VoIP Integration 101

The Sparknotes for updating your company phone system.

Goodbye, traditional phone systems!

At least that’s what many businesses are saying. A key part of the digital transformation process is bringing as many systems as possible into a centralized location.

This is where VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol, to us nerds) comes into play — it’s using internet connections to make and receive calls. Due to the flexibility of VoIP, you can use any device of your choice (including cell phones or computers).

This made it very attractive when pandemic hit. Businesses were forced to accelerate technical roadmaps, pivoting dramatically to keep functioning remotely. As a result, digital transformation saw a new trend: VoIP integrations. In fact, Web Tribunal reported growth over 25% in the last 2 years, and will increase over 10% by 2025.

This growth was largely made possible by the benefits of VoIP for all industries. Additionally, call centers and other companies with needs like multitasking or the ability to queue calls thrived with these systems. It also made communication much easier for remote workers and distributed teams. Most importantly, they make financial sense: most companies reported savings of 30-50% over traditional phone systems.

Some examples of VoIP software include:

  • RingCentral
  • Five9
  • TenFold
  • Nextiva
  • Vonage
  • Grasshopper

Out-of-the box, these platforms are highly secure and user-friendly. Furthermore, they integrate with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technologies, like Salesforce or ZenDesk. Since many businesses already use these technologies, VoIP software’s customizability allows seamless merging into processes already in place.  

So, how do you transition from a traditional phone system to a VoIP system? Here’s what you need to have prepared internally to get started:

  • A basic list of must-have features, benefits, and budget;
  • A cross-functional technical team that can customize the VoIP system and integrate it with your CRM;
  • An internal business team that can provide insight into current processes, define new features, and participate in the development process by regularly testing progress.

Now that you have a team defined and a solid list of features, the real work begins. Over the course of 8-12 months, expect a VoIP project lifecycle to look something like this:

  • Outlining and documenting the current process;
  • Choosing a VoIP vendor that meets the requirements discovered through process documentation;
  • Ensuring that employees have access to the right kind of hardware (like a stable internet connection, computer, and phone);
  • Customizing the system with automations, permissions, and 3rd party integrations;
  • Mapping and migrating any data from the previous system to the new one;
  • Training the team so they know how to continue to do their job when the systems switch over;
  • Launching the system and making continuous improvements that increase efficiency or introduce new features. 

Transitioning to VoIP can be a daunting process — the to-do list is long, the technology and terminology are confusing, providers often seem to have the same or similar features, and different users communicate their needs or approach the system in very different ways. However, the benefits that a modern phone system has for users and customers trumps any apparent roadblock along the way.

Our developers at BRIO know many of these systems and are experienced in the details of integrating them. Our experts in innovation provide an unbiased explanations for the best fit for your needs and how to implement it.

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