Enterprises that are considering migrating to a VoIP system or changing VoIP providers need to be sure to have a VoIP project implementation plan. Without a solid plan, it’s easy for mistakes to happen, which can lead to downtime and even frustrated customers in addition to lost revenue.

When you replace your regular phone system, aka PSTN or POTS, with voice over internet protocol, or VoIP, you need to develop a detailed plan to ensure that you get the call quality, scalability, and reliability you need. While internet telephony isn’t new, today, reliability has increased, in part due to improved higher bandwidth availability.  Today, a solid VoIP implementation can rival mobile phone or landline calls.

Here are just a few of the things that you need to include in your VoIP project plan.

Assess network capacity and infrastructure
As part of your VoIP implementation, you’ll likely need to increase your bandwidth capacity. To figure this out, you’ll need to get an idea of what you have today and then do some calculations on how much more you will need. This will mean working with your providers and a significant increase might even mean you need to evaluate multiple providers. Determine LAN and WAN infrastructure requirements and build any provisioning or changes into our plan.

Assess user’s requirements
Teams will have different needs. If you have a large inside sales team, contact center, or help desk, you will need to work with those teams to understand their special needs, such as usage and quality.

Understand the growth plans of these teams. Is inside sales planning on doubling in size next year? You could easily get behind without detailed information from user expectations.

Develop a project plan
Set goals and establish milestones to keep the project moving and report progress to stakeholders and your executive champions.

Establish a timeline
Once you know how you need to address your bandwidth, develop a timeline so you can coordinate with your providers as well as your internal constituents. If phones are critical to your business, you’ll want to assess timing of any downtime or potential disruption and plan accordingly. Miscues on delivery or cut overs could be costly to your business. You may want to build in some redundancy as part of your plan, either short term or long term.

Establish service levels for quality of service
Especially if your business relies heavily on communicating via phone make sure that you’ve built in quality of services, or QoS to establish prioritization of network traffic.

Address VoIP security vulnerabilities
Because VoIP routes calls through the same paths used by network and internet traffic, it is also subject to some of the same vulnerabilities and threats cyber criminals use to exploit these networks. VoIP traffic can thus be intercepted, captured or modified and is subject to attacks aimed at degrading or eliminating service. Make sure you have a solid plan in place to address any issues and be alert and train users to be aware of vulnerabilities such as caller ID spoofing.

Create a cross-functional team
One of the most critical items in building your VoIP implementation project plan is putting together the right team of cross-functional stakeholders that is backed by executive sponsorship. That requires communications and cooperation. Create infrastructure for the team with email groups and a project website.

These seven steps are just a sampling of the most critical elements in building your VoIP project implementation plan. Contact us to see how a successful VoIP migration can be part of your technology roadmap.