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Getting the Most from your Business VoIP Platform
Posted on: 2016-12-20 | Categories: VoIP Services
Every organization wants to maximize the value they get from any system – whether it is the communication infrastructure, enterprise software, manufacturing processes or managerial workflows. This should come as no surprise since it translates directly into better profitability. But with any new technology, there is a learning curve. You cannot just go to 100% productivity with the new tools in an instant. It will take time for users and the company to familiarize themselves with a different way of accomplishing tasks.
It is the same for hosted VoIP services. Implementing business VoIP can be pretty complex or very simple. Some solutions just need more time while others are truly set and go. Naturally, your requirements can also make a difference. A small office with 6 users will find it much easier to implement VoIP than a large corporation with offices scattered around the world. The cost of deploying VoIP will also change depending on the complexity and provider platform. So one company may face a shorter learning curve than the other depending on the individual situation.
Three Stages of VoIP Deployment
Generally speaking, an organization goes through three phases when deploying VoIP. In the beginning, you are testing and getting to know the system in a working environment. Users are still learning how to change settings, use the basic features and setting up their phones. This phase can last just a few days or take weeks as the case may be.
In the second phase, the business has had time to get used to the new system and how it works. At this point, most users are digging deeper into the service and figuring out how to adapt it to their unique requirements. The business VoIP service is no longer something ‘new,’ it becomes just another tool to get work done.
The third phase is when an enterprise is at the point where they get the maximum value from the business VoIP service. This is because they have customized and changed the system to fit their needs. They know what they want from the platform and are busy integrating it with other enterprise technologies. This is also the point where a business starts to explore unified communication systems to add on top of the VoIP service.
Getting More Value from Your VoIP Service
There are certain things you can do at every stage to make sure that you’re not wasting the potential in your VoIP system. One important aspect is to make sure that your employees have access to training materials and other helpful resources. Every vendor claims that their service is intuitive and easy to use. Only few truly are. Even apart from that fact, what is easy for one user may be unintuitive to another.
For example, an employee the sales department may have figured out how to transfer callers from day one simply because they make so many calls in a day. On the other hand, someone from accounts may need help from an online resource or a colleague to understand the same process.
Training resources come in many forms. The vendor will usually have an FAQ, manuals, user guides or even a forum or two for their customers. Some providers will offer (paid or free) support that often includes one on one help through phone, email or chat. You can even find seminars, articles and how-to guides published by third parties or consultants. This is often true for very popular services in a certain market.
Within any business VoIP platform, there will be some settings that users can change themselves and others that can only administrators can enable or disable. One thing that can quickly derail a VoIP deployment is if you leave everything on the default settings. It may work for a few tools but soon you will be inundated with requests or questions from users. Some will want changes from the default while others will be wondering why a particular feature is turned on for them when they have no use for it.
When the VoIP service is in the testing phase, you should go over all the administrative settings. Make sure that is a feature is relevant to a single group you enable it only for them and no one else, this minimizes confusion down the road. If you do this, users only have to change settings that they need and don’t have to bother with features they don’t use. It makes it easier for everyone to understand the system and get the most out of it.
As business VoIP services continue to evolve, getting the most of your system is an ongoing process. It’s not that you will reach a hypothetical point at which you can declare that you have maximized the potential from the system. Rather you will keep discovering new ways of adapting the platform VoIP to your users and their needs.