I know.. It’s just sounds like a daunting task… But let me assure you this isn’t as bad as you think. In this article, we will discuss:
- The benefits of moving your phone system to the cloud
- High-level process to move your existing office phone service
- What to look for when you are shopping for the best solution
With today’s technology, the flexibility and the agility of the Internet that you enjoy everyday can be applied to your old clunky phone system. So, let’s dive in what that looks like.
- Remote Working: This is a huge benefit especially with the current global event that is happening. Ability for your employees to work from home without disrupting internal and external communications is a key to success. With a cloud-based phone system, phones can be plugged in anywhere that has high-speed Internet connection. Office phones can even in the forms of an app on your laptop/computer/tablet/phone.
- Full-Featured: Although 90% of businesses don’t utilize all the features provided by most of cloud-based phone system providers, it is good to note that these features are available in your tool belt whenever you deem it beneficial for your operations. Most commonly used features in auto attendant, day/time-based call routing, follow-me/find-me, and voicemail-to-email. But, there are other features like call queues for a small “contact center” and call monitoring.
- Failover/Backup: In case your office loses power or Internet connection, your cloud-based phone system will continue to work and route the calls as needed. This gives you the peace of mind that your inbound calls are not tied to a single location’s equipment and utility.
- No more IT Callouts: Do you need changes made to your phone system? Add or remove extension for incoming and outgoing team members? No need to involved your IT person (and the added cost)! Most providers include this services for free and most of these changes can be done using a web application in your customer portal.
- Single Bill for your Phone Service: Along the same line as the one above, you will no longer have separate bills for your phone service and phone system management. This allows you to have a competitive monthly phone service charge, but receive both services at once.
Let’s say you want to move your office phone service to the cloud. What’s the process look like?
- Figure out how many phones you need: Not how many phones you have. Only count the ones you actually use, since more providers will charge you based on number extensions (or phones).
- Figure out all your phone numbers you want to keep: Again, if you have a rollover number that you never publish, you might not need to keep them. If you have a toll free number, it’s good to know roughly how many inbound minutes you do per month for more accurate quotes.
- Shop for a provider: There are many providers out there. Things you should consider are reliability and customer service. Believe it or not, the size of the company doesn’t matter when it comes to reliability. Most companies provide 99.9% uptime based on their track record. When it comes to customer service, we have found that a small companies like Telonium tend to provide better and more prompt customer service and shorter time for resolution.
- Port the numbers: Once you decided to move forward with a provider, next longest process is moving the phone numbers from current provider to the new one. Unlike cellphone numbers, this process can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks, so we recommend starting this as soon as possible. You may be able to specify a move date with some providers.
- Purchase the VoIP Phones: Here’s the one initial cost. You will need VoIP-capable phones. There are many varieties and they can be mixed and matched, so choose whatever fits your budget.
- Setup a “Caller Experience”: This is what we call it during our on-boarding process. We define your want your callers to be handled as they call in. Some businesses prefer a human to answer the calls and be transferred, and some want an auto-attendant to route the caller automatically. It is all based on your business preference and you should be able to talk to your customer service to customize your phone system.
- Plug-and-Dial: The phones purchased from Telonium (and most providers) are plug-n-dial. Meaning, the phone will work as soon as you plug in the power and Internet connection to the phones. That’s it! Pat yourself in the back for all the work you did!
As mentioned above, there are many providers out there, so it can be a bit overwhelming. Before shopping, it might be beneficial for you to come up with the idealistic solution with a new system. Phone system should help your business optimize operations and never be “in your way”. Once you define how the team members should interact with your callers, you can bounce this idea with the provider’s team to come up with the best set of features that would accommodate your vision. Telonium has a process in place to listen to customer’s need and providing the best solution for each customer, so feel free to give us a call at 404-566-8888 or email us at sales (at) telonium.com.
The cloud-based business phone system can provide you with significant benefits compared to landline based phone system. We couldn’t list every single benefit, but I hope you had a taste of what things are possible with a cloud-based system.
The above process sounds like alot. But with a help of a sales agent, the above process shouldn’t take more than 1 day or 2 to figure out. If you’d like Telonium to assist you in this process, feel free to give us a call or contact us using this form.