So you've finally got cloud all figured out and you've decided to make the switch. And who can blame you? A VoIP solution is flexible, it's secure, it will help you predict your expenses more accurately and it will probably lead to higher levels of productivity and team collaboration.
But before you make the big switch, make sure you're not falling into these traps...
1. Getting the connectivity all wrong
It's no good trying to run a VoIP hosted solution over a dodgy ADSL connection. If you're serious about using your communications to help your business flourish, you need to be taking full advantage of the resources you have access to. If you can use fibre, or even better a dedicated lease line (meaning it's your connection and no one else is using it), you absolutely should!
2. Holding on to old tech
As a general rule, old alarm system landlines, credit card terminals... in fact pretty much anything that isn't a desk phone or fax machine probably can't be converted to use a VoIP system. It's probably time to bring your tech into 2018 before making the switch!
3. Not doing the maths
It's absolutely essential that you calculate whether VoIP is going to be the most cost-effective solution for your business. VoIP solutions will generally set you back between £15-25 per month per user, while with an on-premise system you'll be forking out for the system outright (or on a lease) before paying for SIP trunks.
Start by knowing how many users you will need as well as how many concurrent calls your business makes. A VoIP solution may be cost effective if you don't have an awful lot of users but they're all on the phone all day. If it's the other way around and you have a lot of phones but your users don't make a lot of concurrent calls, it may be worth considering that on-premise solution
And while you're figuring all of this out, don't forget to take future growth into account! Does the system you're considering allow you to easily add new users? Is there a cost-effective solution in place if you open a new office?
Yes, it's a lot to think about - luckily the majority of good suppliers will do the hard work for you, providing full visibility of monthly costs and allowing you to scale to suit your business.
4. having no backup in place
If your connectivity dies, how is your business going to function? Well, the good news is that both VoIP and on-premise solutions offer some flexibility.
An on-premise system gives you the option to use both standard BT lines and SIP trunks at any one time, and you'll be able to switch between the two with little disruption - your staff probably won't even notice.
A VoIP system on the other hand gives you the option to automatically divert calls to mobiles. Once again, the switch is easy - but bear in mind that this switch will be a lot more noticeable to your staff!
5. choosing the wrong supplier
Don't forget that getting the lowest price isn't always the most important thing! Like in many industries, it's unfortunately all too common to come across providers who will promise the world but deliver nothing.
Before spending a penny, be confident that your chosen supplier will be able to deliver everything you need to help your business flourish - getting this wrong will hit you where it hurts!