Switching to a cloud-based phone system is a logical business move. You can work from anywhere and improve collaboration. Teams is in your Microsoft 365 suite. Adding a calling plan centralizes your workday and consolidates the number of subscriptions you have.
Yet you still haven’t made the move.
Maybe you opened the Microsoft documentation and your eyes immediately glazed (we’ve been there). Moving suddenly felt burdensome and not urgent. You could keep going with your current phone system until you figured out a better time to switch.
We’ll let you in on 4 secrets:
1. There’s no “optimal time” to move your phone system to the cloud.
2. The perceived cost of switching grows with each day that passes.
3. Migrating is only difficult if you’re trying to manage it on your own.
4. Cloud experts minimize disruption by planning your migration with you and then executing it on your behalf.
How to Painlessly Transition to a Cloud-Based Phone: 5 Steps
1. Phone a friend
You could spend hours sorting through the documentation related to finding a calling plan, importing your current phone numbers, adding users, setting up new contracts and canceling old plans.
Or you could schedule a consultation with cloud-phone experts and get quick answers to questions like:
- How does it work?
- Which cloud-based phone system is the best one?
- What will a Microsoft Teams calling plan cost?
- How long will it take to migrate?
- Are cloud-based phones the same as VoIP?
- Do all employees need a phone number? (Hint: probably not!)
- What do my employees need to do once we switch?
Talk to business- and tech-savvy cloud consultants
Sometimes a smart technology decision is a poor business move. A tool might not fit your budget or has a steep learning curve and minimal ROI. Our cloud consultants only recommend technologies that work in your business environment.
Good consultants listen to you before advising
Only you know your business, the problems and what you want to achieve. Our IT consultants will help you along the path, after they listen to you and ask insightful follow-up questions to better understand your situation.
Don’t Manage Teams on Your Own
2. Only work with certified experts
Part of asking the right questions comes from experience. Here are 2 ways to gauge if your vendor has successfully migrated other businesses to the cloud.
1. Look for proof on their website
- Delivers white-glove migrations
- Has a thorough planning process, including testing
- Delivers projects on time
- Helps clients save money through licensing
2. Check their Microsoft competencies and credentials
Microsoft competencies, credentials and awards provide a comprehensive overview of a partner’s skillset.
These require the provider to undergo training, demonstrate their abilities and often prove a track record of helping clients. Once earned, these competencies must be maintained through continuing education.
For cloud phone migrations, look for cloud and communication competencies.
Why Every Business Needs a Microsoft Gold Partner
Look for expertise in these 3 areas
- Microsoft solutions, specifically Teams
- Cloud consulting
- Microsoft Licensing
3. Control costs with a phone system appropriate for your business
Proper planning is the key to saving money in the cloud. External phone numbers are the perfect example. You may have departments that only make internal calls, or only conduct video calls. These employees don’t need external phone numbers.
Your consultant will work through scenarios with you and ensure that people don’t lose the ability to communicate just because they don’t have a phone number.
4. Get a change management plan
Switching over to Teams as your business phone solution and then only using it to make calls is a wasted opportunity. Your Microsoft 365 suite is more powerful when you use it as a centralized work hub. Few organizations tap into this benefit.
Most businesses only use 40% of what’s available in their Microsoft 365 suite
Changing to a cloud-based phone like Microsoft Teams means more ROI from something you’re already paying for, a low-cost portable phone system with full calling capabilities and dozens of app integrations. The result: More productivity, lower overhead.
5 hours are lost every week switching between apps
Not only are workers losing time switching between apps, but they’re incredibly frustrated by how inefficient it is.
In your change management plan, your consultant can help create documentation around SharePoint, OneDrive, and how to integrate your line of business apps into Teams so everything is neatly located in 1 place.
We did this when we guided Schneider Downs through their digital transformation. (Read about it here.)
5. Access ongoing support
Calling is a fraction of what you can do in Microsoft Teams and an even more minuscule portion of what’s possible in Microsoft 365. Wrapping complete care around one, or both, is the easiest way to uncover hidden features and maximize your ROI. You’ll also get unlimited remote help desk support, so no employee has their day derailed by problems technicians can quickly resolve.
Let’s Talk About Setting up Your Cloud-Based Phone System
You’ve waited long enough. Instead of endlessly searching your calendar for that magic “perfect time” to migrate, you’ll hand off the heavy lifting to your cloud partner while you get on with your day.
Further delays only hurt your company and your employees.