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Implementing a VoIP-based Network: A Guide

Let’s get started with VoIP

Begin with a plan

In order to successfully implement a VoIP-based network, first we need a plan that addresses your needs. We want to provide you with a phone system that works well for your organization—meeting if not exceeding your requirements. So, we need to know how you want the system to operate within your business.

Which tasks will you be using the network for? This is critical for determining the overall design of your network. If the network will be supporting a call center, voice quality will be a top concern. Alternatively, if the network’s main purpose is to connect multiple offices, then bandwidth and expense reduction may be more important.

With our experience in helping other businesses make the transition to VoIP, we can help you to decide whether you should replace your current system completely or use some of your existing hardware to create a hybrid VoIP and PSTN system.

create a plan

Here’s what we will need to do in order to create a plan:

  1. Learn about your business’ objectives.
  2. Determine the company’s needs and expectations.
  3. Design, create, and test a VoIP solution that meets your needs.
  4. Teach users within your business how they can best use the service.

Key considerations

What are the network objectives?

Think about what you want VoIP technology to do for your company. Are there particular features that you require, such as video conferencing? Consider also features that are not supported by your current system that could be advantageous to your business operations. Are there are any changes within your organization that are prompting the shift to VoIP, such as employees moving to a new office?

The state of your current network should also be considered. Why are you switching to VoIP at this particular time? Is there a carrier contract about to expire, or does the network infrastructure require an upgrade? Is the infrastructure currently outdated?

Right now, what is the environment pertaining to voice and data operations?

To determine how the new network should be configured, it’s important to know what the current network is doing now. Take into account the existing loading factors on LAN and WAN segments, as well as the bandwidth requirements of any new applications you will be using. What are the current call patterns like during busy periods? How do you anticipate growing in the near future?

How much do you value Quality of Service (QoS) relative to cost?

While it is tempting to use cost as the primary determinant of how much bandwidth to purchase, this may not work well for your customers and employees. Alternatively, you can start with a QoS objective for the test network, and determine how much bandwidth needs to be purchased to meet the objective.

How many phones need to be replaced?

Take into account all phones that will need to be replaced, including those that are rarely used.

What is your current Internet connection capability?

For our VoIP solution, it’s necessary to have a Broadband connection. As a general rule, each IP phone uses about 86 kb of Internet bandwidth per simultaneous call. This means that a system with a 1.5 M upload/download T-1 connection can support up to 18 calls at the same time. In general, we recommend that you purchase more bandwidth than you expect to need, to account for overhead and traffic costs.

Studies show that on average, about 25% of a company’s workforce will be on the phone at any given time.

How many phone numbers do you have right now, and how many do you need?

With a traditional phone network, a unique phone line is required for every simultaneous call. This isn’t the case for a VoIP network. You need only have enough bandwidth to accommodate all of your calls, rather than a unique number or line for every phone.

When using an Auto-Attendant, it is possible to have one direct dial number, while all users are assigned an extension. Users will be able to make and receive calls as they like. You can choose which number is associated with each phone.

What does the schedule require?

Decide on major events in the schedule pertaining to your network transition. This includes dates that major equipment will be installed. Everyone should agree on these points.

When will the new system be tested?

Testing is a critical component of setting up a new network. With testing, we can verify that the changes all work on a small group of stations before implementing changes on a larger scale. Therefore, we should plan for testing. The installation and cut-over schedule may need to modified depending on test results.

Implementation: What You Need to Know

This guide will help you to understand the processes necessary for setting up and implementing a VoIP system. The guide also includes guidelines for resolving problems that may come up, escalation procedures, and the duties designated to departments. We want to provide you with the best customer service experience, and for you to understand every step of the process as we deliver your system to you.

Our Team

Implementing your new network requires collaboration between you (the client), the sales representative, and the service delivery team.

The Client (You)

You or one of your telecom representatives will provide your service requirements to Xinix, as well as information about the system that you already have in place. Once the service contract is finalized, you will have the opportunity to participate in a pre-planning call with your VoIP Provisioning Specialist. The purpose of this call is to ensure that everyone is aware of your service expectations, order specifications, and targeted delivery date. You will also be able to ask questions of our Service Delivery Team.

