The REAL Benefits of VoIP

by : Nic Windley

You may not have considered it but there are many benefits thatbusinesses can achieve by utilising data networks to carry theirvoice traffic (VoIP). By marrying this voice traffic with datatraffic (IP Telephony) it becomes even more powerful.

Here are a few examples;

Cheaper Phone Calls - as your utilising existing data networks

Simpler Infrastructure - one set of CAT5 cables

Scalable - simply extend the existing data network

Reduced Operating Costs - converged system is simpler to manage

Enhanced Customer Service - "Click to Talk" web services andeasy role out application like call centres

Flexibility - Remote or home workers can work as if in the office

Its fair to say that most people focus on the costs savings butin most cases the business improvements far out way the costssavings.

For example if your business operated from multiple sites itwould be possible to have a single centralised system located atone site, with optimal staffing resources to operate, manage andsupport. No need to have 3 receptionists when one will do!

Say you had staff that wanted to work from home or from a remoteoffice. With this technology it would be easy to give them thelook and feel of being in the office and the transparency thattheir co-workers and customers enjoy.

Rolling out a distributed business application such as a contactcentre or call centre is much easier and more robust.

But....its not that simple to get right!

You must consider;

Quality of Service - across the data network

Reliability - Think when did your LAN / telephone system lastfail?

Security - May increase exposure to data and voice

Support - Which department is now responsible - training?

With the latest handsets it is possible for them to act like aPC with their own IP address and with the right handsets theycan even run XML applications cutting down the need forunnecessary PC's etc.

To get it right requires the right planning and foresight tomake sure that your systems will grow and deliver the maximumbenefit with the minimum risk.

Copyright 2005 Nicholas Windley