10 Steps to Successful SIP Migration

10 Steps to Successful SIP Migration

Andy Holland

You’ve done your research and come to the inevitable conclusion that SIP offers a more flexible, reliable and cheaper communications service for your business.  If you haven’t, then take a look at why so many have migrated to SIP over the last decade; millions more are set to join them.

Choosing SIP is just the start.  Here are the 10 definitive steps to ensuring a successful SIP migration:

  • Pick the right provider for you

Not all SIP providers are created equal!   Make sure you give yours a grilling about how much experience they have with SIP migrations, what service guarantees they offer and what project management support they provide.  You need to be especially confident that they will be able to port your numbers without error, and be able to deliver this in the timescales you expect.

  • Avoid over or under-speccing your SIP solution

If you’ve picked the right provider, then listen to their advice about sizing your service appropriately .  This will be based on your peak traffic levels as well as your average traffic.  Make sure you can scale up easily and flexibly, and that you understand the cost implications for doing so.

  • Review your LAN readiness

It’s been 20 years since voice and data converged onto the same network, but some businesses that use old TDM-based legacy PBXs won’t ever have been confronted by the infrastructure required for unified communications and VoIP.  In most other cases, your local area network (LAN) will be just fine for the SIP switch already, but it’s a good opportunity to reevaluate this anyway.

  • Take the opportunity to think about communication flows

Changing any aspect of your comms infrastructure is an opportunity to review exactly how your organisation is set-up to communicate with the outside world, and for internal collaboration.  The way you operate user groups, mobile workers and how incoming calls are routed might have failed to keep pace with your changing business demands, so you are missing out if you blindly continue on this basis.  This could also affect how many SIP connections you need, and of what kind.

  • Apply disaster recovery (DR) and security controls

ISDN lines are so expensive that many businesses have missed out  on the added protection of running a backup connection for disaster recovery purposes.  That all changes with SIP, which makes it much simpler and less expensive to protect ongoing operations with disaster recovery capability.  Now that you’re fully embracing your digital future and all its benefits with SIP, make sure your firewall settings and other security controls are updated too.

  • Do you have the right phone system and handsets?

Organisations large and small continue to sweat their age-old legacy PBX assets, and with the right interfaces in place you can do exactly that in the new world of SIP connectivity.  However, that doesn’t necessarily make it a great decision, especially with the myriad benefits of next generation IP PBX systems offering a future-proof pathway toward true collaboration, higher productivity, better contact centre management and more dynamic working practices.  Get the full benefits of SIP – appropriate to the unique needs of your business – by thinking strategically about a pure IP or hybrid legacy/IP comms setup and how to achieve it.

  • Document a migration plan

Draw up and publish a migration plan so that everyone understands.  A good SIP provider will help you with this and make your switchover a breeze, but it’s still ultimately your responsibility and bosses in particular will be looking to you for information about what’s happening and how it affects them.

  • Port numbers

Part of your plan should include mapping out the phone numbers you need to port over, and to who and where they apply in your new SIP world.  Doing the preparatory work outlined in steps 3 and 5 will help ensure this is a carbon copy of your old setup unless a superior way of optimising your configuration can be found.

  • Test

Don’t miss out this all-important step to review any network, security and connectivity tweaks before you go live with your new SIP service.  Consider having some temporary numbers applied to the SIP trunk/s for testing purposes in order to be absolutely certain there will be no disruption whatsoever to incoming or outgoing communications when you do go live.

  • Go!

The beauty of SIP is that it just works, leaving you free to enjoy the money saving and productivity enhancing benefits of a more reliable, flexible and cost-effective comms service.  Comtec has pushed the ‘Go’ button for organisations in every industry sector.  Find out more about our SIP offering here.