The Benefits of VoIP and IP Telephony

Over the past 14 months I’ve met with many different customers at many different levels. One thing I continually do is talk about the benefits of converged technology such as VoIP and IP Telephony. The last few blogs have leveraged convergence as a foundation for unified communications as a next generation service offer but in this post I thought I would try something different and revisit the benefits of some common technology — VoIP and IP Telephony.

Most people understand the benefits of transitioning to a converged all-IP environment. As more applications come onto the market and the technology proves itself, these firms will be able to avail themselves of the many benefits of such converged technology adoption.

So why consider leveraging VoIP and IP Telephony?

· Offers advanced call routing and enables new applications to further customer service initiatives. · Accelerates and facilitates the move from a legacy environment to converged networks. · Anchors IP innovation across the enterprise, and helps deploy a web services infrastructure enabling rapid development of IP-based applications and services. · Facilitates the deployment of real-time workforce collaboration tools, which fosters an environment of high worker productivity, innovation and information sharing.

· The market isn’t moving towards converged networks — it’s there! Therefore the adoption of IP and VoIP are foundation steps on taking you down that path.

What are the benefits of VoIP and IP Telephony?

· Voice over IP can bring customers the benefits of network optimization and greater value through the convergence of services over a single connection. One IP network will handle data, video and voice. · It can reduce total spend on traditional telco services by converging voice and data onto one pipe, eliminating the need for leased line charges from a telephone service provider, since all calls are flat rate.

· Depending upon the design all calls may be on-net as is the case with Global Crossing’s VoIP Onnet services. Compared to traditional TDM solution with the exception of private voice networks the majority of calls may be delivered off-net and thus more costly to operate from a call perspective. Fully converged services extend the on-net “look and feel” through our enterprise VoIP network. Instead of building their own TDM networks and deploying proprietary on-net calling plans, customers will gain value by leveraging a service providers VoIP network such as Global Crossings.

IP telephony adoption also delivers the following benefits:

· It can help lower cell phone charges by enabling worker productivity on the road and remotely. · It reduces high toll, long-distance usage. · It facilitates real-estate consolidations through extension and directory mobility by leveraging VoIP with “find me follow me services”. · It reduces PBX support issues by migrating to fully converged network-based services that are centrally located. · Packet-based voice traffic becomes just one application running over a multi-service network, allowing for more efficient bandwidth utilization. · With dynamic bandwidth allocation technology in the absence of voice traffic the full network is available to data traffic.

· The move to IP telephony is a good first step towards convergence, and allows for more sophisticated network management by running voice over an existing data network.

What are the possible challenges in deploying VoIP and IP Telephony?

· Converged networks can be more complex to operate — the LAN’s additional complexity needs to be managed. This complexity can be offset through a managed VoIP solution. · The business processes associated with troubleshooting and managing network quality need to be well-defined. · Depending on the age of the network already in place, the transition to IP telephony may require some additional costs associated with hardware requirements such as advanced telecom gear to replace older equipment as well as replacing the end telephone stations used for traditional telephony with advanced IP-enabled sets. · Additionally, if power over Ethernet is chosen there may be additional expense associated with powering the handsets.

· Finally, VoIP requires advanced traffic management and statistical analysis on edge and core components in order to track and trend network utilization and problems appropriately. Such systems may not necessarily be in place which would require further network management software to be deployed.

There you have it …. some of the VoIP and IP Telephony benefits revisited. There are certainly more but those are just a few that I captured this evening.

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