You can choose to let your carrier activate your toll-free numbers at will, or you might need to have it done in a very controlled manner. If you are ordering a handful of new toll-free numbers for your circuit and you haven’t published them, there isn’t much threat of disaster if they aren’t working right away. If the numbers are failing, you can always troubleshoot them in a relatively calm environment.
On the other hand, your business may depend on toll-free service. If you have an existing toll-free number that handles 90 percent of your inbound orders every day, having the system down for even a minute is simply not an option. You
So what can you do? Glad you asked! A hot cut is a scheduled activation whereby your carrier walks you through the activation process via conference call. A hot cut allows you to identify any problems immediately, and quickly correct them while you have a technician on the line. If your carrier cannot fix the problem immediately, let the troubleshooting begin.
You have to determine who should participate in the hot cut phone call and ensure that a conference bridge is available if you need one. The
enables many people to dial into a system where they can be placed on one large conference call. This is ideal for hot cuts because you need
to have several people on the call who are
The provisioner at the carrier:
If you have
The hardware vendor:
If you are migrating existing, active toll-free numbers to a new phone system, your hardware vendor has to program each toll-free number into your new PBX, Key System, or whatever
set up for a number, your phone system will reject calls. Similarly, if the DNIS stream isn’t sent completely, your phone system will reject calls. If you have existing toll-free numbers from the carrier working on your phone system and your hardware is already set up to receive the new number, you only need yourself and the provisioner and the carrier’s technician on the hot cut.
The key to success in telecom is planning. If you are activating new circuits, here’s the perfect timeline.
One week or so after you submit the order for your dedicated circuit: Send the RespOrgs for your dedicated toll-free numbers.
After you receive confirmation that the circuit order is
The day you send the RespOrg LOA paperwork:
Schedule a follow-up call eight days later. By then, you should know the status of the RespOrg and can handle a
About two weeks before you expect to activate your circuits: Issue the disconnect order with your old carrier and request the circuits be taken down in 30 days. This request gives you about two weeks of overlap just in case an unforeseen problem crops up.
It’s also very helpful to
Two or three days prior to activating your new circuits: Call your new long-distance carrier and confirm the order details. Confirm the quantity of toll-free numbers pending, as well as the RespOrg of all the numbers. If any numbers are still not with new long-distance carrier, you might still have time to push them through the system.
On the day of the hot cut: Have everyone at your disposal. Be sure the new long-distance carrier’s installation technician is on the line, along with your hardware vendor. You also want to have the person who takes your orders for the new long-distance carrier available for verification of orders or if you need to push a straggling order through. Refer to your escalation list so you know who should be present if the person who took your order is not in the office for the hot cut. As long as your new carrier has RespOrg of your numbers, and you have competent technicians, both at the carrier and hardware levels, there isn’t much that can stop you from a successful activation.