There's no doubting that our business phone systems have become the central nervous system of our operations. Electronic communications are what keep businesses running today, and even short outages can create huge costs from lost sales and productivity, not to mention the repair bills.
According to estimates, a single outage can often cost upwards of $5,000 per minute!
So, it's understandable that businesses looking to upgrade their telephone systems to Voice-over-IP are worried about outages and downtime during the installation process. To be truly successful, the changeover needs to occur without interrupting the work your business is doing.
The best time to install a new business telephone system is, obviously enough, when you don't have many people working. Nights, weekends, and holidays are the most common times to install new phone systems, since work and call volumes are usually quite low during those periods.
Of course, this may not be a viable option if like so many businesses today- yours runs on a 24-hour clock. Increasingly, there's simply no good time to shut down a business's phones, even for a short period.
After all, even if it's 3 AM in America, there are still people looking to buy on the other side of the world.
The good news is, there are still ways around this. It's entirely possible to install a new phone system without interruption, even if your business continues its work around the clock.
Preventing Needless Outages During A New System Upgrade
The trick here is that Voice-over-IP calls go through a totally different network from your copper wire phones, at least until they leave your building. So, there's actually very little reason to unhook your existing phone service until after the new phone system has been installed, tested, and verified.
Fundamentally, a VoIP system is part of your computer network, rather than part of the outside telephone grid. The two can co-exist side-by-side indefinitely, until you're ready to complete the changeover.
So, in these situations, we recommend businesses looking to upgrade simply proceed slowly. If necessary, you can even have two phones on your employees' desks for a short period - a copper-wire phone for outgoing calls, and a VoIP phone for internal communications.
Then, you have all the time necessary to test out and fine-tune your VoIP system before doing the final changeover. Once you're certain the VoIP telephone system is solid and reliable, it's just a matter of sending someone around to unhook all the old phones overnight.
Expert Installation Minimizes Both Problems And Timeframes
The other option for those looking to seamlessly upgrade their business telecommunications is to hire installation experts who are familiar with installing telephone upgrades without disrupting the existing system.
Services such as ADTRAN's ProStart solutions can eliminate all the uncertainty when dealing with VoIP upgrades. Professional installers are used to working odd hours, such as overnight or during holiday weekends, and they understand how to interface with your existing system administrators to smooth the transition process.
Plus, through their experience installing systems for other small and medium-sized businesses, they know how to handle conflicts and compatibility issues before they become a problem for your workers or callers.
A professional installation the best way to ensure your new VoIP telephone system is fully installed, tested, and working properly before it goes live.
A VoIP Telephone Upgrade Doesn't Need To Disrupt Business
So, if you're concerned that a phone system upgrade will cause lengthy and expensive service outages, there's really little to be worried about. By doing most of the work during times of minimal calls, and keeping the existing system in place until the VoIP system is ready, most firms can upgrade to VoIP without any significant disruption to their workflow.
Have you recently upgraded your telephone systems? Let us know in the comments below how your upgrade experience went!