Making the jump to a Cloud-hosted PABX makes sense for many businesses - the reduction in onsite equipment, forklift upgrades, dedicated Telco lines, and limitations on where and how you answer calls are some of the top reasons we hear regularly.
Unfortunately, there's no free lunch. While the above reasons are well-addressed, the following challenges must be carefully considered to ensure a successful migration process.
Businesses often switch to Cloud-hosted PABX to reduce costs and eliminate limitations on where and how they answer calls. However, before making the switch, businesses must consider six challenges to overcome.
The Top 6 Considerations for a Smooth PABX Migration
1. Appropriate Internet Connectivity
Available bandwidth - if you’re not on NBN, DO NOT! For an organisation with over ten handsets or heavy phone usage, ensure you use an NBN Enterprise Ethernet connection - ideally with a Service Level Agreement from the ISP on connectivity performance (especially jitter).
Remember, your Internet connection is vital for reliable phone service. Unreliable service means an unreliable phone. If that's the case, consider changing your connectivity (such as switching to an NBN connection), setting up a backup connection, or delaying the migration.
2. Network Firewall Capability & Configuration
Generally, any network firewall will require some form of change to facilitate the connection of multiple VoIP handsets to the Cloud provider. Sometimes, this will need disabling features like the SIP Application Layer Gateway or enabling specific ports and IP Address ranges to support the connections. In some cases, a firewall upgrade will be required to provide sufficient processing capacity to ensure that phone calls are not dropped or audio distorted.
3. LAN Port and Power Capacity
Each handset to be installed will require a network switch port - in some cases, these can be shared with existing wired connections, but this should not be assumed! Most VoIP handsets support the supply of power from an ethernet switch. However, not all ethernet switches provide such support, and in such cases, additional power supplies (and power points!) will be required for each handset. Where Power Over Ethernet (POE) support is available on the installed switches, care must be taken to ensure that the switch capacity is not exceeded.
4. Outlet Locations
Connection from the switch port to the VoIP handset requires available cabling - ideally, this will already be in place. However, it pays to check and document EVERY handset location and ensure that cabling is available and in working order before handset deployment.
5. WiFi Coverage
If portable handsets are being deployed, WiFi coverage, signal strength, and Quality of Service settings must be tailored for the particular handset solution - design and deployment of WiFi for Voice (VoWiFi) is a highly specialised area as many variables can negatively impact call performance. One should only jump into this area with assessment tools, knowledge, and experience!
6. Call Flow, Overflow, and Zombie Forwards
You MUST have documentation of your call flow, even if the current system can't generate it. All used features should be checked to ensure understanding of the flows and destinations. Most importantly, you must know what happens when a call is forwarded to another location on a different PABX. Let's avoid "zombie" calls lost in another office!
Unlock Success with Microsolve’s Expertise
Microsolve has extensive experience in the process of solution design as well as deployment and integration planning. With significant emphasis placed on gaining an in-depth understanding of current on-premise infrastructure (cabling, switches, routers, wifi, and firewalls), Internet link capabilities, and integrations to other systems (e.g., security, fire or nurse call alerting) to ensure that any infrastructure changes are known up-front and can be considered in the overall cost-benefit analysis of a cloud-based voice solution.
Our investigations cover cable outlet placement, switch port availability, POE capacity and headroom, LAN prioritisation, VLAN allocation for traffic segregation, routing and firewall configurations for cyber security, performance, and ongoing maintenance.
Ideally, a cloud-based VoIP solution should NOT require forklift upgrades to other systems. However, we will identify and communicate this BEFORE you sign up if needed!
Microsolve: Delivering cutting-edge IT solutions that revolutionise industries and propel businesses forward with advanced technologies, transforming how organisations operate, interact, and thrive in the digital landscape.