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Six things to do before moving your phone system to the cloud

Help Desk Communications

By now, I’m sure you're aware of BT officially terminating your ISDN/Digital phone lines…

…The decision to switch off ISDN services and migrate all your customers to the IP network by 2025 is imminent, but what does that mean for your business and how do you make the change?

At some point during the next three to five years, ISDN customers will have to move to SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) and for most of their customers it will mean investing in a brand-new phone system to accommodate the switch.

To help you out with the process we’ve come up with a 6-point checklist that’ll get you prepared and ready for the upcoming switch!

  1. Check your Current Agreement

Before you initiate a move, it’s important to review your current contract and documentation. Check expiry dates and potential lead times required to end the agreement.

  1. Ownership

Who’s going to manage the project? Choose a leader to oversee the project and then assemble a small team with the suitable skills to complete the move. We’d suggest someone from IT for the technical knowledge and someone in Operations who will know the flow of communication around the business and in each department. The team should meet regularly and communicate to the wider business on progress.

  1. Needs Evaluation

Over the next two to three months, the core team will need to evaluate your current communications technology and identify areas that need improvement. This includes reviewing the costs associated with the current system and how it may be hindering customer service efforts.

Surveying or interviewing users in various roles, along with external audiences like partners and customers, is a great way to get a broad perspective on likes, dislikes, challenges and future desires for your new solution. Other key areas to focus on are budgetary constraints, compliance measures and scalability requirements.

  1. Research the Options

Once you’ve outlined your requirements, you can begin the process of researching cloud VoIP providers. Make sure you look at customer reviews and meet with companies face to face to establish if they are the sort of company you can work with. Make a shortlist of suppliers and take your time while considering the options.

  1. The Selection Process

The selection process can take up to three months. This time should be used to measure how well each company and solution meets your current and future needs.

Quiz each supplier about their implementation process and ask for a plan so you know exactly how long the process will take. And of course, ask for a hands-on demonstration of the system.

To make the process as smooth as possible, prepare a list of questions to ask each supplier, so when you review their proposals you are comparing like for like. Here are a couple of essential questions to give you a start:

  • Are there any other start-up costs beyond setup and equipment fees?
  • Are there any usage costs not covered by my service plan?
  • What is the contract termination policy?
  • Can I utilise any of my old analogue phones?
  • Does the system work for remote workers?
  • As we grow can I upgrade without spending a fortune?
  • Do you guarantee the quality of your service?
  1. Prepare for Launch

Once you’ve selected a provider and signed a contract, you’ll need to draft a formal implementation plan. It’s imperative to work closely with your provider and don’t leave it to them. Your job is not done until the system is working.

Keep an eye on the timings and deadlines, making sure that you communicate the roll out internally, so department heads are up to speed with the plan.

The better the communication the smoother the roll out and it’ll ensure that you hit your deadline and meet your budget!

If you’d like any help or more information about moving to the Cloud, then please call us on 0121 344 0007.