facing from business customers. In the word’s of one cable company exec, “Nobody wakes up and says, ‘Today I’m going to change all the phones in my business.”

While this may be true, switching to VoIP isn’t a hassle.

At least it doesn’t have to be, since here are a number of things that businesses (and those serving them) can do to minimize the hassle of switching to VoIP.

Five ways to minimize the “hassle” of switching to VoIP

  1. Know why you’re making the switch –  Most businesses start looking into VoIP as a way to save money, but VoIP can empower much more. Knowing what you’re hoping to accomplish by switching to VoIP is an important first step. For instance, if you’re just looking to lower you’re telecommunications bill you can skip the full-system tear out and simply VoIP enable your existing phone system with a VoIP gateway and the VoIP service provider of your choice. This allows your business to take advantage of the cost savings, without having to tear out an existing system.
  2. Complete a thorough network assessment – Your business LAN and WAN function as the backbone of a VoIP deployment and as such need to be able to handle the additional burden of a VoIP system. Many a business gets half-way (or completely) through a VoIP migration only to find they need to upgrade their networking infrastructure. Avoid this hassle by ensuring your network is up-to-snuff BEFORE you make the switch.
  3. Have a plan – Failure to plan, is a plan for failure (or something like that). Whether you’re installing one VoIP phone or a thousand, have an implementation plan. This implementation plan should include time frames, steps, check-lists and a “plan B.”
  4. Hire a professional – It’s easy to think that you’re capable of deploying VoIP across your business, but not every business can pull it off. For every hundred or so businesses that do pull it off, there are thousands who simply did not have the tools to pull it off. Rather than guess at your ability to deploy VoIP, hire a professional installer, VAR or integrator to do it for you. While it will cost you a little more, you’ll save a ton of hassle.
  5. Be realistic – This is perhaps the most important way to avoid a hassle. Every business and every deployment is different, so your expectations must be kept in check. Just because Acme Waste Management deployed their VoIP system “overnight” doesn’t you’ll be able to as well. Be honest with yourself and those you’re working with on the deployment as to how much and how fast you can do things.

Know another way to minimize the hassle of switching to VoIP? Let us hear about by leaving a comment below!

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