Here’s what you’ll be expected to do during the call:

  • Provide contact information for status updates.
  • Complete any required paperwork.
  • Discuss the interface demarcation point agreed upon by Xinix World and the equipment or network that you, the customer, provide.
  • Decide preferences for network assessment, if necessary.
  • Identify training needs (if any)

Sales

The sales team also plays an important role in the process. For customers, sales representatives are your first point of contact with us. Accordingly, the sales team is responsible for providing a service proposal, including a quote for price. The contract will be finalized with the sales team. Here’s what the sales team will be doing:

  • Meeting with the customer early in the sales process
  • Helping customer complete pre-sales questionnaire
  • Discover what services the customer needs
  • Handle contract agreements
  • Provide pricing information
  • Complete and submit all required paperwork with customer

VoIP Provisioning Specialist

Every customer is assigned a VoIP Provisioning Specialist to ensure that you receive the VoIP services that meet your needs. The Specialist confirms that all contracted services are delivered. During the implementation process, the Specialist acts as the customer’s primary contact. These are the VoIP Provisioning Specialist’s main responsibilities:

  • Approve VoIP paperwork
  • Act as customer’s primary point of contact during the process of implementing VoIP system
  • Ensure that any necessary training is provided

Major Accounts Representative (MAR)

For customers with large service needs, we provide high-level customer service agents to help coordinate many different lines and services. For issues relevant to billing, account maintenance, servicing, and general supports, you should contact your Major Accounts Representatives. This representative will coordinate with other department to provide you with comprehensive customer service.

If your Major Accounts Representative is not available at a given time, the Major Account Team can serve your needs.

Your Major Accounts Representative will provide you with tracking data both during and after the conversion process. For any issues that arise after the initial set-up, you can contact your representative for further assistance.

Procedures for Reporting Problems

While your VoIP system is being implemented, the VoIP Provisioning Specialist will be available to provide assistance during standard business hours.

The Customer Service Department is accessible 24 hours a day and seven days a week. You can reach the Department at [+44 03300 882 227]. A customer service representative will open a ticket. Depending on the nature of the problem, the ticket may be passed on to the Resolutions department. The Resolutions department handles tier 1 and tier 2 problems. If unable to resolve the problem, Resolutions will contact the appropriate carrier.

Please read all e-mails and documents we send to you. Make sure that they accurately reflect the services and conditions that we have agreed upon. If you have any questions or concerns at any point, please contact us. We want to ensure that your VoIP system is operating just as you requested.

 

A Step-by-Step Guide to the Implementation Process:

Managers shaking hands over business plans

  1. Pre-order planning call: As soon as the client’s credit is approved, a representative from Xinix will schedule a pre-order planning call, as previously described. During this call, Xinix and the client will jointly agree on the services to be provided and explain the implementation process.
  1. If deemed necessary, the VoIP Provisioning Specialist will arrange for a site survey and advise the client on equipment orders. When appropriate, the VoIP Provisioning Specialist will coordinate facilitation with the Network Operations Center.
  1. VoIP Provisioning Specialist will send out notifications through e-mail explaining the status of all orders in progress. The VoIP Provisioning Specialist will keep the customer updated throughout the implementation process.
  1. The VoIP Provisioning Specialist will oversee the order of circuit transport and schedule the service activation of the loop.
  1. As soon as a Firm Order Confirmation (FOC) for the loop is received, the VoIP Provisioning Specialist will notify the customer’s current service provider (if applicable) Local Number Portability (LNP) orders. This will enable the service provider to begin the number port process. Also at this time, the VoIP Provisioning Specialist obtains IP address and DNS information. Customer will receive information about FOC and scheduled date of circuit delivery.
  1. VoIP Provisioning Specialist sends customer documents regarding CPE, VoIP services, features, and user administration.
  1. The VoIP Provisioning Specialist will make arrangements for the equipment to be delivered to the appropriate location.
  1. Specialist will inform customer, NOC, and customer’s vendor of the loop delivery and test date.
  1. If necessary, NOC will use test phone numbers to establish continuity and perform a test with provided equipment. In the even that Xinix does not provide equipment, the NOC will test demarcation point of hand-off to the customer’s equipment. The VoIP Provisioning Specialist will arrange the test and turn on the loop with carrier provider.
  1. In collaboration with the customer and customer’s vendor, the VoIP Provisioning Specialist will arrange an activation date. If necessary, the specialist will coordinate the number port with the current service provider. Once the due date is confirmed, VoIP Specialist will inform customer or customer’s vendor. Customer will receive information on profile, user IDs, and passwords for login.
  1. On a pre-arranged cutover date, VoIP service and telephone numbers will be activated. All necessary testing will take place, conducted by the VoIP Provisioning Specialist. For customers who selected a hosted solution, a Xinix technician or vendor partner may be on-site during this process. When the customer or vendor confirms that the service is working as intended, the VoIP Provisioning Specialist will update order system. At this time, the first billing cycle begins.
  1. In the event that additional training is required for staff, the VoIP Provisioning Specialist will facilitate this.
  1. Once service is officially activated, customer will receive notification. This notice will include a link to a customer survey. We appreciate your time in filling it out so that we can provide great service to all Xinix customers.

