If your business is still running traditional copper wire-based landlines, it might be time to think about changing that. While many businesses now find it normal to use cloud-based tools for everything from spreadsheets to CRM software, many are still reliant on their old phone systems.
There are lots of benefits when you switch to the cloud, but you may be unsure how to make the transition. Here’s a guide to what you need to know.
Benefits of Cloud Telephony
First of all, it’s important to know why you would want to move to the cloud in the first place. There are several benefits of VoIP systems, with some of the most important being:
- Savings – VoIP allows you to make cheaper calls as well as extra savings in terms of maintenance.
- Flexibility – You are no longer restricted to using your phone system from one physical situation, providing advantages for flexible and remote working (which is particularly useful in times of COVID-19).
- Easier to relocate – When you relocate, you can start using your phones as normal from day one.
How to Transition to Cloud Telephony
It may seem like a huge task to make the switch from your old system to a cloud-based system. But it’s actually quite easy to make the transition to the cloud – as long as you go about it properly.
Here are the most important steps to follow to make the process simpler for you and your employees.
A bit of planning can make the whole process of transitioning to a cloud telephony system much easier for everyone. There are a few important steps to take for effective planning, and it’s a good idea to start as soon as possible.
Start by understanding how your employees currently deal with common tasks like routing calls and voicemail. List the most important features of your current system, and when you have a better idea about your setup, you will know more about what you need from your new system.
Arrange Number Porting
One of the most important parts of the transition process is to plan for porting the numbers. You will need to port all your business phone numbers to your new platform, but this process should not cause any disruption.
First, you will need to know the numbers that you are currently using and where they point. Once you know this, you will need to port the numbers to the new system.
However, the call routing will need to continue functioning before you switch, which could take a few weeks. One simple solution is to use temporary numbers.
By setting up your old numbers to forward to these new temporary numbers, you can get your new system up and running in the background. Then when you are ready to make the switch, you can simply arrange the number porting at the same time.
When the numbers finally port, they will simply switch to the Private Branch Exchange (PBX) in the cloud, and forwarding to the temporary numbers will be removed. This is designed to work seamlessly so no one will even notice.
Check Bandwidth Requirements
You’ll already know that a good WiFi connection is essential for running your business. But you will also need to make sure that you have enough bandwidth to handle all the VoIP calls you will make, otherwise call quality will be reduced.
Before you switch to a cloud telephony system, test your readiness for the new system by testing bandwidth capacity and quality. You may need to update your network infrastructure to make it ready.
This involves planning how many calls you will need. But remember that you may need to run other services on the connection, which impacts the bandwidth available. As a result, it’s best to allocate a certain amount for voice calls.
Buy New Equipment
You may need to invest in some equipment to start using your new phone system. This will normally involve buying new telephones, and you may also need a new network device to provide better voice quality.
When to Make the Switch?
The best time to switch to cloud telephony is right now. With all the benefits on offer, and with the process of transitioning being so quick and simple, there is no time like the present.
If you are planning to relocate in the next few years, there is no need to wait until you move to switch to cloud telephony. In fact, by making the transition now, when you do finally move, you can simply take everything with you.
All you have to do is move your physical phones to your new office, and you can continue to use them as normal, helping to reduce disruption when you move.
Invest in Training
One final recommendation is to set aside some time for training your employees because you will want them to find the switch as easy as possible.
Fortunately, they shouldn’t have much difficulty because modern cloud systems are simple and intuitive. However, there will be a small learning curve, so organise a few training sessions to help them to get familiar with the new features that they will be using on a daily basis like transferring calls.
Start Planning Your Move to the Cloud
It’s easier than you may think to transition to cloud telephony in your organisation – and with all the benefits on offer, it makes a lot of sense. But you will need help from an expert, and that’s where we come in.
At Rainbow, we can assist you with all your telephone system requirements, including helping you plan your new VoIP system and installing it for you. We even provide the option of ongoing maintenance if required.
That way, no matter what your business’s size or industry, we can help you get your system up and running as soon as possible, so you can start taking advantage of all the benefits provided by cloud telephony.