Telephone System and Communications Requirements Plan
Here is a sample of some of the issues you will face in your Telecommunications planning – their is a lot more and many hours of detailed work on cutsheets and move planning to make it a successful cutover. Here are just a few of the services we provide when managing a project for our clients.
Let s look at an upcoming move is an opportunity to review your voice and data communications systems for performance, effectiveness, and user satisfaction. Beginning 8 to 12 months prior to the move will provide ample time to complete the major elements of effective communications planning. These elements are:
- Conduct a thorough requirements analysis, assessing user and overall company voice and data needs. Be sure to factor in future requirements for growth or increased functionality; these will have an impact on the systems you choose.
- Begin designing upgraded or new systems that meet present and future requirements. Develop a preliminary design that can be used for budgeting and for submission to vendors for pricing.
- Develop a communications budget that addresses new system purchases or upgrades. Include cable and infrastructure costs, complete installation, user training, vendor support, and warranties.
- Have an engineer design the infrastructure and cable plant required to support the systems in the new location. Plan to install spare cables and jacks at each workstation for future use. Going back to add cable later is much more expensive.
- Select vendors and systems through a formal proposal evaluation process or preferred selection method. Ensure that all bids are apples to apples – based on the same criteria, and that vendor prices include equivalent services. Services may include coordination of telephone and data lines with telephone company, help desk on first day of system operation, customized attendant and system administration training, telephone support, and on-site technicians during first day of system use.
- Develop an implementation schedule that allows for vendors to finalize the system design, and deliver and install the systems. Include slack time, especially if you will implement new voice or data services that you do not use currently. Having time to test hardware and software with new services is essential. The vendors should also provide detailed implementation schedules that show client and vendor responsibilities and time frames.
- Hire or assign a project manager for the communications systems implementation. The successful installation of the systems and training of users requires a significant time commitment from the buyer. You will have to make sure that the selected vendors understand your business goals as they relate to communications and how you expect to use the selected systems to increase productivity and meet those goals.
In short, they have to learn your business to make the system effective. This requires spending time with the vendor to customize how the system will work for your organization.
Many companies do not dedicate enough time to communications planning, especially in the case of telephone systems. Spending time to learn about the technologies and how they relate to your business goals will help ensure that you are happy with the finished product and that it serves your company well for many years.
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