According to Upwork, 42% of the American workforce remains working remotely due to COVID-19. Because employees can work-from-anywhere and have proven that they can be productive, a hybrid or remote work model is bound to be the new normal. In fact, 93% of employees surveyed by Global Workplace Analytics would like to keep working remotely at least part of the time, and 70% of managers reported the same or better results from their employees working remotely.
With a shift to work-from-home and the extensive use of collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, what does this mean for your existing on-premises phone system? Your on-prem phone system may not meet your organization’s needs when working remotely, so take advantage of your collaboration platform and migrate your phone system. Keep reading for our top 5 steps to migrate your organizations phone system to Microsoft Teams.
1. Take Inventory of your Existing Phone System
To migrate successfully to Microsoft Teams, you will need to document and understand the state of your phone system, specifically:
- Who does your phone system serve and what role does it play to support your small to medium business? Is it an important communication tool for all parts of your organization?
- What are your ongoing expenses to operate the system, are there maintenance contracts that support the system and are you still in support agreements?
- Do you have a documented call routing from your existing system? Do you have an idea of what you would like to change or upgrade within your routing?
Most cloud systems today have direct dial in numbers for all employees in your organization. These systems can support “delegate calls” to offload communications to assistants or “team calls” to direct calls to a group to answer.
2. Determine Important Features
What features do you have or would like to have for your organization? Prior to choosing a UCaaS provider it is crucial to determine what features are the most important for your organization. While each organization has different needs, here are a few common features that you may want to consider having when migrating your phone system.
Auto Attendant Systems
Auto Attendant Systems have improved dramatically in the last few years, which often means receptionists are optional. Take a look at your resources allocated to answering calls and consider shifting these resources to higher value activities. Today’s auto attendants or call attendant software can be managed from a wireless device in real time.
Voicemail to Email Transcript
Voicemail to email transcript feature is an essential communication service today, particularly since only two large email technologies run in SMBs: Google and Microsoft. Make sure that all employees can not only have voice mail sent to their email account, but also receive a call transcription.
Mobile Phone Pairing
Mobile phone pairing is an essential element of any modern phone service but particularly valuable in any remote-working environment. By pairing a mobile phone device with the employee’s work phone number, you provide high accessibility to resources, while retaining privacy for all employees.
3. Ensure a Strong Network
Installing a UCaaS provider, like Microsoft Teams, may increase the utilization of your organizations internet circuit. Because of this it is crucial to ensure your organizations network is strong by testing and validating your internets bandwidth to determine any constraints. Below are 4 key areas to check your network.
Local Area Network Infrastructure
A high-performance Local Area Network, or LAN, is essential to any IP based phone system. If you are uncertain of your network’s performance and strength, an IT service firm can run an audit for you. Audits can be done quickly and can provide specific areas of the network prone to congestion that can impact your phone system.
Modern Firewalls today filter traffic to block malware, viruses, and other types of malicious activity that can penetrate older firewalls. Firewalls also operate as network routers, which direct traffic, and require high levels of processing power in order to not act as a choke point.
High Speed Redundant Internet
High Speed Internet Connectivity is essential for out of office communications and there are many options available. Even if you are in a rural area, there are internet service specifically made for long range that can support your SMB. Today’s SD-WAN software is built into most modern firewalls which supports load sharing of two or more interconnections to increase performance.
The main expense in older phone systems are the landlines that they are connected to. Today’s modern cloud phone systems are connected via high-speed internet connections, with SIP trunks connected to Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN) carriers. Review your current phone lines, and verify if they are analog or digital, to replace them with SIP channels. SIP channel PSTN service is half the price of legacy phone lines and offer much more flexibility to add or delete channels.
4. Review your Organization's Device Requirements
Many organizations don’t require the same number of handsets due to an increasing reliance on headsets, mobile phone apps, and device options. Make sure to ask your UCaaS provider if the devices your organization currently has will be able to easily sync with the phone system. For a free and fast quote on devices and to ensure devices will easily sync with Microsoft Teams or any UCaaS provider contact Datalink Networks today.
5. Plan in Advanced
Plan enough time in your UCaaS project schedule to address a variety of topics such as call routing and network or device issues prior to releasing the new phone system in your SMB. This process takes around 6 months from start to finish so make sure to give yourself plenty of time to evaluate all of your Cloud Phone System options and address all key stakeholders.
Interested in migrating to a Microsoft Teams Phone System?