VoIP - Know Your Options to Determine What is Right for You
VoIP is here to stay.
Major carriers are decommissioning old copper-based networks in favor of better performing fiber and IP is prevailing over traditional voice transmission.
A decade ago, VoIP didn't have a wonderful opening act. Early adopters of VoIP struggled through poor quality, dropped calls and cell phones sounding like they were coming over a tin can. The good news is that VoIP has evolved, and the quality has improved to the point where it rivals traditional voice services plus VoIP offers many more advantages from a pricing and feature standpoint.
Three letters that make or break VoIP rollouts.
QoS - stands for Quality of Service
Do not do a VoIP rollout without addressing these three letters. QoS refers to the practice of using a device to give voice priority over the bandwidth used for VoIP services. Without it, the voice calls fight over the available bandwidth with all the user traffic.
The spreadsheet you email to a colleague doesn't care if it takes a few seconds to be delivered but voice traffic cannot tolerate any latency. Before deploying VoIP, check your network for latency and jitter.
There are a host of free services you can use that will test those items as well as the speed of your connection to determine if you need a split connection to support VoIP.
To do this utilize the resources of your company's in-house or outsourced
IT Resources. Too much happening on the network is tolerable from a networking standpoint but will not support VoIP traffic.
Not all VoIP is created equal
The questions below are points to consider when reviewing options.
VoIP Phone System Considerations
Cash Flow: can your organization support the outright purchase of a new system?
CAPEX vs OPEX: Does your Company prefer to make Capital Purchases and depreciate the asset or would building everything into an operating expense be better?
Existing Phone Systems: If you have a multiple location organization, do you have numerous PBXs at different stages of life?
Network Infrastructure: Does your network have enough horsepower to support the mission critical VoIP traffic along with all the other corporate traffic?
IT Resources: Does your organization have the manpower, resources, and know how to deploy this or is it better to outsource the project?
Premise vs Hosted: Many experts would argue that if you maintain an on-prem system, you lose the inherent Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity feature that makes VoIP appealing.
CAPEX - Premise Based VoIP - BYOB (Bring your own Bandwidth): This solution is for organizations that have available cash flow or would want to capitalize the purchase of the equipment. The organization would also require a significant IT staff resources and know how, as well as a top quality network. The solution would reside on premise.
CAPEX - Hosted VoIP - BYOB (Bring Your Own Bandwidth): This solution is for organizations that have available cash flow or would want to capitalize the purchase of the equipment. The organization would require minimal IT resources in-house or outsourced. A quality network is required. The solution's "brains" live in the cloud.
Comtel Communications, a telecom/technology consulting agency based in Richmond, Virginia since 1991, provides best-in-class solutions and unbiased counsel to a diverse group of small, medium, and enterprise-level businesses, totaling more than $18.2M in annual billings. Leveraging unique access to 350+ national and international providers, Comtel benefits its clients through competitive quotes from multiple sources, to ensure their business goals are met with current and dynamic telecom and technology services. Acting as a partner, long after contracts are signed and services are deployed, Comtel offers superb back-office support to manage upgrades, track orders, and provide training to clients.
Author: Mike Martin