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6 Things You Need To Prepare Before You Change Telephone Service Providers: Your Telecom Cutover Checklist

There will most likely come a time when you decide you want to change service providers for your business internet and telephone.

That makes sense.

In fact, we would suggest that you audit your phone service and bills at least once a year if not every 6 months. (For more on auditing your phone bills – read here).

The telecom industry term for the date you go from one service to the next is the “cutover date”. Basically, this is the day that you cut service with your old provider and begin service with your new provider.

You’d think this is as simple as the switch of a button but there are actually a lot of ways that a cutover can cause trouble for you and your business.

The last thing you want is for a cutover issue to mean loss of profit or productivity in your office. After all, every minute your phones are down costs you.

With this in mind, we thought you would enjoy a quick checklist to ensure your telephone service cutover goes as smooth as possible.

Andromeda Technology Solutions Telephone Service Cutover Checklist: 6 Things to Do Before Your Cutover Date

1- Bring your IT/Telecom Service Provider Up to Speed

First things first, the moment you start thinking about changing telephone/internet service providers; you should get your IT group involved.

A good vendor will guide you through the process of preparing for your telephone service cutover date.

A GREAT Technology Partner will guide you through the prep for your cutover but they will also help guide you in the right direction when it comes to your service levels and providers.

There are a lot of important factors to consider when choosing a telephone/internet provider.

  • Customer Service Reputation
  • Bandwidth options
  • Type of service
  • Availability in your area
  • Impact on other technologies and departments in your business

It is important to get your IT/Telephone Solution Provider involved for your cutover but it is just as important to get them involved as soon as you make the decision to shop service providers.

This will allow you to avoid a lot of headaches and it will also prepare you properly for everything you’ve got to get done.

Keeping your technology partners in the loop is one of the best ways to steer clear of speedbumps.

2- Notify your current vendor that you’re switching service.

This one is very simple. Once you’ve decided to switch service providers, you need to notify your existing telecom service provider.

Most companies require 30 days’ notice or they will charge cancellation fees.

You’ll also want to make sure you aren’t under a contract. If you find that you are still under contract, you’ll need to figure out what types of penalties or charges the existing vendor has in place for early termination.

As a general rule, you always want to be aware of your contract dates. Even if you aren’t switching vendors, your rates might rise if you aren’t under a long term contract with your vendor. This is best practice and ensures you aren’t being overcharged for your services.

3- Get a “cut sheet” from your current service provider.

The cut sheet is a list of all of the necessary work prior to your telephone service cutover. This is a great way to make sure you have all of your ducks in a row before the official telephone service cutover date.

Once you have the cut sheet you need to make sure and get a copy of it to whoever manages your telephone system.

This sheet includes any equipment you’ll need, programming needs as well as a list of all the numbers you need ported over.

By providing this to your technology partner you ensure that they can schedule technicians to get the required work done prior to the big day.

4- Check your IT closet or equipment room out.

Changing service providers may require some new equipment. Make sure to find out what space that will require and ensure that you have the space available.

Be clear on who will install the new equipment and where you want it as well.

5- Map out your current setup

You’ll want to map out all of your existing set up.

Make sure you have a list of all phone numbers and extensions.

This is something you can do yourself or you can request that your phone system vendor does this for you. They will dive a little deeper and check for dial tones, testing ports and checking for local & long distance capability.

Just be sure to request that your vendor provides you a full report of your findings.

6- Get the date on your calendar and notify anyone who might be impacted

It might sound obvious but you want to make sure that everyone knows your cutover date.

Andromeda recommends that you let all employees know the date and time. Additionally, you’ll probably want to schedule and send out a few emails to customers in case there is any service disruption.

Communication is key with these types of projects.

Customers won’t be upset that they can’t reach you by phone if they know that you can be reached via email or other communications.

This will also make sure that everyone is prepared just in case the cutover doesn’t go as smooth as planned. If your phones are down for longer than expected, you’ve covered your bases on the front side and shouldn’t feel a backlash from employees or customers for the temporary disruption of phone service.

As you’ve probably noticed – most of these steps and the checklist recommends that you communicate with your telephone system vendor. These projects are pretty simple but can easily go wrong if everyone isn’t on the same page.

If you are thinking about switching phone service providers make sure to get in touch with whoever manages your phone system.

You’ll be glad you did.