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Hosted Voice: Are You Ready?
So here is the good news. You are a small to medium sized business (SMB), and you have correctly decided that now is the time to move your organization’s communications off of its aging legacy PBX (News - Alert) or Key system from TDM to an IP-based solution. In fact, after careful evaluation you have also decided that a hosted solution meets your needs. It gives you the flexibility you need to grow, has built-in redundancy, will cut costs on a variety of fronts, including increasing productivity, and is future-proof in terms of allowing your company to adapt to whatever may happen with changing technology.
In short, you are ready for the web-centric, converging world. Bring on the social networking, bring your own device (BYOD), mobility integration and unified communications challenges. You are ready to leverage them for sustainable competitive advantage. Or are you?
No need to worry, preparation can decrease perspiration
First, congratulations. You have chosen wisely. However, as the popular saying states, “The devil is in the details.” Reality is that if you are going to maximize the benefits of your hosted solution, making sure you are totally ready for an easy cutover (i.e., there are no surprises) is essential. Preparation is key. Asking the right questions is essential.
Consider the following short list of things you need to address with your hosted solution vendor(s):
- Endpoints: Have you chosen the best hardware to meet your needs?
- What can/should you keep?
- What, when, where, why should you upgrade?
- Network readiness: Do you have the necessary hardware in place?
- Cable infrastructure: Do you have the copper/fiber to handle the necessary bandwidth required for quality voice?
- Bandwidth: Do you have enough?
- Power: Have you taken the needed steps to have redundancy/to have a backup solution?
- Security: Is your network secure yet flexible enough to “allow” for toll quality voice calls?
On the non-technology, but equally as important, side there are additional items to which you should get answers. These would include such things as:
- Does your provider have E-911 support in place?
- Does your provider adhere to the tax laws?
Asking the right questions —”Know before you go!”
There is every reason for your move to a hosted solution to meet and hopefully exceed expectations. Becoming thoroughly educated on what to expect out of the experience is the best way to ensure this will be the case. An information-packed webinar, “BE PREPARED when you launch your new Hosted Voice Solution (5 critical steps to make PRIOR to launching a hosted solution),” scheduled for January 24, 2012 at 2:00 PM EST is a great place to find out what questions to ask and get answers to your specific issues regarding your move to hosted voice.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO East 2012, taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO, click here.
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Peter Bernstein is a technology industry veteran, having worked in multiple capacities with several of the industry's biggest and best known brands, and has served on the Advisory Boards of 15 technology startups. To read more of Peter's work, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell