At BWS, we realize that the thought of changing your voice and data services can be scary. After all, any interruption with business calls, online ordering, or e-mails would impact the bottom line. We also understand that any type of change is led with fear of the unknown, but after managing and successfully completing over 400 cut overs, we promise that the transition from one provider to another is nothing to fear.
The following are the general steps in the process of changing your voice/data provider:
1) Select a new provider and sign the contract – This process typically takes two weeks. Contract lengths are typically one, two and three years. The longer term you select, the cheaper your monthly costs will be. Generally after the initial term is up, your contract usually auto-renews for another set term, so sixty days before your contract is up, make sure to contact your provider and let them know that you’d like to go month-to-month.
2) Circuit is delivered – This process will take between 20-45 days depending upon the type of connection you purchase. A Comcast coaxial is typically delivered within two weeks, a T1 circuit is delivered within 30 days, and a fiber or Ethernet circuit is usually between 30-60 days. During this period, most carriers do not charge you usage of the line.
3) Demarc extention – When the provide complete the delivery of the circuit, they will terminate that connection to where your telecommunication connections come into the building. The demarc is the physical line that extends their delivered circuit to your actual server room where your phone system and router/firewall is located. Typically the carrier will not provide this service and it is completed by the end user.
4) Circuit is tested/accepted – This process only takes 1-2 hours. It happens right after the circuit is delivered and your IT vendor will test the data portion of the connection to verify that it works, and your voice vendor will test the connection to ensure that voice calls can be made successfully over test numbers provided.
5) Migration or port date – This is the “magic” date and is scheduled typically 7-10 days after the circuit has been tested. Your IT vendor, phone vendor, new provider and soon to be old provider all work together at the same time to migrate your phone numbers and data services. The actual porting of voice and data usually only takes 30 minutes to 1 hour, unless there are a large volume of DIDs (direct inward dials). This is the only time in which there would be any interruption of your voice or data services.
6) Cancellation of old provider – Once everything is up and running with the new provider, you will need to call your previous provider and cancel the service. This is usually a 5-10 minute call. Bandwidth Simplified will continue to be your telecom manager between you and the carrier.
Once you understand the entire process, we believe that changing providers will be as simple as changing your jacket! There are not many man hours to the entire process and the key to a successful and smooth change of providers is planning. One of the valued-added and free services that BWS offers is vendor and project management for the entire process.
If you have any questions or additional concerns about changing your voice/data provider, please don’t hesitate to call us at 312-361-3800.