Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Benefits Of Business VoIP

There are plenty of benefits to implementing business VoIP within your communication network (or IP Telephony - or an IP replacement for a PBX).

First you need to define the scope - it could be within a site, or across a company with lots of sites, maybe across countries.

However - if all you are worrying about is the ROI .... you are likely to not get some benefits, as the VoIP bit is really an implementation detail.

I suggest you usually need a compelling driver to change that will make the business case stand up - eg. current PBX out of support and difficult to keep going, moving a major site, moving to more home working, or whatever - just changing for the sake of it is much harder to justify.

Note .... IP Telephony should be able to interconnect with your existing voice service. There are many hybrid systems which are part conventional PBX and part IP telephony so you don't have to switch completely, or in 1 big step.

Even with a "big bang" change, you are going to need interworking if you have anything more than 100 or so phones for migration if nothing else.

A better way to look at this is It is a new voice service structure, that happens to use VoIP under the covers.

So attack it as a new voice service, and worry about the voice services you need and their ROI.

Finally the flip side to VoIP is that you are putting a service which is traditionally highly reliable and uses dedicated pipes / wires over a packet / data network which sometimes is built to be "good enough" - and "good enough" has changed significantly over the years and voice imposes new, harder constraints.

You will need a good reliable IP network to operate on top of, and your current network may be good enough or not - you will not know until it is thoroughly evaluated and maybe tested. You may need to upgrade, refurbish, or replace your existing LAN and WAN to exploit effectively for VoIP.

Many network issues that data systems can pretty much ignore will ruin a voice call - short "drop outs" that can be imperceptible for data of 1 or 2 sec will mean no voice during that interval, and lack of QoS may mean calls get corrupted during a big data transfer.

I suggest that the package for your new voice service includes making it work properly and network integration, and some testing where they actually try to break it so you can have some confidence it is done properly ... and you get a reliable sysyem after the change.

To help you navigate this maze of testing and decisions .... and find just the right solution to meet your business needs ... I strongly recommend using the free services available here:

Business VoIP Solution

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