You are about to choose your new phone system supplier, before you choose you need to be aware of the installation and service you will receive before deciding. This is vital, making a mistake will cause disruption to you business and lose you money.
This guide to planning the perfect telephone system installation was originally written for engineering staff. We wanted to embed the Wavenet standard in all our technical staff as we grew our company, today our success in the UK telephone system market is underpinned by 3 simple steps for all installations - expectation, preparation and delivery.
Sales to Engineering Handover Meeting
It is important for the Customer and the Project Engineer deploying the phone system solution to firstly understand exactly what has been ordered in terms of hardware and software. The sales representative should have explained this to the customer in order to have reached this stage! Therefore the natural first internal stage of the project is for the sales rep to have handed over the solution sold, to the installation engineer, this part of the process is known as the handover meeting.
In the handover meeting between the Sales rep and the Project Engineer, Wavenet's Communication’s policy is to schedule a meeting prior to installation and scheduling to discuss the following:
- Customer Contact details
- Telecoms Proposal in Full with customer expectations
- Detailed Equipment Itemisation
- Survey Requirements
- Existing Infrastructure
- Expected Time Scales
- Involvement of 3rd Parties e.g. BT
- Other project dependencies
- End User Training
At Wavenet it is vital that the Project Information Documentation (PID) is started as soon as the sale has been made, therefore it is the duty of the sales person to complete the Project Information Document in order for the internal handover meeting to be carried out.
Documenting the project is essential; modern phone system solutions are no more complicated than a traditional PBX phone systems installations, however, all projects no matter what size involves customer expectations to be met in full. Its a fact that business telephone system customers only ever use on average 10% of the phone system features, its Wavenet’s job and that of the Project Engineer that we beat this statistic and the customer receives value for money.
Project Manager vs Project Engineer
Depending on the size of the telephone system installation you may or may not be appointed a Project Manager. If the installation is deemed rather straight-forward and the time estimated for the project is less than 3 days you would normally not require a Project Manager and therefore would not incur the extra costs involved in employing this level of management for the installation.
Project Manager Responsibilities:
- Project Meetings
- Liaising with 3rd party vendors
- Equipment Pre-Checks
- Scheduling of Engineers
- Organising End User Training
- Project Handover (end of installation project)
- 30 Day Follow up
Your Wavenet sales representative will normally advise you of this and if a Project Manager is required then this appointed person will be you main point of contact throughout the installation project.
Project Engineers are normally the lead engineers on a new telephone system installation if a Project Manager is not required. A Project Engineer has skills very similar to the Project Manager however normally are more hands-on and can complete most small installations (under 30 extensions) by themselves with very little assistance.
This is not limited to just installation, actually a project engineer will often provide basic user training, administrator training and application support for integrated software solutions.
Project Engineer Responsibilities:
- Equipment Pre-Checks
- Programming Discussions
- Installation of Equipment
- Carrying out programming and configuration
- Basic User Training
- Administrator Training (if ordered)
- Project Handover (end of installation project)
Customer Contact details
It is important that the lead engineer carrying out the phone system installation understands his key contacts on site. Most installations require full contact details for the following:
- Main Decision Maker
- I.T Person / Company
- Line Provider e.g. BT / Wavenet
- Internet Supplier
- Other influencers
Telecoms Proposal in Full with customer expectations
Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to repeat yourself over and over again? It’s appreciated that to get to the installation stage of your new phone system purchase that you have more than likely have repeated your requirements with more than one supplier already just to narrow down the decision making and get the best company in for the job.
Our job is to minimise the repetition and therefore we ensure all project engineers and managers understand fully your expectations before arriving on site. How do we do this? In short, your project engineer or manager must have read the proposal fully, technically qualified the equipment ordered and understood the commercial use of all parts on the order.
In addition to reading all documentation by this stage of pre-planning the internal handover meeting has taken place and therefore your requirements are documented and echoed by the sales rep that has sold the solution.
Detailed Equipment Itemisation
Before a Wavenet engineer arrives on site he must understand each line item on the phone system order. We are your new supplier, it’s our first opportunity to re-enforce the decision to choose Wavenet as your new telephone system supplier!
Telephone system equipment is technical, we use lots of jargon and acronyms to make us look good! However, the job of your project engineer is to relay this in plain English and deliver on what we have sold. At Wavenet our promise is that you will receive greater understanding of your telephone system and its configuration than you would if you chose one of our competitors.
This means no more jargon, we want you in ultimate control of your own equipment so you feel like you have received value for money and you understand the technology you have purchased.
90% of all Wavenet telephone system installations are surveyed by your Project Engineer or Project Manager prior to installation of the phone system equipment. However, don’t be offended if this doesn’t happen! Most of our Sales representatives have been in the industry long enough to have a sufficient understanding of your site requirements and if your are moving into a straight forward office environment chances are the installation will be straight forward also.
Cabling – Our Telecom engineers will always check your cabling, you must have cabling in order to support telephones on desks therefore this is an essential part of the survey. If you have CAT5e cabling or similar then most installations are very straight forward, especially if you have chosen an IP telephony solution like Mitel or Avaya.
LAN / WANS – If you have chosen an IP telephony solution we often survey the site in advance of installation and test/document how your network infrastructure is setup. This normally involves meeting the I.T person responsible for the following equipment:
- Network Switches
- Router / Firewall
- MPLS / VPN
- DHCP Server
- Server Hardware
- User Desktop PCs
Applications – If you have chosen our software applications for example Computer telephony Integration (CTI) or Call Centre solutions then we may need to speak to your customer database software supplier or in-house developer. We will advise you of what we need to know in advance so that we can meet the right person responsible at the time of survey.
