Solved

VoIP

Posted on 2006-06-14
17
1,282 Views
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Dear Experts.
What are some of the considerations an our organization should look at when moving from a traditional phone system to Voice over IP (VoIP)?  I think that when we switch to VOIP we may have existing telephony folks that suddenly find themselves more dependent on the infrastructure folks than ever before as well.
0
Comment
Question by:drmopco
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • +3
17 Comments
 
LVL 95

Accepted Solution

by:
Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 16908089
*Faxing and alarm systems don't work well with VoIP technology.
*Call quality will USUALLY be worse (some companies such as speakeasy.net pride themselves on offering the highest possible qualilty and using their hardware they will often be able to offer VERY GOOD if not excellent quality.
*QoS - Quality of Service using stateful packet inspection that prioritizes VoIP traffic over basic internet traffic.
*Your entire internal phone system COULD be unavailable if your internet connection fails (this depends highly on exactly how the system is implemented).
*With a full T1, you can typically have about 20 concurrent calls (a full VOICE T1 can handle 23 or 24).
*PERSONALLY, if possible, I would put the VoIP system on a seperate network that stayed seperate to ensure the best possible performance.
0
 

Author Comment

by:drmopco
ID: 16908207
Thank you for your comment. Ithought that VoIP offers many benefit to businesses. VoIP improved phone infrastructure and reliablility and cost savings increased agility and improved customer interaction.
0
 
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16908254
You asked what some of the considerations were - I provided what I consider important points that are different from plain old telephone service (POTS) - things that people may not realize.  

Yes, VoIP offers many advantages, but it's not necessarily the ideal solution for everyone.  Another big point is it's not NEARLY as reliable as POTS systems - if it works 99% of the time, that means that there's more than 3.5 days a year without service.  In my experience with POTS systems, you don't generally (with a properly implemented system) have more than 3.5 HOURS of downtime a year.

VoIP service can provide MUCH lower prices as they often offer free long distance anywhere in the country and to some select (but frequently called) foreign countries.  It's hosted PBX systems can also be configured to do some pretty cool stuff with call forwarding and "hunting" down a person to make sure they get the call.  Voicemail can be delivered to you in email and other such features.  But as beneficial as this is, you have to keep it in perspective.

By the way, while faxing is not recommended, it CAN WORK - but it's not very reliable.  Large faxes may have problems - even small ones on occasion.  So be warned if you decide to fax over VoIP.
0
 

Author Comment

by:drmopco
ID: 16908274
Thank you for your clear explanation.
0
 

Author Comment

by:drmopco
ID: 16908379
That sounds great.
0
 
LVL 79

Expert Comment

by:lrmoore
ID: 16908854
Just another consideration, assuming that you are in the USA, is 911 calling. You must consider how you will let the phone company know where each phone number is located so that when someone in building xyz, room 123 calls 911, the PSAP (Public Service Access Point) can use the caller ID function with location information - ANI/ALI - to send a police car/fire truck/ambulance to the correct place. We've seen far too many times where a NY 911 dispatcher gets a call from somone in Texas just because the Texas user has a VoIP service and chose a NY area code because his buddies are all in NY and it's a local call for them....
0
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:scrathcyboy
ID: 16909045
Currently the leader in VOIP is Skype.  It has encryption features that are far beyond the competition -- in fact, there IS no competition for Skype, only unbased prejudice.  I have set up organizations of 10K users with Skype VOIP -- they abandoned all the MS Messenger nonsense, and with Skype, they are totally free to conference and video or talk however they want, in total security.  There are 2 philosophies here -- (1) argue the relative merits of second-rate alternatives, or (2) just jump in with the leader and get going.  Once your organization uses Skype, it becomes a reference standard to see if any other VOIP programs can measure up to it.  Once you experience the best, you are struggling to validate the rest.  Enjoy it before it is changed by EBay, if they indeed decide to change it...
0
 
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16909228
Scrathcyboy,
I see no links on the Skype web site for business use.  Can you provide some more official documentation for their business services?
0
Find Ransomware Secrets With All-Source Analysis

Ransomware has become a major concern for organizations; its prevalence has grown due to past successes achieved by threat actors. While each ransomware variant is different, we’ve seen some common tactics and trends used among the authors of the malware.

 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:The--Captain
ID: 16909384
>Enjoy it [skype] before it is changed by EBay

That concern alone rules it out for most businesses, if they're thinking clearly.

I don't know what reckless business Scrathcyboy works for, but most businesses prefer something a bit less than a "damn the torpedos and full speed ahead" philosophy - most businesses I know are looking to deploy VOIP to eliminate some obvious expenses, like calls between remote offices - they're already networked via VPNs, so why not use the VPN to make some calls and save some $$?

I know of absoltutely zero businesses (maybe I'm being naive) that have completely ditched their existing phone lines in favor of VOIP.  At this point most folks (for whom I consult) want to know how to use VOIP to augment their existing phone system to save $$ in specific areas, and how to best integrate it with their existing system so no one has to have two phones on their desk (land and VOIP).  IMO, the business perception of tradition phone service is that "it just works" - I really don't think we're there yet with VOIP, as much as Scrathcyboy wishes it were true.

Cheers,
-Jon
0
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:jfrady
ID: 16910980
My take on the original question is that drmopco was investigating an IP PBX solution and was concerned about his LAN/WAN environment.  In that vein below are some of the issues that need to be analyzed/addresses:

IP Telephony is a real time media.  While data traffic doesn't care as much about things like latency and jitter, IP Telephony and video do.  Your network must be capable of prioritizing the voice and video traffic over the normal data traffic.  Even better is if your network can mark and/or classify traffic based on criteria like protocol, MAC address, Ethertype etc.  At minimum your "plumbing" would need to support QOS by prioritizing traffic based on the 802.3p/Q standard.  

