As the country prepares for BT’s landline switch off, there are some key steps you should be taking now so you don’t fall behind. By 2025, everyone in the UK will have had to switch over to a digital phone network due to the PSTN and ISDN switch off.
Research suggests that 42 per cent of SMEs still rely on analogue phone lines to run their business communications. If you’re among those that haven’t migrated to digital voice services, it’s time to start preparing.
Here’s what you need to do to switch to a digital phone system.
Outline your wants and needs
Before you do anything else, consider how your current phone system is falling short of your expectations and not meeting your needs. This will help you to understand what to look for in a VoIP phone system.
Outline which VoIP features are essential for your business and which ones would be nice to have. Doing this will help you when it comes to selecting service providers down the line.
Assess your connection
VoIP phones rely on your data network to route calls. So it’s important to have a robust and reliable business broadband connection that can handle your new phone system. You should also account for additional bandwidth to cope with extra traffic during periods of high demand.
Without a good connection, you might experience delays or dropped calls which can affect your business.
Choose a VoIP service provider
A quick search for VoIP phone service providers will bring up countless results. Armed with your list of necessary and desired features and a good understanding of what you can get with your budget, you can start comparing vendors.
You should also assess factors like security, disaster management, customer service and technical support available from different providers - as these things will prove important further down the road when your phone system is up and running. It’s important to pick a provider that will value your business and understand your needs - micro-businesses should look for a dedicated provider who values businesses of your size rather than a larger enterprise solution that will most likely only value larger businesses.
Make the necessary arrangements
Although VoIP phone systems don’t require physical hardware beyond an internet-connected device, it’s important to ensure your employees are equipped with everything they need. Consider whether you need to invest in VoIP phones and headsets, or whether employees will be working from their laptops or mobile phones.
Check that the VoIP software is installed correctly on their devices and test it to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Be sure to port your existing phone numbers so you don’t disrupt your business by adding new ones. Your chosen vendor should be able to do this without any hassle.
Switching to a VoIP phone system might also require you to train your employees, especially those who may be unfamiliar with the technology. Make sure they know how to make and receive calls, and use any other features. Digital phone systems are typically extremely intuitive, so this shouldn’t take up too much time.
Unplug your landline phone and switch to VoIP
Although it might seem like a daunting task, switching from a legacy system to VoIP is simple.
Once you’ve made all the arrangements it’ll take no time at all to start seeing the benefits of a virtual phone system. It’s crucial to choose a service provider that’s right for your business and provides everything you need to communicate internally and externally.
bOnline provides an affordable and reliable cloud phone service for small businesses, startups or entrepreneurs. Our feature-rich VoIP phone system will take your small business communications to an enterprise-level, without the costs.