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5 reasons to deploy an on-site telephone system - part 5

29 Nov 2014 1:19 PM -
Reason #5 - maintain IT’s strategic role

This factor is highly important in enterprise settings, where the IT organisation is large and a great deal is at stake with VoIP. Things scale down quite a bit with SMBs, but the underlying issue remains. To whatever extent you have an IT function or organisation, the transition to VoIP will have major implications.

The worst scenario would be an ongoing series of bad IT choices that have cost the business money and/ or customers, and another one would be simple surrender to the ever-increasing complexity of technology. In either case, there would be no discussion about remaining premise-based. At that point, the decision will likely be in the hands of management rather than IT, and cloud would be the path of least resistance.

Our intention is for you to see beyond this and treat VoIP as a transformational technology that will add value to the business in new ways. In this light, VoIP is a strategic move, and one that can make your role in the business more strategic as well. To do that, however, IT needs to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible, and from there manage the VoIP experience so employees can use it to maximum benefit. Without question, remaining premise-based is the best way to do this, as it provides IT with the greatest possible degree of control. Presuming you’re willing and able to take that on, this is the position you’ll be fighting for, since a cloud-based solution takes most of this control out of your hands.

Choosing to adopt VoIP is a positive step forward, and with a variety of deployment options available, you can readily move on from legacy telephony regardless of your situation. While this may provide simplistic, short-term assurance, you need to think things through to make a decision that will hold up over time. TDM service may be more expensive, but requires very few decision points along the way. In this regard, just because VoIP is less costly, don’t think that it’s easier to put in place.

Being a relatively new technology, there is inherent risk with VoIP, but much of this can be mitigated by choosing the right deployment model. The newness of VoIP implies there will be improvements over legacy telephony, but that will only occur when those risks are properly addressed. To do so, you must determine your internal capabilities and comfort level dealing with a transformational technology like VoIP. This is where the deployment model becomes so important, as it must align with your determination here.

For businesses that have confidence in these things, the premise-based deployment model will be the right choice. The same can be said even if your confidence is borderline, and management has deemed this transition too important to be handed off to a third party provider. When VoIP is viewed as being a strategic initiative, having internal control matters, and even if IT’s abilities are fair, management will support them to acquire the missing expertise to make this plan viable.

To better understand why management would want to pursue such a path, this guide has examined five factors. Any one of these could make a good case for a premise-based solution, but collectively, we believe they provide a comprehensive justification for businesses that view VoIP as being strategic rather than cost-reduction ploy for IT. This may be apparent if you’re already thinking this way, but our research suggests otherwise for most SMBs. To that end, we hope this guide helps shift that broader perception towards a higher-value view of VoIP and a deployment plan that minimises risk and disruption for your business.