Performing a company-wide overhaul of a phone system is a daunting task, from a financial, operations and technology perspective. And yet most companies are moving away from legacy PBXs and cumbersome desk handsets to VoIP, which offers a host of benefits at an attractive price point. For companies with more than 100 devices in use, this move is typically accomplished through a “soft migration,” enabling an incremental and less disruptive approach to change.
beroNet, a company that specializes in VoIP gateways and appliances, has published a free whitepaper on how to undertake a soft migration and the important role of VoIP gateways when making the switch away from legacy equipment. Very simply, a soft migration enables a business to run its classic PBX (News - Alert) system parallel to a new VoIP system, allowing the functionality of the new system to be fully tested in an isolated part of the company.
A soft migration is typically conducted beginning with a test phase, followed by a pilot phase and then a migration of existing accessory devices to the new VoIP system. This is followed by successive migration of all company departments, and finally by the deconstruction of the classic PBX, devices and infrastructure. Because a typical legacy phone system consists of a PBX and a variety of components, connected via ISDN or an analog connection, a VoIP gateway is an essential part of the migration process. The gateway enables the PSTN lines to connect to the new VoIP system, and will also route accessory devices like fax machines and alarm systems.
During the test and pilot phases, the VoIP gateway is placed between the phone line and the classic PBX, handling all types of traffic as the migration is underway. This includes incoming and outgoing calls to and from the classic PBX; incoming and outgoing calls to and from the new VoIP systems; calls from the VoIP system to the classic PBX; and calls from the classic PBX to the VoIP system.
The VoIP gateway is a critical piece of equipment when undertaking a soft migration from a legacy phone system to a VoIP-based solution. Enabling a slow and steady switch to the new equipment, the gateway handles the heavy lifting so the migration can be accomplished incrementally and thoroughly.
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