5 Ways to Improve Your VoIP Network

Jun 25, 2010

Nadeem Unruth manages the VoIP section at About.com. I have been reading Nadeem’s blog for over a year now, (which I would not do if the information was not valuable) and have found that his posts are written for the average business person that is not an expert in VoIP Telecommunications, but who needs information about this technology.

I would recommend that any business considering VoIP should read his latest post 5 Ways To Improve Your VoIP Network.

Nadeem lists 5 important points in his article;

1. Make sure your network can handle voice as well as data.

2. Get management tools ready before you start your service.

3. Give voice traffic priority by configuring QoS.

4. Train all of your staff.

5. Make sure your network is secure before deploying VoIP.

While all of these points are extremely important, all but Item 4 can be accomplished by your IT staff. Item 4, Train all of your staff, while this seems obvious, should be an area that small business owners should spend a lot of time on. Believe it or not, this is where many VoIP migrations run into a lot of trouble.

A VoIP phone system generally has many more features and functions than is typically found in a small business phone system. In addition, a VoIP phone system works differently than a traditional analog PBX phone system. The way calls are transferred, transferring calls to voice mail, placing calls on hold as do most of the work differently on a VoIP system and can often lead to staff frustration and anxiety, especially on those employees that are heavy phone users such as receptionists.

When a company moves to VoIP everyone is expecting this new and great system that will sound better and be easier to use. Unfortunately, like any new technology, there is a learning curve, and VoIP is no different, except that your employees are not given the chance to learn the new system in a comfortable environment. Essentially, they are thrown into this new technology in a live production environment.

From the moment the new VoIP system goes live, all of your employees must begin to use the new system, like it or not. The old familiar phone system everybody was used to is gone. Mundane tasks like transferring calls or retrieving voice mails have changed and this can be very stressful on your staff. This is also the point were resistance to the new phone system starts, especially when key employees start bad mouthing the new system, and believe me, they will.

This gets us back to the point of this blog post, “Train Your Staff” before you subject them to a new phone system, even if it is the latest and greatest (according to you anyway).

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