…And Move to the Cloud!
We’ve all been there. The dreaded phone call. “It’s not you, it’s me.” “I just see us going in different directions.” Or the one we all secretly hope never happens, “There is someone else.” Ending a relationship of any kind can be an uncomfortable situation. A relationship that is often overlooked is the one between a business and their phone system. A lot of businesses are stuck using dated analog or PRI lines with a legacy PBX or might be trapped in a hosted phone system contract that catfished you into what you thought was a deal, but ended up costing you considerably more than you originally agreed to. Here are some helpful tips on how to break up with your current phone system and move on to your dream communication solution.
Review your Contracts
If you are using a legacy on-premise phone system, chances are that you own the hardware, but you are probably paying for analog or PRI phone service. If you are already using a hosted VoIP phone system, you probably signed a yearly contract. Take the time to see when that service provider contract is up and if you are free to move to another provider. If you don’t, you might end up paying a fee to end the contract prematurely.
Check your Number Portability
Once you’ve determined that you are free to move to another provider (or if you really don’t care and have set aside the money to pay your way out of the contract), you will need to make sure your current numbers or DIDs are portable to your new provider. This will ensure that you can keep the same number on business cards, signs, and websites. Make sure to port your numbers over to your new phone service provider before you cancel your service. Once service is cancelled, you may not be able to recover your numbers. In a few rare cases, providers may hold onto their numbers regardless and may not release them. By doing your homework ahead of time and checking your number portability, you can get ahead of this issue rather than dealing with vendor breakup regret.
Put it in writing, as well as a phone call
Just like breaking up with someone via text message is a classless act, being vague with your vendor is very unprofessional. Most contracts require written notice 30/60/90 days in advance to cancel services. Having a paper trail by sending an email, as well as a phone call with the vendor will make the “break up” official and give you something to reference with the coming conversations.
Take time to self reflect
By now you should have an idea of what you are looking for in a new phone system based on your experience with your old one. In order to make entering into your new phone system relationship easier, it’s good to do a self evaluation and know where you stand. What is your current bandwidth and will it support a hosted environment? (By the way, we recommend 100Kbps per concurrent call if you are going hosted). Do you have the correct cabling in place everywhere a phone will be located? Do you require standard or gig phones? Do you have the resources in your office to implement a new system or will you need assistance from a local partner? Before moving on, know your technical environment and make any improvements needed before getting tied down again.
Vendor speed dating
Although in actual relationships dating before the breakup is looked down upon, with vendors it’s actually respected. While you are window shopping, ask for a demo or see if there is a free trial so you can experience the service without the commitment. This is an excellent way to evaluate vendors and see which one will check off your requirement list. Remember to keep your standards high and hold vendors accountable for what they promise. Our free trial for Switchvox even includes D60 IP phones and softphones so you can really test drive everything Switchvox has to offer.
Since your head is probably spinning and your gut is filled with dread, let’s do a quick recap. First, review your contracts to see if you are free to move to another provider and you don’t get burned with fees. Second, check your number portability and set up the porting to the new vendor before you make the switch. Once numbers are ported, then you can break up with your legacy phone system. Next, when you do “break up” with your vendor, do so in writing and over the phone so you have evidence and an established timeline. Be sure to review your existing infrastructure and make any improvements before the new phone system moves in. Lastly, don’t be afraid to see what is out there. Test drive with free trials and ask for demos to see which vendor is right for you.
There is no shame in our game! Check out our Switchvox Cloud free trial and experience a real production environment, test drive our D-Series phones plus softphones, and see what it feels like to truly have all features included. Give us a call today. Don’t worry, we won’t tell your current legacy phone system provider.