The business case for adopting voice over internet protocol (VoIP) telephony systems grows more compelling every day.
In addition to the long distance savings, the equipment costs less, and does more. Moves, adds and changes are much easier. System monitoring is straightforward, and the usage reports are richer. And, most importantly, companies can leverage their existing IP networks to achieve an integrated voice and data platform.
Features, such as videoconferencing and unified messaging, offer tools that can transform the way a business operates.
While there are real pitfalls to watch for the momentum of VoIP seems unstoppable, say experts who have managed numerous installations.
This has been made possible by the emergence of very high speed, rliable IP networks.
As Jocelyn Philbrook, vice president of corporate marketing and investor relations at Westford, MA based Sonus Networks puts it, "What we’ve seen in the past five years is the quality assurance and high speed bandwidth that are able to support multiple types of communications-video, voice, data-very rapidly and with a high degree of quality throughout the network."
Early adopters have already worked through various telephony strategies and have started to move steadily to VoIP-based solutions with consolidated voice and data networks, reports Roberta Fox, Principal at Mount Albert based Fox Group Consulting.
But the pace of change has been incremental. This has led to a prevalence of hybrid systems as companies slowly replace legacy TDM (time-division multiplexing) systems with IP based systems. "VoIP has become the de facto standard on net new locations, but we’re not seeing people rip out legacy TDM systems and replace them with IP telephony," said Fox