Five Important Steps to Avoid Problems with IP Phone System Installation

0 Comments 14 January 2015

Your small business is unique. Your next IP Phone System will need to accommodate all of the unique nuances of how your employees, customers and vendors interact as well as the unique business processes that set you apart from your competitors.

When properly designed, configured and installed, an IP phone system will increase efficiency, provide greater mobility and make work easier. On the other hand, if not enough time and attention is focused on the effort up-front, you may experience considerable pain after installation. The issues you may experience can range from minor annoyances to major disruptions. For example while a missing of incorrectly configured feature button is frustrating, an improperly configured call queue can cause customer complaints to flood in and sales to be lost.

Here are five important steps to avoid negative impacts to your business in the days after your IP phone system is installed:

 

  1. Validate Fitness for Purpose.
    For many small businesses, a Hosted PBX will offer significant cost savings and operational benefits than other IP Phone Systems. That said, a Hosted PBX has strengths and weaknesses as compared to an on-premise system, and you should understand those to be sure the system you choose is the right fit before making a purchase decision.

     

  2. Prepare Your Network.
    IP Phone systems usually operate on the same network as your computers, servers, and printers. Problems with them can cause significant quality issues with your phone calls, so it’s important to conduct a VoIP Readiness Assessment, and address any issues it uncovers before you install your new system. Little things like slow web browsing and delayed print jobs are minor inconveniences for your team, but the underlying problems that cause them are big problems for VoIP.

     

  3. Get a Well Defined Scope of Work.
    Too many businesses skip this vital step. A scope of work clarifies what work your vendor will do in support of the installation. It also clarifies what work you must take on in order to obtain a satisfactory result. This includes working with your IT department to complete upgrades identified in the readiness assessment and any other data gathering or other leg work you need to provide.

    Some important things to consider in creating this document include how installation will be handled, how employees will be trained on the new IP phone system, and how adjustments after installation will be handled. Beware of scope documents that don’t spell out what you need to do, because like all managed service engagements, your cooperation is essential for a successful phone system installation.

     

  4. Assign Project Managers.
    Any vendor worth working with will have a dedicated project manager who is your go-to person for all aspects of installation. While this person may or may not be on-site for your install, they know all of the details of your installation and are able to help you with any adjustments that need to be made. You should also assign your own project manager who is responsible for keeping the project on track from your end. They’ll be responsible for collecting employee requirements and feedback and passing it on to your vendor.

     

  5. Communicate at Every Phase.
    One reason it’s so important to have dedicated project managers is to facilitate regular communication before, during, and after the installation or your IP phone system. No matter how much planning you do, you’re bound to find some requirements that were overlooked, and issues may crop-up as a result. If you have open communication with your vendor throughout the process, these issues will be dealt with faster – before they become a big problem for your operation.

 

Trevor Jones is Director of Marketing and Product Development for GWI, a provider of Hosted PBX, broadband and managed services in Northern New England. He is and editor and writer for the GWI blog.

Originally posted 2013-09-06 10:21:07.

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