Does your IT Team Need Training in Programming VoIP Phones?

Posted on: 2017-10-31 | Categories:VoIP Services

Switching to VoIP is an attractive proposition for enterprises on multiple fronts. You get benefits that are not available with regular PSTN based systems at a fraction of the price. Even older features that have been around for some time – like voicemail – are implemented in a better manner. Organizations that upgrade to VoIP have reported lower costs, improve productivity and significant time savings with certain processes.

Another advantage of VoIP systems is that they are much easier to manage than analog PBX boxes. Although on premise SIP-based systems require hands-on management, hosted VoIP requires almost none. Any organization needs only three things to get started with VoIP – a subscription from a hosted provider, a high-speed Internet connection and hardware to make the calls. Bigger organizations will have more things to manage but these are the essentials you need in the beginning. Is it any wonder that adoption of hosted VoIP is growing at a furious pace each year?

What Your IT Team Needs to Know

Enterprises are familiar with the configuration, setup and maintenance that PBX systems require. With the switch to VoIP, you no longer need telephony experts or an entire department to manage the phones. VoIP brings voice over to the data network, the same one handling all other types of media (text, documents, video, pictures etc.) Now your IT team is in charge of the phones as well. So what training should you give them to get started?

The important thing to remember with cloud based VoIP is that the hosted vendor will take care of the maintenance and management. You don’t have to worry about upgrading hardware or purchasing software licenses. There is no equipment for you to maintain and repair either. However there are still some aspects of the phone system that your IT team has to manage. This includes setting up the phones, configuring QoS settings, troubleshooting problems with the Internet or network equipment etc.

Initial Set up with VoIP Phones

VoIP technology is flexible which means you can use different types of hardware and software to make calls. Your employees can download mobile apps to make business calls (using the office number) even from their personal phones. Soft phone applications give the same ability to desktops and laptops, both in and out of the office. Of course you can also purchase and install SIP compatible phones on every desk.

The IP desk phones have to be configured to work with the hosted VoIP plan. Depending on the size of the organization, this can be quite a tedious task. Imagine if you had a thousand employees and you need to setup the VoIP phones for everyone within the organization!

Auto Provisioning

Auto provisioning is a great feature available on most VoIP systems. It removes the need for manual configuration by your IT team. No one has to go around setting up each and every phone that you need in the office. The exact process differs between vendors but the general workflow is the same. As long as the hardware you purchase is compatible with your service provider’s network, auto provisioning will work.

Auto provisioning means that you use a software-based method to deploy your phones. The whole process is automated and quick. Once the VoIP phone is plugged into the network, it immediately contacts a server which has the necessary configuration settings. Your IT team does not have to manually deploy each physical device within the building.

There are other advantages to auto provisioning as well. You can use it to deploy certain features on particular phones only. For instance, you might want the customer service department to have access to advanced call management features like call routing and ACD queues. But other employees certainly don’t need them. Auto provisioning can make sure that all phones in a particular department get specific features without manual intervention.

However auto provisioning is not a silver bullet that can solve all potential problems. There are many things that can go wrong – poor audio quality, missed connections, dropped calls, malfunctioning equipment and the list goes on. So even with a hosted service, it is beneficial to have professionals with IP telephony expertise on hand.

The basic process of making a call does not change much with IP phones. However some of your employees may need guidance on how to setup and use the advanced features now available to them. Most reputable vendors have guides, manuals and online workshops to help users. While these are all great resources, you should also consider a few training sessions to familiarize everyone with the system.

So there you have it. Your IT team probably doesn’t need training in programming VoIP phones, a step that auto provisioning simplifies greatly. But investing in a few training sessions and workshops can help everyone through the transition to another technology.