Voip & Unified Communications f Michael Roden hFebruary 06, 2013

Big Challenges to Consider When Switching Telephone Companies

So, you've decided to switch telephone companies...let me be the first to congratulate you on that move. The next step in this process is to take a step back, and ensure that the transition will be a smooth one. This involves a bit of diligence and planning to ensure that the change is not only seamless, but also free of hurdles, difficulties, and unnecessary costs. Once a new company is selected, there are a number of challenges to consider from your initial decision to the point you lift up the receiver and find comfort in a functional dial tone. This guide will instruct on some of the necessary moves to assure you'll be able to pick up and dial out with little to no issue along the way:

Number PortingOne of the most of appealing aspects in making a switch to VoIP service or from another service is you don't necessarily have to give up your number. Under the Federal Commission's 'local number portability' (LNP) rules, as long as you remain in the same geographic area, you are entitled to hold onto your existing phone number. This takes the ordeal out of listing new numbers in ads, directories, or even having your customers dial out to a non-working number or wrong location. Number porting ensures continuity, with a lot of service providers offering the movement for little cost or free to encourage you to take on a subscription with them - if there are fees, request to have them waived; service providers want your business and it's always worth the attempt. Here are a few more guidelines to follow: Downtime: If you are implementing a VoIP system that's a bit more advanced, downtime is a huge consideration. When looking at swapping out major components like switches and servers, you can be sure that there will be a blackout of sorts without some vigilance. On the other hand, weaning off your existing system until the new one is up and running will decrease/eliminate any downtime whatsoever. Installation: This is another element that will certainly require a bit of intelligent planning (pending your implementation calls for it). Here's a few pointers:

It's nearly impossible to cover the entire scope of problems that might arise when switching phone service, as Murphy's Law doesn't discriminate by any means. Nevertheless, following this guide will provide a bit of confidence as you make the change over to a more favorable service, and start seeing the savings pile up, not to mention a real boost in employee satisfaction/productivity. The best suggestion I can leave you with is to work closely with your new provider, and *gasp*, the company you might not be so fond of as well. Be diplomatic, ask questions, and keep things as orderly and transparent as possible. I'm always looking to squeeze in metaphors, and I'll slip this one in edgeways - switching phone service is much like finding a new job, without quitting your old one. Make sure the process is seamless, without downtime - a hurdle that will certainly cost not only money, but valuable time and resources. There's truly nothing to be afraid of, and deciding to make the switch is the first big step in leaving the worst behind by finding service that's best for you.

Related Articles:

What to Look for in VoIP Customer Service & Support

DOs and DON'Ts When Choosing a VoIP Provider

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