A Checklist for Moving Your Phone System to the Cloud

By now, everyone has heard about the benefits of moving your phone system to the cloud. Cloud communications can save you money on hardware and installation.  Plus, hosted communications solutions are easy to scale, so they grow with your business.

But before you decide to make the switch and move your business phone system to the cloud, you need to have a plan of action.  As you plan to replace your traditional, on-site phone system with a cloud-based solution, you need to make sure that you address all of the items on the checklist below.

Determine your Internet and bandwidth needs.

Cloud-based phone systems run entirely over the Internet, which means that your Internet and bandwidth usage may increase when you make the switch.  You’ll need to discuss your new needs with your Internet service provider (ISP) to ensure that you have enough bandwidth for high quality calls.

In order for your provider to help you choose the right amount of bandwidth, you will need to know how many simultaneous calls occur during your business’s peak hours.  (This includes callers that may be placed on hold.)

You will also need to know whether you plan to use full quality audio (G711 codec) or compressed audio (G729 codec).  This information will help your ISP accurately calculate your bandwidth needs.

Identify potential data security concerns.

Although cloud communications are becoming more and more popular, many business owners are concerned about the security of their data.  This is a valid concern, and it’s one that that you should address with your cloud communications provider before you make the switch.

Most hosted business phone system providers have a number of built-in security measures in place.  It is important that both you and your employees understand how these safeguards work in order to protect your data.

Some of the most common security measures recommended or implemented by cloud communications providers include:

  • Clustered firewalls
  • Call behavior monitoring algorithms
  • Credit limits
  • Geographic call blocking
  • VPN connections

While some of these security measures are built into cloud-based phone systems, others are the customer’s responsibility.  You will need to ask your provider which items are included with your new solution, and which ones you need to implement on your own.

Ensure that you have disaster recovery options in place.

By nature, cloud-based business phone systems are more resilient to natural disasters, such as fires or floods.  Unlike traditional communications solutions, there is no on-site hardware, so you don’t have to worry about the damage caused by these events.

But, not all cloud providers offer inclusive disaster recovery services.  If you do not check with your provider before making the move to the cloud, you may find that you have to pay extra for disaster recovery features.

As you prepare to move your business phone system to the cloud, talk with your provider (or potential providers) about disaster recovery options, such as fully redundant call routing or failover provisions.  That way, you won’t have to worry about interrupted phone service.

Budget for new or updated equipment.

The main advantage of moving your business phone system to the cloud is that you do not have to worry about maintaining on-site equipment, such as a PBX (private branch exchange).  All you will need to connect with your customers is a phone or computer and a strong Internet connection.

However, you may find that your existing desk phones or computers are not compatible with your new hosted business phone system.  Be sure to take the time to budget for any essential phone equipment, such as new IP desk phones, headsets, or soft phones.

Moving Your Business Phone System to the Cloud

We hope that our tips and suggestions for moving your business phone system to the cloud will help you make a smooth transition.

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