1. Introduction to IP telephony and the need to switch
IP telephony, also known as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), uses the internet to transmit voice calls. The technology has several benefits when compared to Analogue and ISDN lines:
- Cost-effectiveness: IP telephony solutions often prove more economical, as they eliminate the need for costly physical infrastructure and maintenance.
- Flexibility and scalability: IP telephony seamlessly integrates with existing IT infrastructure, enabling ` organisations to scale their communication systems as their needs evolve.
- Enhanced features: IP telephony offers a range of advanced features, such as video conferencing, call recording, and unified communications to streamline business operations.
2. Challenges facing those switching to IP telephony.
With the 2025 Switch Off looming, besides necessity, there are compelling advantages for migration to IP telephony, but that does not mean it will be plain sailing.
- Initial setup costs: Implementing IP telephony may require an initial investment in hardware and software. For instance, you may need to invest in cabling, switches or upgraded WiFi to better make use of softphones.
- Network reliability: Ensuring reliable internet connectivity is crucial for uninterrupted IP telephony services., However, more than 95% of the UK have access to a SoGEA or an FTTP for broadband, which will be fine for most organisations.
- Keeping your number: Number porting has always caused great concern for businesses as the number is key to keeping in touch with customers. that’s why we offer Simple Swap, meaning we can activate your new SoGEA / FTTP and move your number to an IP solution all on the same day
3. How to switch to IP telephony
Any successful migration needs a little bit of planning, here are some key considerations:
- Assess current needs: You may have a simple solution at the moment, but try to move past what you have now, and think about what would improve your business.
- Advanced Call Routing
- Remote Working
- Call Recording
- Audio Branding
- Choose a provider: Work with a company you can trust, someone who can demonstrate a proven track record and have the infrastructure to support your growing business.
- Plan and design: Work with your provider to agree a plan and timescales that match with your goals for the deployment, taking into consideration device types, application access, calling plans, hunt groups and system schedules. Make sure you have a clear definition of who is doing what, especially if you have different suppliers and contractors involved.
- Equipment procurement: Ensure you properly scope the hardware and software required such as IP phones, routers, call management software etc before deployment. This should all be tested ahead of the switch over date.
- Installation and configuration: Make sure everyone is aware of the plan and staff all know what challenges they might face, including downtime This will ensure that there are no surprises and plans can be made accordingly.
- User training and support: Ensure you enjoy the benefits of your new system, by training your staff properly. Having the documentation available for new starts and existing staff to refer back to is a good idea too.
- Testing and go-live: Conduct thorough testing to ensure everything in your system functions optimally before transitioning to live operations.
4. Benefits of switching to IP Telephony
Organisations that embrace IP telephony can reap a multitude of benefits:
- Reduced communication costs: IP telephony often leads to significant savings on communication expenses, as it eliminates line rental charges and call fees, since most packages have inclusive calling.
- Enhanced productivity: IP telephony's advanced features, such as call forwarding, call conferencing, and voicemail to email, can boost employee productivity and efficiency.
- Improved customer service: IP telephony's integration with CRM systems enables businesses to provide personalised and responsive customer service.
- Increased mobility: IP telephony empowers employees to work from anywhere with an internet connection, fostering flexibility and collaboration.
- Future-proof communication infrastructure: IP telephony lays the foundation for future advancements in communication technologies, ensuring businesses remain ahead of the curve.
The transition to IP telephony is an essential move and one that will benefit organisations seeking to streamline their communication infrastructure and leverage the power of digital technologies. By carefully considering the challenges and implementing a well-defined migration plan, businesses can effectively embrace IP telephony and pave the way for a new era of seamless communication and enhanced business operations.