How to Successfully Transition to a New Telephone System
For any business the transition to a new telephone system can be a challenging one. Your phone system is the bread and butter, the centre of your communications both internally between departments and externally with supplier and customers. Without careful planning and expert assistance from business telecom specialists you could come unstuck. Seek help and then plan carefully to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible, with all parties aware of the intent, the short-term restrictions and eventual improvements.
There are a few practices you can put in place in order to minimise the disruption of a transition to a new telephone system within your business. The process should involve the IT department, of course, but also senior management figures and those using the system on a daily basis and understand the specific needs and requirements of communication for your company.
What Your IT Department Should Do – Let’s start with the IT department, as they will be in charge of the transition in full, and understand the current network and future requirements. Your IT department will understand what type of change is happening and fully prepare for a successful transition. For instance, if you are changing to IP it is important to fully, double check whether all the hardware and services in place have the capabilities to convert. If not, there will be extra challenges down the line. Your IT department will review all connectivity on the network, including all types of cabling in advance of the changes being made. Including the review of the entire network and whether it can take the extra traffic you are planning for, this ensures there is flexibility when the transition occurs.
End-User – Your staff members will be the people using the new phone system on a daily basis, so well in advance of any transition speak to them about their current concerns, worries and ideas for the telephone systems they feel will make their lives easier, more effective and more productive. Staff members at the coalface might have problems they have been facing for a while, that seem trivial but can be easily fixed with a new telephone system. Another way to keep the team involved and improve your entire system is to offer small numbers the chance to demo potential new features. It won’t replicate exactly what you’ll be implementing but it does give a chance to see how people react to different features and where tweaks can be made to your approach.
Configuration and Training – Your new telephone system will need to have all the current voicemails, diversions and other bits of information transitioned to it. Your staff members will know exactly what is currently used and why, so keep them involved and cut the cost of future expenditure by ensuring there is no need to make changes once the new system goes live. Another way to cut future costs is to ensure that your staff are fully trained in the new system before it goes live. There is always going to be some level of confusion with a new telephone system, so do everything in your power to reduce the impact of this.
Every business is different and the needs for a telephone system indicative of this. Don’t assume that you can purchase any old telephone system as an upgrade. Speak to your telecoms specialists and they will be able to guide and advise on such issues to ensure a smooth transition to a new telephone system for your business.