According to Nick Applegarth, managing director of Envox EMEA, too many organisations let their IT departments select new VoIP infrastructure single-handedly. In many cases the resulting system can’t do what the business needs it to and the long term benefits of migrating to IP are lost.
“Fired up by the prospect of dramatic IT cost savings from replacing traditional telephony infrastructure with IP communication standards, companies tend to defer all responsibility for their selection to the IT department.
Instead they should involve contact centre managers and business process owners in the decision. Without their input, the future requirements of the new system and the real functional benefits of VoIP – which are potentially far greater than the cost savings – are frequently not considered.
Setting up a cross-functional team at the outset that includes all the business functions that are actually going to use the system – as well as the IT department – is absolutely essential to reap the potentially enormous rewards of VoIP. If you don’t work out in detail all the current and future requirements of your voice infrastructure, you could end up in a very expensive dead end. There are all too many babies going the way of the bathwater just because people within companies aren’t having these conversations early enough.
In the worst cases, companies end up saddled with VoIP systems that do not even support the basic functions provided by the traditional PBX they may replace, such as call hold, conferencing, music on hold, etc. They also may not be able to support speech enabled applications or take advantage of the various voice codecs currently in use.
Good VoIP systems that are future-proofed enable companies to do things like create virtual contact centres to reduce overheads and increase efficiency, and improve customer service through intelligent and efficient call-routing. These are the kinds of applications to look for when selecting your new architecture. The fact that so many organisations are now switching their infrastructure to IP makes this an urgent issue.”