The question that every customer has when getting ready to replace their old phone system is how long we will be down during the transition? The answer to that varies from customer to customer, but for most customers, the answer is you will not be down at all. Customers that are upgrading from a legacy digital phone system like a Norstar or something similar will not have to endure any downtime.
The new phone system will be completely configured and tested before going live. We accomplish this because the new phones do not share the same wiring as the old phones. They can be placed on the desks and plugged in and registered to the system alongside the old telephones. After staff training on the new system, they can set up their voicemail boxes and prepare for the cutover. At this point, we can wait for the old phones to go idle and quickly move the phone lines into the new system or we can wait and do it during off hours. In either case, there will be very little to no impact on business operations.
Customers that are already on a VOIP business phone system and are upgrading to Allworx will have slightly more downtime. In those cases, the new phones can be placed on the desks but not plugged in since the old phones are using the wiring that the new phones need to use. Still, everything can be programmed and prepped for the cutover. Since all the patch cables are already at the old phones, it makes it a quick process for our technicians to unplug the old phone and plug in the new one. So depending on the size of the office, we can usually make the switch during the lunch hour.
We prioritize the most critical phones first. For example, generally, the reception phone gets swapped out first so that person can continue handling main incoming calls. The good news is that even during the transition calls can be transferred to the appropriate extension and that extensions voicemail will answer and take a message even if the phone has not been plugged in. Calls will also transfer if the end user has not initialized the mailbox itself. If a customer requires cabling installation, then we would have that addressed ahead of time so that everything is ready on the cutover day.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your business phone system installation, please contact Patriot Communications. We will make the transition as smooth as possible with minimal impact on business operations.