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Project Management Essentials for Hosted VoIP Deployment

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Proven Guidelines to Strengthen Your Transition Process

 

In our last post, we talked about the importance of providing transparency when it comes to your on-premise equipment. Today, we’re going to discuss why a strong project management process can ensure a successful transition from your old system to the new one.

 

There are various aspects to project management – carrier-related, application-related, CPE- and cabling-related – and how each one is addressed depends upon your hosted VoIP, bandwidth and overall Unified Communication (UC) needs.

 

The project management process can be broken down into three levels:

  1. Carrier-level, circuits, and porting
  2. Number, DID and IP phone configuration
  3. On-site equipment management

Carrier-level, Circuits, and Porting

Timelines dictate the entire scope of a project, and in almost every case that comes down to circuits. These range from your cable connection, which is quick, to fiber and fiber build outs, which have the potential to take upwards of six months to install. That’s why during your initial sales and budgetary discussions it’s important to gain a clear understanding of how long will it take for proper circuits to be installed. A good project manager can expertly guide you down the path of transition from one type of circuit to another, based on their knowledge of how long it takes carriers to place and install an order.

 

Another item to discuss with your project manager is how the porting of numbers occurs, and how long it will take. This means moving numbers from the current carrier to your new hosted voice provider, which will then be the new legal owner of the numbers.

 

Number, DID and IP Phone Configuration

The hosted dial tone or UFC provider’s management and configuration of phone numbers, DID’s and IP phones are also key to the transition. While not a long process traditionally, things like custom configurations – auto attendants and hunt groups – can affect the timing. Depending upon how complex a particular company’s needs are, and how effective the project manager is, this can be done anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks,

 

On-site Equipment Management

It’s also helpful to have someone at the customer site that can project manage from that end. An internal advocate is key to managing expectations of how the new hosted system is going to work, versus what they’ve been used to with an on-premise system.

 

In addition, they also play a significant role in ensuring that the hosted vendor is aware of all the wiring and equipment the company has prior to installation. While commonly a stressful time for new customers due to the huge change that’s about to take place, like most vendors out there, iCore’s number one goal is to make it as stress-free a process as possible. To do that, a lot of things that need to be installed are pre-configured. For example, an IP phone will grab its configuration off of the service, or cloud, and it’s good to go. But if your new provider is told the phones are IP and they’re really not, it will cause unplanned delays and unnecessary headaches.

 

Resolving issues on the fly and being able to catch potential problems before install comes from years of project management experience. That’s why selecting the right vendor – with a solid project manager – greatly impacts the overall success of your installation.

 

The flow chart visual below summarizes the Vonage Business project management process.

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To learn more, please read the full whitepaper here, or contact us at marketing@icore.com.

 

In our next blog post, we’ll talk about how to minimize the disruption of service to employees.

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