Launching a new phone system for your organization is not a simple project and while there is no way to ensure no problems will arise, there are several ways to improve the likelihood of success. With over 30 years of experience, Matrix Networks has learned a thing or two about business telephone deployments. Here are 5 tips for a successful new phone system launch and 5 mistakes to avoid during the process:
5 Tips for a New Phone System Deployment
1) Know when your dial tone contract is set to expire. Too often businesses owners and administrators are unaware of their contractual obligations regarding dial tone. New voice solutions often require new strategies that may involve a different carrier service package, knowing in advance when your contracts are set to expire can help save time on both sides of the equation.
2) Prepare a wish list in advance. Think through what it is you want your telephony system to do. Imagine a perfect communication ecosystem what functions you would like your new system to do to enhance productivity and streamline business processes. Think function not feature.
3) Get agreement from your team. Include your co-workers in the process of defining the criteria for a successful project. Interview key personnel in each department and establish the unique challenges they face, then include those most invested in the decision making process as much as possible.
4) Budget and time frame. Let's not put the cart before the horse. Knowing your time line for implementation and what budget you are working with is critical to achieving your goal. If you know this information before your first meeting you are sure to advance the process.
5) Be candid. Think of your new communication partner as a potential extension of your IT team and make sure that knowledge is shared early so that challenges don't arise down the road.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Launching a New Phone System
1) Paralysis from analysis. Don't get lost in the minutia. After establishing a clear wish list and requirements focus on achieving these goals and do not let the mountains of information cause you to confusion.
2) Choose a partner whose core competency is telephony. You wouldn't work with a dentist to get a Colonoscopy would you? Too many companies offer expertise in solutions they are not experts in. And who suffers? You do.
3) Choose a partner that can present you multiple offerings. When working with a vendor it helps if they have experience with several platforms and delivery models (cloud, on-premises, and Hybrid) solutions. This minimizes the risk of being presented a "force fed system" simply because they don't have any other options. Phone systems are NOT one size fits all.
4) Invest in a strong network. Today's IP systems are only as reliable as your network. Make sure the internal network has Layer 2+ switches and PoE for internal QoS and reliability. If you are using your wide area network for SIP trunking or a Cloud voice solution, you need to also consider your internet connectivity and SD-WAN technology to ensure a quality experience.
5) Be realistic. As you develop your wish list and requirements communicate with your preferred vendor about your thoughts and gain an understanding of the cost and complexity associated. This allows you to set realistic expectations about desired additional features balanced with what you are willing to pay for, ensuring you don't blow out your budget and waste everyone's time.
Author: Ryan Graven