The “Why” and “How” of Moving Communications to Hosted VoIP Phone Service
Digital transformation is changing the way business is done. Traditional methods of communication are evolving, fueling new levels of productivity, scalability, agility. For enterprises that embrace new technologies, they can deliver new customer experiences, find new areas of growth, and edge out the competition. Hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has been a talking point for a while. Today, this technology is a proven approach to solving specific challenges and delivers some distinct benefits.
The Benefits of Investing in a Hosted VoIP Migration
Businesses looking to upgrade their communications technology quickly find that a cloud communications solution offers many advantages. Take a look at some of the reasons that compel companies to switch to hosted VoIP phone service:
- Opportunities for collaboration, such as Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). Shared workspaces and a single application for all communications makes it easier to work with colleagues across regardless of their physical location.
- Scalability. Enterprises can add and delete users as their business demands. For example, companies with holiday demand or pop-up shops use this functionality to expand and contract easily.
- Reduced costs. Hosted VoIP virtually eliminates long-distance fees. There are no significant upfront investments in hardware. You also save on maintenance with no hardware replacement cycle.
- Integration. One of the benefits of hosted VoIP is the ability to integrate with other customer relationship management solutions.
- Geographical flexibility. When you remove the physical hardware from the deployment model, your employees can work from nearly any location.
- Business continuity and disaster recovery. Cloud communications are inherently redundant with geographically disparate data centers. If disaster strikes, your business can quickly regain its communications.
- Agility. You are no longer reliant on physical hardware changes. You can make decisions and changes to your system quickly without new hardware. No matter what your direction, your VoIP system will adapt to you.
Beware the Consumer Version
When considering hosted VoIP, it’s easy to focus on cost. Communication systems are expensive and often prompt an enterprise to evaluate its options. It’s important to remember that not all solutions are created equal. There is a reason consumer hosted VoIP services are extremely low cost. Consumer and business needs are typically very different.
Consumer products often lack the features that make innovation and productivity improvements possible. They offer little in the way of controls or data protection. If your business decided on a consumer-level service, you would need to consider the potential risk and associated cost of a breach. These issues can become particularly thorny, given the uptick in security regulations and corporate policy on data protection.
Enterprise-grade VoIP solutions integrate with other cloud solutions, offer enhanced productivity tools, and provide built-in security measures.
Planning a Migration
As you move away from a premises-based legacy phone service, you need a strategy for the transition. There are several factors you should include in your approach:
When planning your migration, you'll need to determine not only the capabilities and features of the new service but also the level of service and support you should expect with your new service. Be sure to ask what you can expect after implementation in terms of support. Additionally, consider if you need a partner to help you. Even if you can navigation the installation alone, consider if a third-party would help you make the right selection on hosted VoIP for your business.
Today's business VoIP services offer a lot of options. You probably have a shortlist of services your business needs, but what about the other features and functionality available? Make sure you understand all the options and which ones will add genuine value to your business. Again, an expert partner can help you here, so you aren't sifting through hosted VoIP solutions blindly.
Be sure to ask the vendors for the services you are considering about their innovation plans. There are a lot of options available, and you want a service that will support the growth of your enterprise. Try to get a sense of the vendor's willingness to offer new features, financial considerations, and whether the provider is proactive in their innovation efforts.
Cost is a significant factor in technology purchases. There is more to consider than just the initial pricing for implementation. You should be mindful of your total cost of ownership, including licensing, usage, as well as help desk, and other fees.
The right communications system can fuel a significant competitive advantage in your organization. The right technology partner can help you make the best choice based on your unique business and goals. To get started on a strategy for cloud communications, contact us. Blackpoint IT can help you determine your hosted VoIP needs and find the best solution for your enterprise with features that meet your current requirements as well as prepare you for growth in the future.