 

Your support doesn’t end here.

At Xinix, we understand that your business—and your phone system—is dynamic and ever-changing. We will be there to support you when you need to make a change or add additional features to your system.

Additionally, you will have the ability to control your VoIP system features from a web portal. We will teach you how you can do this, and how to best use your phone system’s features.

Any complete implementation plan should include a plan about how to communicate changes to employees. Employees will be made aware of the new features available, tips for using the new system, and where they can go to receive additional training. Your employees shouldn’t be scared of the change, but rather excited at all of the new possibilities.

Xinix expects that the implementation process will be simple, efficient, and pain-free. We will guide you through every step to make it so.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is VoIP and how does it work?

VoIP, or Voice-over IP, is a new telecommunications method. Instead of using a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), like a traditional phone system, VoIP technology digitizes voice input and transmits it as a digital file through an Internet connection. Each telephone uses its own IP address.

Can my business benefit from VoIP technology?

Yes. Whether your business is large or small, VoIP technology provides several benefits. In the long run, using VoIP for telecommunications is less expensive. Users also enjoy advanced telephony options and better audio quality than is possible through a PSTN. Legal services, travel agencies, and real estate offices are just some examples of businesses that can benefit from VoIP.

What services does Xinix provide?

We provide services that enable local, long-distance and Dedicated Internet connections, as your needs require.

What are the benefits of using VoIP?

There are many benefits to VoIP technology. Here are some of the benefits you can look forward to:

Create a network that suits your business

  • Physical limitations don’t affect your communications
  • Employees in remote branches can be connected to the network
  • Move without disrupting your network
  • Many offices can be connected to the same network

Provide your employees with a great user experience

  • All employees can access company directory
  • Call handling is prioritized
  • A unified voice mailbox simplifies business operations
  • Manage your preferences from a personal web portal

Save money on telecommunications

  • Free “on-net” calling removes charges for long-distance phone calls
  • Built-in disaster recovery features available
  • Low service calls
  • Costs to upgrade system will be minimal
  • Not necessary to have full-time employee to manage phone system
  • Fully customisable
  • Can be scaled up or down to meet your business needs
  • Each user can adjust settings via web-based portal
  • Costs are predictable from month-to-month
  • Simplifies process of integrating new employees
  • Enables work from office, home, or mobile while still using the network

Why should I subscribe to Xinix’s hosted service?

Our service allows small and medium-sized companies the opportunity to use VoIP technology without a huge investment in infrastructure and Internet service.  Xinix offers all of the business telephony features necessary for a PBX system, with a simple user interface. Thanks to on-net calling between different offices and bundled services that can be separately purchased, this service saves businesses money in the long term.

What does XInix’s service actually do?

Xinix provides a fully hosted VoIP service, eliminating the need for a location-based phone system. Your business will still have your own network with all of your phone numbers, but at a lower cost and with less maintenance. All phone services are delivered via an Internet connection, and services can be customised to meet your needs.

What are the system’s fail-over capabilities?

The system has been tested for reliability: services are available 99.999% of the time. In the case of a failure, customer data remains stored in the cloud.

How is voice quality affected by the number of users on the system, or users transferring large amounts of data?

When we work with you to set up the system, we evaluate how much bandwidth you require and evaluate the quality of your LAN connection. This means that the system will be set up to handle your needs, regardless of how many people are using the system at any given time.

Which phones will I need to use your services? Do I need to buy new phones?

The service works with analog phones as well as with Polycom IP phones. All phones that we, Xinix, sell are certified to work with our network. We recommend that you use phones from only one manufacturer per location, as this makes the system easier to integrate.

Will the network be secure?

Yes. Hosted communications servers are fully secured. Only authorized users can access the servers.

I have a firewall. How will the service work with that?

There are multiple options for integrating your firewall into your services. VoIP services operate outside of the firewall, and can use a Network Access Translation Device (NAT). The device acts as a gatekeeper and will only allow calls from certain IP numbers through the firewall.

If a single component fails, how will this impact service?

The system is designed to minimize the impact of failures. Any calls that are “up” will remain so in the event of a failure. And thanks to extensive network monitoring, local failures (with a phone or LAN, for example) will have minimal impact.

What about my 800 service?

If you have an 800 service, you will be able to keep or convert it.

Implementing a VoIP-based Network: A Guide
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