Another importance consideration is reliability.  The network often gets blamed for anything. Like the Internet connection down, server down, PC infested etc.  But if your network goes down and your phones go down, there is nowhere to run and hide.  At minimum your network should be as reliable as you can afford.

Multicast is often used in VoIP.  For updates to phones, conference calls, music on hold etc.  Your network should be capable of multicast containment at Layer 2 (IGMP Snooping) and multicast routing at Layer 3 (PIM, MOSPF, DVMRP).  Care should also be taken that other existing multicast applications (Ghost etc.) do not use any of the same multicast addresses.

Bandwidth is generally not a concern in an IP PBX environment as the VoIP traffic is minimal on even a 10Mbps network.  For WAN connections however you need to ba able to use mechanisms like rate limiting, DSCP, etc. for prioritization and carving out bandwidth for you voice traffic.

All that being said - VoIP is the way.  Traditional systems are officially dead.  The industry inflection point was last year.  IP systems shipped more lines that traditional systems.  There are so many advantages to networked telephony in the Enterprise I couldn't even name them all.  The key though is to pick the right manufacturer and the right vendor and the right consultant and be careful.  There are potential pitfalls but the reward is worth it.

When you do move to VoIP you are correct.  Your traditional phone guys will have to change.  Either they will learn data networking to some extent, become very reliant on the data folks, or the data folks will have to learn telephony to some extent.

In terms of reliability - I have personally been installing IP Telephony systems since 1998 in corporate environments.  The technology has been absolutely reliable and viable since that timeframe.  Lots of vendors that didn't have solutions yet were spewing FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) until they did have a solution.  Every major player has an either all IP solution now or an IP adjunct to their traditional systems.  

Is this more the info you were looking for?  I could be way off base (as happens more and more often these days..)
0
 

Author Comment

by:drmopco
ID: 16917156
leew
How much do you consider "MUCH" lower prices? Since we can now arrange for e-mails to sort into folders for different sources, can the voicemail/e-mails be sorted in the same way? What do you mean by "alarm systems don't work well"?
 
Sorry so many questions... this is all new to me.  :  )
0
 
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16917180
Alarm systems typically use modem style communication, same as a fax, so it's communication is not as reliable - I've tried connecting a TiVo over VoIP and it hasn't worked.  My fax works about half the time and I usually don't send more than 2-3 pages per fax.

Besides, do you want an alarm system that you know will likely be down 3-5 days a year?

Much lower prices depend on your existing phone service and how much you make calls, especially to europe and across the country.  VoIP services offer (depending on plan) unlimited calling, so you really have to do the math.  If you have a basic "unlimited" local service and you rarely make long distance calls, then VoIP won't be much cheaper - may even cost more.  But if your an importer/exporter, then it could pay off handsomely.
0
 

Author Comment

by:drmopco
ID: 16917307
Thank you for all your comments and valuable time.
Thanks again.
0
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:The--Captain
ID: 16930778
>The industry inflection point was last year.  IP systems shipped more lines that traditional systems.  

Those are some very interesting statistics - do you have a source to which I may refer?

Thanks,
-Jon
0
 
LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:jfrady
ID: 16931102
There are a lot of analysts in the industry (as you know of course!).  All of them have reported that IP PBX and Hybrid system line shipments have surpassed TDM or traditional systems.  Depending on the analyst, the date ranges from 2Q/04 to 3Q/05.  The average of analysts surveys of line shipments pegs the inflection point to have occured in late Q4/04.  The analysts I am referring to include Phillips, Dell' Oro, Gartner, In-Stat, IDS Group, META Group, Yankee Group etc.

Most of the "hard figures" are copyrighted and must be purchased unless vendors pay the rights to use in their collateral.  If you Google voip line shipments, or voip traditional etc. you will be able to find lots of references.  Or of course you could go to one of the analysts and pay a few grand!  

If you are unable to find enough data I would be able to find some links to post or maybe post some on a free site.  I don't think I am allowed to ask for e-mail addresses etc.

Tks!
0
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:The--Captain
ID: 16932247
>I would be able to find some links to post

Please do!

Thanks,
-Jon
0

Featured Post

6 Surprising Benefits of Threat Intelligence

All sorts of threat intelligence is available on the web. Intelligence you can learn from, and use to anticipate and prepare for future attacks.

Join & Write a Comment

Almost all Internet protocol telephones have built-in switches at the back that allow you to connect your personal computer to one port and use the other port to connect your phone to to a Cisco switch.   Why we need to connect the PC to the pho…
Meet the world's only “Transparent Cloud™” from Superb Internet Corporation. Now, you can experience firsthand a cloud platform that consistently outperforms Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM’s Softlayer, and Microsoft’s Azure when it comes to CPU and …
Here's a very brief overview of the methods PRTG Network Monitor (https://www.paessler.com/prtg) offers for monitoring bandwidth, to help you decide which methods you´d like to investigate in more detail.  The methods are covered in more detail in o…
In this tutorial you'll learn about bandwidth monitoring with flows and packet sniffing with our network monitoring solution PRTG Network Monitor (https://www.paessler.com/prtg). If you're interested in additional methods for monitoring bandwidt…

708 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

14 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now