You’ve made the right call in choosing VoIP, but obstacles still lie ahead. That’s why we’ve outlined the traps you should avoid:
Today you’re not just buying a new phone system. You’re buying a very different, and dramatically more powerful, entity altogether.
Just look at the way you use your smartphone.
Actual phone calls now use less than 30% of the average user’s battery power. Text, messaging, email, social media, Skype (and many more) are taking the rest. And cramming it all on a single device is making our personal lives richer and more rewarding.
The same is becoming true in the business world – and we’ve hardly got started. So the last thing you can afford is some dead-end technology that won’t even be supported in two years’ time But how do you select a business accelerator rather than another technological millstone? How do you commit to a long-term partner rather than a one-deal vendor?
At babble, we’ve identified the ten most common traps you can fall into.
Read. And avoid.
10 VoIP Traps to Avoid:
1. Am I focusing on short-term requirements at the expense of long-term capabilities?
Short-term thinking is often where the project begins (and that’s OK – you need to start somewhere), but your business won’t flourish unless you also look at the long term. Ask yourself what your customers and teams will need in two years’ time and ensure there’s nothing stopping you delivering it when the time comes.
2. Am I underestimating the importance of softphones?
Some people are always going to want phones on their desks so it’s probably unreasonable to assume that you can go handset-free for all users. But for an increasing number of users it’s now all about the softphone, and to make the right purchasing decision, you need to be equally comfortable with both.
3. Am I fooling myself that every system is pretty much the same and that I can make a decision based on price?
If you were simply replacing some desk phones then perhaps price could be a deciding factor. But from our standpoint, we’re still seeing a wide difference between the long-term capabilities of different VoIP vendors.
4. Have I really thought about my business continuity plan? More importantly, what’s my vendor’s disaster recovery plan?
System failures lose businesses millions of pounds a year through lost productivity and custom. It’s essential that your vendor can guarantee a bullet-proof DR procedure to ensure the continuation of all critical inbound and outbound communications services.
5. Am I taking cybersecurity for granted?
Unless you enjoy life on the edge, ask yourself how difficult it would be for a persistent hacker to crack your potential partners’ security.
Cybercriminals are getting smarter. Don’t make their job easier.
6. Am I assuming any potential partner can design, deploy and maintain all the integrations I’ll need?
There’s no need to define your roadmap right now– and Unified Comms is evolving like the clappers – but that’s no excuse to not put your provider on the spot. Ask them what integrations are likely to be on your shopping list next year, and the year after that.
7. Am I being tempted into a one night stand instead of a marriage?
Your VoIP vendor needs to be a suitable long-term partner. But can they earn your love? Ask them how they would see your telephony growing into a full-blown UC scenario – and how they would help you make that happen.
8. Will I end up suffering from metrics myopia?
We strongly recommend that you take the time to understand the full potential of the new world of analytics before leaping at a deal. Don’t be wowed by beautiful UX and whizzy dashboards – ensure your new partner offers the metrics you need to make your organisation run better and keep customers calling.
9. Am I about to make a classic technology implementation error?
Adoption planning is just as important as functionality. So make sure any potential partner has a comprehensive programme and that it will last as long as it takes to deploy the new features successfully (i.e., months, not weeks). And remember, if you’re not measuring adoption, it’s not really happening.
10. Am I overestimating the complexity of UC – and underestimating the wins?
If your partner is in tune with your business, they’ll show you plenty of simple ways today’s telephony can improve your bottom line. For a couple of thought starters, ask your department heads what their five biggest business pain points are. If an issue comes up more than once, ask your potential partner how UC can help you solve it.