If you use VoIP, congratulations--you are definitely making a smart business decision. But what happens if you need to port telephone numbers? Can your VoIP provider be trusted to get the job done successfully? Better to know the answer to these questions sooner than in a crisis moment, right? Follow along to find out five number porting tools your VoIP provider should be using if they're up to the challenge of meeting your needs.
1. Online Number Portability Tool – A great tool to use when porting a telephone number is a Provisioning Check Tool, also called a Portability Check Tool. This tool allows you to enter a number and determine if your carrier can port the number to his network. Depending on your carrier, it may also allow you to see if your selected carrier can offer the feature(s) you need for that particular number. These features may include T38, E911, Outbound CNAM, 411 directory Listing, or SMS.
2. Online LOA (letter of authorization) Submission Tool - There are thousands of carriers and all of them are porting numbers in their own way. Most are still using manual ways to submit number port requests. The most common is the barely legible form completed by hand that is either faxed or scanned and emailed to the winning carrier. As you can imagine, this causes many issues. Very few providers have built online submission tools that automate the process, which in turn produce quick number ports and fewer errors. These are the providers with whom you want to work.
3. Online Process Management Tools – Once a number port has been submitted to the winning carrier it goes into a black hole. You’ve faxed or emailed the LOA to someone’s work email address and you hear nothing back for days. More emails are sent along with a follow call. Choosing a carrier with a bit more automation and transparency cannot only alleviate mistakes but it can make you more efficient.
4. Dedicated Number Porting Person – Having all the automation in the world is great but you still need a competent porting process with competent people behind the system. We find that assigning a number port to a Number Porting Representative is a much more efficient and painless process than assigning a Porting Rep to one piece of the porting process (submissions, jeopardies, cancellations, etc.). This setup is ideal for small, or what we call, simple port requests. Let us introduce you to our awesome Porting Team at VoIP Innovations!
5. A Project Porting Team – While the above approach works well with small or simple ports, large number ports are much more difficult and complex. It is critical for your provider to have a well-thought-out and designed large or complex number porting system that can deal with multiple losing carriers and a variety of DID feature requests.
As we mentioned in our last Chat with Nat, we have some awesome Free Porting and No DID Activation Fees goodies coming your way. Not only that, but we'll be focusing on number porting for the next couple of posts so you may notice a theme and can look forward to those!