Congratulations! You’ve just bought the last phone system you’ll ever need. Cloud PBX, also known as hosted VoIP, promises to provide you with the latest features and functionality on a subscription basis. No forklift upgrades, no management headaches – ever again. That’s a great deal. Now, that you’ve pulled the trigger, what’s next? How do you wring all the benefits from your Cloud PBX?
That depends on a few key things, including your network environment, your configuration and its degree of complexity, and, most of all, your service provider.
Let’s back up for a minute and talk about the significance of your decision to move to hosted VoIP. You’re literally changing from using a hard-wired, premises-based system to one that’s entirely in the cloud and accessed over Internet connections.
That enables your provider to give you up-to-the-minute capabilities, the flexibility to scale instantly and the ability to work anywhere. However, it also means that your provider is reliant on pieces of the network – your network, specifically — over which it has no control. And, if your network isn’t up to snuff – what we call “VoIP Ready” — that can impact the quality of the communications service delivered to your executives, employees and customers.
How you set up your Hosted VoIP system – your configuration – also can impact how well it works. The number of locations, number and types of users, number of phones/devices, call flows, add-ons like call center functionality – all of these things can impact the complexity of the deployment, how long it takes to set up and what it takes to for it to operate seamlessly.
Your service provider
Your choice of providers means the difference between a successful vs. unsuccessful deployment. Picking the right one is imperative to having a good experience with VoIP. So, how do you know which is the right one?
There are two kinds of hosted VoIP providers in the market:
1. Providers who direct you to their portal to initiate a self-installation and drop-ship the phones for you to plug in and pray it all works
2. Providers who walk beside you through the implementation and make sure that it works to your expectation
You’re probably thinking that implementing Hosted VoIP isn’t too hard. Maybe you’ve been sold on its plug-and-play simplicity. Although that’s primarily true, there are some things that need to happen to ensure an optimal outcome.
For example, if you need to configure the VLAN or optimize the service, would you know what to do?
That’s why we recommend choosing the second type of provider that offers a partnership between the hosted VoIP provider and your IT department. And, that’s why even if our clients have the expertise or simply prefer to self-install the Broadvoice b-hive, we assign them a dedicated resource to help if needed.
What to expect from your VoIP implementation
At Broadvoice, we believe the success of your implementation starts well before you’ve signed up, let alone before it’s set up. We’ve trained our internal teams and sales partners about what it takes to be VoIP Ready and how to make sure that you are, ensuring your calls, web meetings and chats work every time, all the time.
So, here’s what you should expect from a VoIP implementation:
- When we meet with you, we’re prepared to discuss your business objectives and how we can support them with anywhere, anytime communications. And, we begin building your Technology Profile, noting your needs and network environment.
- When you decide to move forward, we confirm that you and your network is ready to transition to VoIP and add those details to your Technology Profile. If you’re not ready, we can help with that, too!
- We review your VoIP Readiness again in a design call, when we discuss the lines, phones, locations, call flows, etc., that make up your configuration. All decisions are logged in your Technology Profile.
- We then test to make sure that the network is VoIP Ready and everything is working well. If not, we work with you to make adjustments. Test results and any changes are added to your Technology Profile.
- If needed, we’ll do an on-site survey of your network to make doubly sure it’s ready for VoIP before we set an installation date. Any new information is added to your Technology Profile.
- On installation day, our technicians come to your offices to ensure the phones and call flows are set up correctly. The installation workbook is then added to your Technology Profile.
- For the next 10 to 15 days, we make sure that you’re trained to use the system and it’s working as promised. Any issues and resolutions are noted in your Technology Profile.
So, what is the technology profile?
Good question. We keep that digital file up-to-date so anyone on our team knows exactly how your hosted VoIP deployment looks – from the network to the configuration to the operation. This information is key to maintaining a quality experience as your business grows and changes. What’s working well for you now may be strained if you double the number of users, as one example.
We believe this is what you should expect from a VoIP implementation. Many VoIP providers are focused on optimizing their operations and cutting costs. Few invest, as we have, in solutions architects, technical implementation specialists, service coordinators and installers who are dedicated to your account and to your success.
So, why do we do it? We do it because if you’re successful, we’re successful. And as long as you’re successful, you’ll stay with Broadvoice … and you might tell a friend.