You’ve decided it’s time to upgrade your legacy PBX and adopt a cloud-based, or hosted phone system. Before you go all in on a new communications model, you need to make three important considerations. Assessing these three items before moving forward will help ensure you have the best communications technology for your business.
1. Determine Your Network Bandwidth Requirements
If you are going to move to a hosted phone service, it is imperative that you understand your infrastructure’s wide area network / bandwidth availability. You need to also understand the bandwidth needed to process a call. It can range from 32K/call to 100k/call. It’s like back in school when you had story problems in math! If you have a guaranteed bandwidth connection like a T1 or Fiber circuit, the story problem just got easier. If you are processing calls over a shared technology (coax, u-verse, dsl, satellite) then the problem just went from a 4th grade story problem to a 12th grade advanced algebra problem.
If you are working with a shared technology, the bandwidth is not consistent and you need to understand what the high-water marks are for latency, packet loss, jitter, etc. Your service provider may be able to assist you in determining your WAN bandwidth needs based on current protocols and anticipated maximum call volume. However, if you have traffic that spikes throughout the day this will impact your voice qualities performance. This might take more detailed evaluation of the bandwidth to get the performance you desire. Your ultimate result should provide best-in-class Quality of Experience (QoE). Quality of Service is only available if you have a private network as opposed to working on the public internet when you are working towards QOE.
2. Determine Your Ideal Deployment Model
While we firmly believe that fully cloud-hosted solutions are the way of the future, not all businesses require it yet. Many are still in fear of moving their infrastructure (whether phones or servers) off-site. This year it is expected that at least 50% of phone purchases will be “cloud-based.” As a company, you may start with only a few cloud-based apps, like Office 365 or Sales Force Automation. However, the need for hybrid (premise-based and cloud-based) might be where you are as a company. And, for now, your best solution may be a hybrid, combining several models. Over time, your needs will change and whatever model you choose should allow for you to adapt it with the requirements of your business.
3. Determine How to Maximize Your Hardware
While cost savings for cloud deployment can be clear, you likely have already invested a tremendous amount of capital into the hardware you already own. Most companies aren’t in a position to just trash all those assets. Be smart about what you can still get more miles out of while improving your telecom systems. You may be able to repurpose your existing IP phones for use with a hosted phone solution for example.
These are complex issues with complex solutions. It is critical to your investment that you consult with an expert when making these determinations. Corporate Technologies Group has that expertise. CTG is carrier / provider agnostic; We will take care in assessing your current infrastructure and work with you to determine the ideal deployment for the future. CTG supports clients from network design to implementation, post-installation support and remediation. One phone call to make for all your technology!