Can Your IT Department Handle the Switch to VoIP on Their Own? (Pt 1)

Posted on

One of the benefits of switching to VoIP telephony solution is the organizational flexibility it provides you. Now, “organizational flexibility” can mean a lot of things, especially when it comes to current generation telephony technology. Organization flexibility can refer to the fact VoIP telephony provides you with a considerably easier time changing the size and scope of your organization, increasing its scalability dramatically compared with traditional telephony solutions. Yet it also hints at the fact that VoIP can help you restructure the way your organization works, including what staff you require and what systems can be handled by outside parties. Is your IT staff ready to finally switch to VoIP?

Will You Go Hosted?

For example, the installation, troubleshooting and general day-to-day running of your phone systems can be taken care of remotely with IP telephony solutions, such as hosted PBX systems. Within these remote phone systems, you host your equipment off-site at your vendor’s location. There are multiple benefits to this solution, not the least of which is the fact you can free up resources required to run your phone system. Cloud providers emphasize this benefit when selling services to organizations making the switch.

Now, just because a phone system CAN be hosted remotely does not mean every organization is going to clear the gear out of their offices and switch to VoIP. It takes deep trust to entrust another organization with every aspect of their Unified Communications.

There are a couple of reasons why an organization may continue to host their own telephony solution on-site. It almost always relates to a sense of control (in general) and allegiance to existing staff (specifically). Neither of these impulses is wrong, but we will say a desire for control and staff allegiance aren’t necessarily right either.

In some cases, these impulses might hurt your organization a lot more than they help.

Control

There are two facets to talking about control when it comes to VoIP telephony. The first issue relates to physically owning the equipment running your organization’s telephony system. The second issue relates to the feeling of control coming from having that equipment a short walk down the hall.

Addressing the first facet of this issue, it’s true that many VoIP service providers aren’t going to sell you the equipment they use to run your telephony system, which means a lot of the time you sign up for VoIP service you’re essentially going to be renting the equipment  you utilize, or rather you’re going to be renting a fraction of that equipment.

This isn’t a problem and relates to obsolete notions of equipment, ownership and how an organization is “supposed” to work. Owning the equipment running your PBX phone system does not make it more secure and reliable. Once your on-premise system goes down – you need someone else to come and fix it. In a hosted environment someone constantly monitors, services and supports your system at all times.

Out-Dated Notions

The desire to operate on-site equipment implies the ability to control your equipment at all times. The truth, however, is that your equipment vendor, your carrier and only then your staff can assert such control. This notion is outdated and provides a false sense of security. Do you really think you’re going to handle your equipment better than a facility dedicated to running telephony technology? Can you really say there isn’t a better use of your office space than storing bulky telephony equipment? Do you really want to have all your eggs in one basket? Isn’t this a recipe for a failure of your organization’s communications if something, like a natural disaster, neutralizes your office?

Probably not.

Top