by Blake Cormier
Content Manager, E-N Computers
Are you planning to upgrade to a VoIP phone system? A new phone system can give you better performance at a much lower cost. But the switch to a new phone system does take some time and can cause some disruption to your business.
Our team has migrated dozens of businesses to new VoIP systems, so we’ve learned a few things about the process that will help you to prepare for it.
In this article, you’ll learn about the general process of a VoIP phone system upgrade. We’ll explain what steps we can take in advance, and then what will happen on the day of the migration when our technicians visit your office. This will allow you to plan for any downtime or disruptions and get up and running on your new phone system more quickly.
Preparing for a VoIP Phone System Migration
Before making the switch to a VoIP phone system, there are a few steps that need to be completed. These will usually start about two weeks beforehand and can begin once we have a signed letter of agreement (LOA) for the project.
Porting Phone Numbers
One important step in a VoIP phone system migration is the process of transferring your phone numbers to the new provider. This process is called “porting”. It takes a minimum of two weeks to port your phone numbers once the agreement is signed, and we’ll need a copy of a current phone bill showing that you own the number.
Once the transfer is worked out with our VoIP provider, we will schedule it at a time convenient for you during the workday to minimize downtime. Any toll-free numbers you have will be ported at 11:30 a.m. on the day of the port.
Ordering and Provisioning Phone Hardware
At this time, we will also order your new VoIP phones and begin provisioning them for our provider. If you’ve chosen to purchase new phones through us, we will set up the phones in advance so they’re ready to go once your numbers are ported over.
Preparing Infrastructure and Cabling
If you are making any changes or upgrades to your network infrastructure as part of your VoIP upgrade, we will want to take care of that in advance. This could include installing new network ports or drops and installing switches that support power-over-Ethernet (PoE). We’ll schedule these items so as to minimize the impact on your operations.
Upgrading Your Phone System
Once the hardware has been ordered and your phone numbers are ready to port, it’s time to get your offices moved over to the new system. How this will happen depends on whether you’ve purchased new phones or will be migrating the existing ones.
New VoIP Phone Installation
If you’ve purchased new VoIP desk phones, our team will come to your office on the scheduled day and install the phones at each location. This is mostly a plug-and-play process, though it will require a few minutes of downtime for each user who is scheduled to be upgraded. Once set up, the new phones can immediately be used to make outbound calls and will receive incoming calls once your outside numbers are ported over.
Provisioning Existing VoIP Phones
If you already use a VoIP phone model that is compatible with our cloud provider, we can re-provision your existing phones onto our service. However, this does add some complexity to the migration process. We will begin reprogramming some of your phones prior to the port time, and then take care of the rest of them soon thereafter.
Phones that are reprogrammed will be able to call out but won’t be able to receive outside calls on your external phone numbers until your phone numbers finish porting. Also, phones that are provisioned on the new system won’t be able to call extensions that haven’t been migrated yet.
Overall, we will spend one to two workdays on-site at your location configuring, installing and testing your work phones.
The Bottom Line: VoIP Phone System Migration
Overall, the process of upgrading your phone system to our cloud-based VoIP solution is fairly quick and painless. The entire process generally takes about two weeks to one month from the time the contract is signed. Any interruptions or downtime will be clearly communicated to you so that you can plan your office’s work around it.
Next Steps: Learn More about VoIP Phones for Business
Would you like to know exactly how much it would cost to upgrade your office phone system to our cloud-based VoIP phones? Be sure to read our article How Much Does a VoIP Phone System Cost? In it, we explain how much you can expect to pay for a VoIP phone system depending on the number of extensions and outside lines that you have.
And if you’d like to get a specific quote or find out more about whether our phone system is right for you, contact us today using the contact form for a free consultation.