One of the many benefits of having a cloud phone service is flexibility. Without the need to host your phone system IT on-site, companies can relocate and keep the phone lines active with minimal planning. The cloud has you covered, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for the transition. Here are a few important details to keep in mind when it comes to moving your business phones.
Before Moving Day: Prepare and Preempt
Confirm network connectivity and quality
Your internet quality and call quality go hand in hand when it comes to using a cloud phone service. If you’re switching to a new ISP at the new office, contact them as soon as the ink is dry on your lease. You want to be sure that the network in your new location is provisioned to your satisfaction before moving day.
Unless you are expanding the team significantly, or ramping up your calling operations, the same bandwidth requirements from your existing location should suffice for the new office. As a general guide, a typical audio call requires 100 Kbps, or a one tenth of a megabit-per-second data rate. For a high-quality video call, it could require up to 1 Mbp, or one megabit-per-second data rate. For most businesses without active call centers, you can assume that 10% of your staff will be on the phone at any given time. If you want to test your network load, use our free online internet speed test.
Add new users and phones to the directory
If you’re moving due to workforce expansion, you can save time by adding new users to the phone system before moving day. Assign extensions and voicemail boxes in advance so that as soon as the new hires show up, they’ll be in the company directory and ready to receive calls.
Download a softphone application for desktop or mobile
In case the office won’t be ready for employees immediately after moving day, it’s a good idea to have everyone download a softphone. These software-based phone apps provide all the calling features you’ll need to stay connected during the work day. This way, people can still make and receive calls while working remotely during the transition period.
OnSIP customers can take advantage of the OnSIP app in a web browser, or as native applications for Mac and Windows computers. If your team prefers using a personal smartphone, we recommend having them download Counterpath Bria and registering it with your VoIP service.
Prove plug and play ahead of time
Moving your actual IP phones should be easier than moving desk lamps. Once connected to your network and power source, the phones should automatically register with your VoIP service and behave as they did before. Check this ahead of time by taking a few devices to the new location and making test calls.
An office move is also an excellent opportunity to upgrade your phones. See our Top Business Phones Guide for some recommendations from our phone experts. If you’re an OnSIP customer, you can also benefit from our boot server to automate setup for the most popular models.
Purchase a new local phone number (optional)
If you’re relocating within the same local area, there’s no need to change your business phone number(s). However, if you’re going to another city or opening a branch in a different region, you may need to consider buying a new phone number. Most cloud phone service providers offer local numbers directly from an online portal. Simply select the appropriate area code and assign it to phones at the new location, or inquire about toll free or vanity options.
After Moving Day: Update and Evaluate
Update your E911 emergency response location
Businesses are required to provide an emergency response location so that the service provider can determine to which Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) to send 911 calls. Once you have officially moved into your new office location, make sure to update your address. This is typically done via your administrative web portal. If any employees will now start working remotely, you should similarly make sure to enter and assign their appropriate emergency response locations.
Record new phone greetings and voicemail messages
Although it may seem obvious, don’t forget to change any audio recordings on your phone menu that reference your physical location. This includes driving directions, lists of local branch addresses, and city/regional information. It’s also a good time to ask your employees to refresh their personal business voicemail greetings.
Re-examine your billing plan
Consider whether your move might call for a change in your phone service subscription model. That per-seat, unlimited-minutes model might make sense for a 10-person office of moderate call volume, but it might not for a 25-person establishment where only 15 people use desk phones frequently. Even if the other 10 require desk phones for minimal usage, the pay-per-minute model might make more sense.
When it comes to moving your cloud phone system from one office to another, there's not much to do in terms of physical equipment. However, planning ahead can save you time and ensure that the transition happens smoothly. Inform your VoIP provider of your plans so they can help with the process.