Is BYOC an alternative to number porting?

How to keep your business phone number when switching to a new phone system

If you are a business in the hunt for a new phone system, it is important not just to zero in on the best software available, but also to get started with the new product as soon as possible. 

The closest and the most basic step to promising a seamless and smooth transition for any business is when,

  1. The new business phone system can enable them to retain their existing business phone numbers
  2. And transition these numbers without a tedious process involving too many forms and formalities. 

But first, let’s see why it is important for a company to hold on to their existing business phone numbers. And then we’ll slowly understand the best approach to help keep these dear old numbers.

Why retaining business phone numbers is important for a business

A phone number for a business is oftentimes much more than just a string of 10 digits. It’s the most functional sign of a brand’s identity, the “employee” that customers go to when in need of help, and in most cases a calling card that a brand builds over years and also feels at home with. The fact that it’s one of the easiest ways that customers, employees, and partners use to connect with a company screams the importance as to why companies hold their business phone numbers important. On a more practical note, the convenience factor gives any business enough reason to want to take their numbers along while moving from one business phone system to another. 

This said, it now comes down to what’s the best way to move your phone numbers. There are two ways to approach this,

  1. Porting your number to a new carrier
  2. Bringing Your Own Carrier (BYOC).

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

said Robert Frost when he had to choose between two paths.

Now, let’s see how you can choose wisely, the path that’ll help you retain your business phone numbers with ease.

When should you port a number?

Porting a number from one provider to another has been in practice for a long time now and is the most common path taken while moving phone numbers. Essentially with porting, you’ll be able to transfer your existing phone number from your current service provider to a new provider. This helps you keep your existing phone number intact while being able to enjoy the benefits of your new provider. 

It’s best to port your numbers if,

  1. You ideally like to retain your phone numbers but also have the flexibility of settling for an alternative if the same numbers are unavailable with your new provider.
  2. You prefer to change your service provider and don’t necessarily have specific reasons to stick to your current provider.
  3. Your new service provider’s call rates are much more lucrative as compared to your current provider.
  4. You are onboard to purchase your business phone numbers from the new provider
  5. You have all the necessary documents in place—LOA, address proofs and billing documents

For a business to be able to successfully port a number and start making and receiving calls there is much more that needs to fall in place. Porting by itself is a bit of a time-consuming process involving some documentation and form filling that could stretch over weeks together. And not just that, even if you manage to get past all the filing, stacking and paperwork, there are chances that the same exact number might be unavailable with your new provider. 

This unavailability could be attributed to a bunch of reasons— 

  • the scope of the new provider, 
  • the country related restrictions,
  • address proof complications to name a few.

So when time is not your best friend and you are absolutely happy with your current service provider, BYOC(Bringing Your Own Carrier) would be a better option for you to retain your business phone numbers—with choosing the path less traveled by.

BYOC (Bring your own carrier) to your rescue

If number porting, in general, helps you move your business phone numbers to your new system, then you might be wondering—how and when to decide that BYOC is a much better option to retain your numbers. Here’s what you need to know.

Get answers to these questions:

  1. Am I completely happy with my current service provider?
  2. My current provider’s call rates are way better than the one associated with the new business phone system that I am moving to?
  3. Are some of my important business phone numbers not available with the new provider?
  4. Does my new provider not support phone numbers for certain regions/countries? 
  5. Is SIP forwarding possible to my new business phone system?

If the answer to most or all of the above questions is a big fat YES, then BYOC should be the better route to retaining your business phone numbers. 

On that note, let’s dive a little deeper into the overall advantages of BYOC

Ease of setup

BYOC involves very simple steps to retain your business phone numbers. If you don’t have a separate dedicated point of contact from your business’s end to take care of all the support and technical expertise required for porting, then BYOC would be an ideal option for you. What might take a couple weeks and a dedicated person in case of porting might just take a couple of days when it comes to BYOC. 

Less paperwork and instant solutioning

By the mere nature of the process, BYOC only demands very little paperwork. All you need to take care of before initiating a BYOC request is to ensure that all your business phone numbers have an associated phone number carrier. As in, let’s say you were using a call center software or a business phone system earlier, then you need to make sure that all your phone numbers are associated with a service provider like Twilio, MessageBird before initiating a BYOC request. For those businesses that already have phone numbers associated with a local number carrier like Airtel, Vodafone, and the likes, you will be able to successfully link your numbers to your new business phone system via BYOC in a couple of days. And all this with very little process and document sharing.

Make use of the best of both worlds

Let’s say you, as a business identify a really good business phone system that fits your phone team’s requirements to the T. And, it’s way better than your existing phone system. But, the one aspect that you are entirely happy about at present is your current business phone system’s service provider. In instances like these, BYOC is your best bet to continue enjoying your current service provider’s service while still being able to upgrade your business phone system to an entirely new player.

Do away with number availability and country barriers 

For businesses that collaborate across countries and have a distributed customer base and hence cross country phone numbers, one major concern would be the availability of phone numbers while trying to port their numbers to a new carrier. BYOC solves for this constraint by letting you continue using your existing carrier where all your current phone numbers are intact while enabling you to forward your calls to the new carrier via SIP forwarding capabilities. 

Now that you have enough context on the two different paths to retaining your business phone numbers while trying to upgrade to a new business phone system, here’s what you can do:

  1. Choose the most traveled path (number porting) provided you tick all the boxes that are a pre-requisite for the unhindered porting experience.
  2. Try the less traversed path a.k.a BYOC and devour in the benefits it’s got to offer.

This post is not to bias you towards either. It’s rather an attempt to help you make informed decisions while you move from one business phone system to another. Let us know the path you finally chose amongst the two in the comment section below. We’d love to know if this post helped you choose better. 🙂