Upgrading your telephony can be a daunting process. It is important to look at your exiting solution, and your requirements.
Here is 10 questions that you can ask yourself before upgrading your business to a VoIP phone system.
1. What are your requirements?
Of course, the most important thing in any telephone system is that it meets your business requirements. There’s no point in upgrading your telephony if your new solution won’t fit with what your business needs.
Make a list of the most important requirements to you. Maybe you need a phone in a warehouse? Or you need to be able to transfer calls between different locations? Making a list allows you to better understand what you’re looking for.
2. What is your budget?
Budget is an important factor in any business decision. We know that telephony is a must-have and often businesses set aside money specifically for their telecoms and infrastructure. Deciding on a budget is a good start when looking to upgrade to VoIP.
While VoIP phone system are typically lower in cost than their PBX alternatives, it is still important to budget correctly, and ensure that your new system is going to deliver all the features you need as close to the budget as possible.
3. How many users do you have?
VoIP uses a license-based approach to telephony. Whereas with a PBX, you would buy (or lease) thousands of pounds worth of hardware; with VoIP you only pay for the number of users you need.
This ‘licence-based’ model helps businesses keep their running costs low by reducing capital outlay and keeping ongoing costs to a minimum. Each user has their own extension of the VoIP system, with a licence associated with it.
Working out exactly how many users you’ll need is important because it will then allow you to calculate costs and get an accurate quote.
4. How many calls do you make?
With a ‘traditional’ telephone system, your business will pay for calls. However, when you move to VoIP, the majority of voice calls are free. In fact, we provide you with 5,000 free minutes per user to UK 01,02 and 03 numbers. And these minutes are pooled, so if you had 5 users, you’d have 25,000 minutes a month.
However, when you’re looking at your calls, you should take note of premium and international numbers. If you’re making hundreds of calls to Spain, then that is something to bear in mind.
5. How do staff work?
In this modern era of working, businesses often utilise a mobile or home working workforce. Making sure that these staff members are always connected is an important factor in upgrading your telephone system to VoIP.
By understanding how your staff work, you can choose the right VoIP system. Maybe 10 of your staff need mobile apps? Or you have 10 office staff that work from home 2 days a week? Every business is different and therefore it’s important to work out how your business works.
6. What broadband speed do you have?
If you’ve been researching VoIP, you’ll already know that a VoIP telephone system uses your broadband line, rather than multiple telephone lines. This means that your existing broadband connection needs to have a good speed.
We’d recommend an average download speed of 18Mbps to run a VoIP telephone system. If you already have a fibre broadband line, then you shouldn’t need to worry about broadband speeds. If you struggle with internet due to your location, there may be other options, for example 4G, leased lines or point-to-point.
7. What is your call flow?
When you think about upgrading your telephone system, you should take time to understand the call flow of your business. Find out how the calls are routed around your office and what kind of experience you would like your caller to have.
For example, when they call, you may want to provide them with an auto attendant menu, which allows the caller to choose a department to get through to. Understanding your call flow helps you build up a picture of your system and it gives you a good starting point for the implementation of VoIP.
8. What features are most important to you?
Do you need fax to email? Do you need wallboards? Or maybe you record all calls? All of these features are things to think about when you upgrade. The great thing about a VoIP telephone system is that you can add bolt-ons to your system with ease, and this makes customising to fit your requirements a cinch.
Other features you may want to take into account are mobile apps, desktop apps, CRM integration, click to dial, screen-popping, call queueing, softphones, tablet apps and more.
9. When are you looking to upgrade?
Timescales are important when upgrading telephony. In 2025, the UK’s ISDN network is set to be switched off. This means that your business needs to be VoIP-ready by then. While you still have some time, it is important to consider future-proofing your business.
That’s why a VoIP phone system is such a great option. It helps provide your business with a future-proof platform and telephone system that can scale as your business grows.
10. What is your current telephony set up?
Finally, you should think about your current set up. Ask yourself what parts of the system you like, and which parts you don’t. You can look at the call flow of your current system, the cost, the number of users and then use this information to refine your new system and find something that gives you all the best features of your current solution, and more.