5 Steps to Make the Leap from Your Legacy Phone System to VoIP

5 Steps to Make the Leap from Your Legacy Phone System to VoIP

According to IDC forecasts, the unified communications (UC) and collaboration market is expected to grow at rate of 7.1 percent through 2023, reaching $48.3 billion. IDC research analysts point out that the decision to migrate from legacy analog, digital and TDM voice platforms to Voice over IP (VoIP) and UC solutions is long overdue. Planning for this transition should be well under way at this point.

To help organizations upgrade their phone systems, identify use cases, choose the right solution, minimize business disruption and maximize ROI, IDC published its “MarketScape: Worldwide Unified Communications and Collaboration 2019 Vendor Assessment.”

IDC recommends evaluating all deployment options, such as public and private cloud, hybrid cloud, on-premises, and managed solutions. While a cloud UC platform can reduce upfront costs, simplify deployment, and shift management and maintenance responsibilities to a third-party provider, a hybrid approach allows you to leverage existing infrastructure investments, improve scalability and maintain greater control.

You should also familiarize yourself with various service offerings and features, such as mobile applications, team collaboration and messaging tools, security and compliance, and integration with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. Modern services and features allow you to collaborate more seamlessly, which can improve productivity and drive innovation.

Verteks recommends five steps to ensure a successful migration to the right VoIP or UC solution.

Assess Your Needs. Before you choose a solution, you have to understand the scope of your phone needs. How many locations need phone service? How many employees require a desk phone, and how many require mobile access? Do you expect to add more locations, employees and/or remote workers in the next few years? Aside from individual offices, are there other areas that need phones, such as conference rooms, lobbies, break rooms or kitchens?

Assemble a Migration Team. You need a group of people who will own the process of selecting and implementing a VoIP or UC system. This group begins with the person who has final say on all decisions and the person who understands the technical side of migration. Your migration team should consult with different departments to better understand their communication needs. For example, the needs of customer service, sales and finance may be very different.

Evaluate Your Options. The number of vendors, systems, features and options make this a confusing process. Simplify it by listing your essential and unnecessary features. Features to include on your “must have” list, even if you’re not using them yet, are instant messaging and group chat, online meetings with desktop sharing, on-demand conferencing, email transcription of voicemail, and full office phone functionality on mobile devices.

Learn How Your New Phone System Will Work. What you want it to do and how it will work are two different things. It’s important to consider cabling, data requirements, Internet connectivity, broadband connections, existing contracts and other factors that will affect how your VoIP or UC system functions.

Get Your Questions Answered. Leave no stone unturned when evaluating vendors. Find out if they have expertise in your industry. Ask to see references and case studies. Learn about their implementation process, support offerings, costs and deployment options. The most reputable vendors should be able to provide this information upon request.

IDC positions Mitel as a “Leader” in the UC market for being able to address the needs of smaller organizations yet scale to 500,000 users. Mitel offers on-premises and cloud deployment options, with communications services that are tightly embedded in business processes and workflows.

As a Mitel Gold Solutions Partner, Verteks can help you understand the features and capabilities of Mitel’s solutions and manage implementation. Let us help you migrate from your legacy system and take full advantage of modern communication tools across your organization.