It’s always fantastic to hear about new technologies; it might even be fun to get a presentation or see them in place. But installing that new tech? Project managing the process? Well, that’s where a lot of folks throw in the towel, even when it comes to VoIP.
Luckily, there are folks who can take care of the hard part for you, regardless of your business size. There are a different set of issues here, however. For one, how do you get your team ready for the new tech?
When you’ve decided you’re getting a VoIP system and are narrowing in on a trusted vendor to help you, what do you look for?
Project Management Experience
Finding a good project manager is hard. Most folks who offer to manage a project end up being commissioned salespeople or inexperienced in other ways.
Here are a few questions to ask your potential vendor when vetting their project management team:
- What projects have they worked on recently? Are there any similar to yours? If they don’t have any jobs they can compare–even if they scope is a bit off–that’s a big warning sign. The last thing you want is major business interruptions because they forgot to loop in your Operations Manager on deployment scheduling.
- How would they like to communicate? If they throw out words you don’t know, like Scrum or Agile, make sure you ask for clarification. There are hundreds of project management styles out there, you’re not “stupid” if you don’t know them.
- Do they provide training? What do they mean if they do? There’s sometimes the assumption that new products come with training by default, but that word, “training”, doesn’t have a universal meaning nowadays. For some companies, “training” refers to a single group training session in the middle of a conference room. For others, it’s individualized attention to make sure each employee understands their new phone. Make sure you know what you’re getting.
In the same vein as Project Management is the concept of Infrastructure Planning. It may seem like a small thing at first, depending on your office size, but even the smallest business has its own complexities. For instance, take the following example:
- A small LLC, three people, with a completely mobile business model. Customer service is huge for them.
At first glance, this might seem super simple if you know a little about VoIP. The vendor might get them connected with a mobile app for their phones and call it done.
However, that doesn’t cover the most important piece: customer service. Mobile Anywhere is awesome, but truly incredible customer service might mean that they should never go to voicemail.
With that in mind, despite their size, they may need a Virtual Assistant to route calls around so that new customers always get a real person. Maybe there are a few landlines in two employees’ home offices they’d like to be part of that list. If the Project Manager asked the right questions around Infrastructure Planning, these things would’ve gotten caught. With VoIP you can do all this and, if it’s within budget and makes them look like wizards, why not help take their business to the next level? Why wouldn’t you want that level of attention in your own business?
Ultimately, a good rule of thumb is: if the potential vendor doesn’t ask about your team or offer to train them, then they’re probably not the right people.
That said, the key to a successful VoIP deployment is to partner with an experienced VoIP vendor who provides installation and thorough training services.