3rd Parties – Often it is vital to meet your other suppliers, for example if you are paying your telephone bills to BT or another provider, you are upgrading or changing your telephone lines at the same time of the installation then its key we either speak with or meet the people involved. We treat these 3rd parties as key factors for a successful installation.
Your existing infrastructure will always influence the price of a new telephone system. If you have a very straight forward and modern office then the phone system price will often be less than an older more complex site.
In brief, when a Wavenet sales rep first meets with you at your office we will often survey the building for basic telecoms infrastructure. We will look at the following initially before handing the project over to your appointed engineer for a full survey:
- Location of existing equipment
- Proposed re-location
- Existing Cabling i.e CAT5e or CW1308
- Network requirements (LAN/WAN)
- External Line Type e.g. ISDN / Alog / SIP
- Computer Hardware / Software
Expected Time Scales
“Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late.” William Shakespeare
Wavenet deliver on time. It’s simple really but so many telecom companies get it wrong! Telecoms is a difficult one to manage when it comes to timescales… We often are relying on British Telecom to complete their work before we can do our part, however, when BT do complete on schedule our engineers must be ready to deliver on time with the minimum of disruption.
At Wavenet we will schedule the phone system installation in advance and with realistic lead times in order to execute your installation efficiently and with minimal downtime.
If BT installation dates are not yet confirmed or delayed then Wavenet will endeavour to change dates or provisionally schedule engineering time so that we meet your timescales.
Involvement of 3rd Parties e.g. BT
As discussed already, adding 3rd parties to any project always complicates things. Wavenet stand by this known fact and therefore have put in place essential steps to achieve a successful installation of your new business telephone system.
Can we be honest with you? It’s more than often BT that let us down. British Telecom have the monopoly in the UK fixed line market and most installations still in 2010/2011 still connect to reliable ISDN2/ISDN30 lines which for the most part can only be supplied by them in 90% of business premises in the country.
BT are a large company with thousands of employees and we have to work around their deficiencies on a weekly basis. We can’t publish our secrets but let us reassure you that we understand what steps we have to make to ensure BT deliver. There is no guarantee, but reducing your risk and liability on this installation project will often save you money and your reputation with your customers.
If other parties or suppliers are involved, we use the similar techniques to minimise headaches and meet your deadlines. At the end of the day it’s down to experience, and we have plenty!
End User Training
Wavenet offer a wide range of training for business telephone system users. Whether you need telephone training for 2 to 1000 people, whether your need is for basic extension user training, for call centre agent training, operator training or for a full System Administrator/Call Centre Supervisor training modules our professional trainers will be able to tailor a training course to match your business needs.
Telephone Handset Training
User training will cover all aspects of their handset features. Our basic user training includes answering, transferring and holding calls, accessing and programming speed dials, conferencing, diverting and utilising all feature buttons.
- Up to 10 phone users per class – Duration 45 minutes
- Allow 1hr 30mins if voicemail and end user software training is incorporated
Voice Mail Training
Normally we run voice mail user training in conjunction with handset training. These sessions cover diverting calls from handset to the voicemail, accessing the voicemail system internally and remotely.
Additionally, setting up and personalising mailbox greetings (can include suggested greetings/voicemail etiquette) together with all aspects of message handling and call recording (if built in).
Call Centre Supervisor / Manager Training
This training session is suitable for anyone managing call centre / contact centre statistical & MIS or call centre administration responsibilities. The call centre training provides staff with hands-on experience generating and interpreting the Call Centre reporting packages we supply. The training course will cover: Report generation, Filtering of statistics by extensions, agents and hunt groups, screen layouts, real time & historical call reporting and agent profiles to name but a few of the common features.
The wide variety of call centre management systems and software solutions in the market place means that this course module will vary from product to product and we will request specific points of interest and areas to cover to ensure you receive value for money.
Call Centre Agent Training
Call Centre users/agents will receive interactive training covering call handling, answering conditions, associated call centre features on handsets including logging in and out of group, break/pause and wrap-up.
If you are using CTI applications for example screen popping, click to dial and call recording we will train your call centre staff on all levels ensuring they are as productive as possible.
Reception / Operator Training
Switchboard operators or receptionists will receive one to one training on all reception console functions, including handling calls, holding and transferring calls and sending callers to voicemail. Interactive training is ‘recommended’ prior to the system ‘go live’ day, allowing the operator the full benefit of role play without the distraction of incoming calls on a live operator console.
- Up to 2 candidates per class – 2 hours
System Administrator Training
What is a System Administrator? A person responsible for the day-to-day programming and administration of the telephone system.
The system administrator course is normally covered post-installation and held on the customer site within 2-4 weeks of installation. It is aimed at the personnel responsible for the system programming and making moves and changes on the telephone system and will cover the following areas of phone system programming:
- Extension / Users / Agents setup
- Hunt Groups / ACD Groups
- Lines & DDI Programming
- Voice Mail Boxes
- Call Routing Announcements / Comfort Messages
- Advanced Call Flow for Call Centres
- Voice Mail to Email setup
- Call Recording administration
- Disaster Recovery
- Backing up your phone system
Duration: One day – maximum attendees 4 staff
It’s the job of the phone system supplier to recognise your needs as a customer. Once the phone system installation has been completed and the telecom engineers leave site remember the relationship doesn’t end here. Wavenet will support your telephone system until its ready for changing again.
To ensure you get the most of your new phone system your sales representative will be your account manager going forward. If any question arise or you require further changes to ‘tweak’ your system Wavenet support will be at hand.