Making the Move to VoIP — The Checklist

Last week I blogged about the the current conditions of the business market’s move to VoIP  — VoIPmigration. Thanks to those that contributed comments both on this blog, as well as via the discussion groups on LinkedIn. So consider this the promised "part two" to the post. Here I’ll provide some of the important things to consider as part of an IP telephony migration.

Before I get to the checklist, I’d like to refer to a comment made on my last post by a poster named "John." In the comment John advocates focusing more on business reasons than on technology. And I think he raises a valid point. Nobody is promoting taking a "ready, fire, aim" approach, but at the same time, let’s get on with it. Let’s take the right steps and get things in place. Let’s make the migration. And let’s start reaping the benefits that IP telephony provides.

Okay…to the checklist. Not an exhaustive list by any means — also not just from my head. Thanks to others who have contributed. Readers, please feel free to add to the list via the comments submission button.

VoIP Migration Checklist:

1. What is the current network capacity and is the network able to handle the additional voice traffic and provide the voice quality required (as pointed out in an earlier comment, this is a fair question to ask for both the internal network as well as the region’s infrastructure)?

2. What are your growth plans and how would those plans affect bandwidth requirements and system selection?

3. Do you want the system on premise or as a managed/hosted offering (the impacts to this include time to implement, capital budget, and ongoing system management)?

4. Do you have the ability to self-administer the system (which may create savings and improved ability to respond to user needs)?

5. Do you have a need for potential integration with other systems and back-office applications? If so, what are those and are the integrations available?

6. What telephony applications are you using today that you need to be sure are available after your system migration (unified messaging, screen pop, predictive dialing, etc.)?

7. What new telephony applications and/or functionality do you require post-IP-migration (this is most likely part of what is driving you toward an IP migration)?

8. What level of security do you require from the IP telephony system (SRTP, TLS, etc.)?

9. How do you plan to architect the deployment — centrally managed, distributed management, gateways, SIP trunks, etc.?

10. What is important to your organization in the selection of the SIP phone devices?

Okay….what is missing from the list? (BTW, my disclaimer is that I think this list could have had 100 items on it and still not hit on everything if you’re talking about a very granular checklist, but this should be a good broad start).

Already migrated to VoIP? What was important to you or what do you wish you would have done differently?

Joe Staples — Second base blog captain