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How vital is VoIP training for users during a migration?

When migrating to VoIP training must extend beyond the IT department. End users will need training on features such as voicemail and conference calls to avoid migration setbacks.

For any organization migrating to VoIP, employee training is critical to generate good end-user adoption and satisfaction...

as you want users to take advantage of the hardware and software benefits.

The organization should conduct VoIP training for both the administrators of the system and the end users. For users, the training should look to boost their comfort level with the new technology. Neglecting end-user VoIP training could result in unhappy users who might report every problem to IT and dilute help desk resources with repetitive questions.

Since a company is making an investment in this technology for the benefit of the business, the organization needs to assure that users can use all the necessary aspects of the system. For instance, if end users can make calls, but can't conference, transfer calls or check voicemail, the users will consider migrating to VoIP to be a failure.

The risk is simply not worth the small savings of skipping VoIP training.

From an IT administration standpoint, VoIP training is critical and should be included with the installation as knowledge transfer. An incorrect configuration of an IP system could not work at all or be open to a variety of security vulnerabilities.

Any administrator would be frustrated if left to "sort things out" without the knowledge of what is going on with the system. The risk is simply not worth the small savings of skipping VoIP training.

In an IP world, configuration settings include quality of service (QoS), end-user environments, functionality access, a demilitarized zone (DMZ) and firewall settings -- and a myriad of other things that simply can't be guessed. Of course, depending on IT's level of knowledge of IP, it may be best to outsource the more difficult tasks. Arrange for simple user management training that could be easily accomplished with the right network settings.

Do you have a question for Carrie Higbie or any of our other experts? Ask your enterprise-specific questions today! (All questions are treated anonymously.)

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This was last published in December 2015

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If you migrated or are currently migrating to VoIP, what kind of training have you offered employees?
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We recently migrated to a VoiP. As for the training we were sent a PDF doc. There may be some training but for now it's tough to find our way around even the simple things.
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As a VoIP reseller, I have seen many different scenarios with end user training after a migration. Almost without exception, the happiest customers are the ones who opt for more training, rather than less. For large organizations, a combination of train-the-trainer and readily available documentation and/or videos works well. For small companies, it is possible to just get everyone in a room and show them. 
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The training of the IT administrators is critical especially as many of them are not telecom specialists and have more to do than simply learn a new “language”, they have to learn the needs relating to a completely different speciality. I remember speaking with a telecom specialist that had been let go by the university where he had worked for many years as they were moving to VoIP and decided it was an opportunity to merge departments and remove responsibility for telecoms to the IT Department. The guy I was speaking with a year later landed on his feet but the migration to VoIP for the University had not gotten past the teething pains of a new technology.
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