1. It’s a mature technology
VoIP has been around in several forms for over 20 years. The H.323 and SIP protocols were first devised in 1996 and have undergone many improvements and revisions since then. In the most recent years H.323 has been largely superseded by SIP and SIP is now widely regarded as the industry standard for VoIP communications. So, it’s been about a while. It’s not an emerging technology anymore and large numbers of early adopters of VoIP have cemented its place as a stable and reliable method of delivering voice services to their user base without the loss of functionality that traditional Digital Telephony platforms were so rich in.
2. You can converge your infrastructure
Traditional Analogue and Digital telecoms systems required dedicated cabling. In the early days this was often delivered over a standard of copper cable known as 1308 (in reference to BT’s specification number for cables and wires). In more recent times these traditional services have been able to be delivered over standard CAT3, CAT5 and CAT6 cables, but still required a dedicated connection back to the exchange. VoIP solves this extra infrastructure requirement. By using your existing data network as the transport medium it does away with the requirement for dedicated cabling. By using handsets with onboard switching you can daisychain your PC straight through it so that you only need to provide one connection to each desk. This is an instant and considerable reduction in the amount of infrastructure required to serve your user base.
3. Utilise in-house capability
Old fashioned phone systems needed managing. Desk moves required detailed knowledge of your patch panels and cable routes. Every extension had to be wired directly to its allocated port. Somebody had to be responsible for this, otherwise outside assistance would be required at a cost. VoIP has eradicated this need for a dedicated resource or specialist outside help. A VoIP handset is now just a device on your network with little difference to a computer or printer. The protocols may be different, but the transport mechanisms and hardware involved are all standard infrastructure in the modern office environment. Your IT department can look after this solution.
4. It’s native
At the outset most telephone systems worked on Time Division Multiplex (TDM), with support for VoIP services as an additional feature. Things have moved on now, most new systems use SIP as the core architecture for voice transmissions with additional support for legacy TDM infrastructure. SIP is here to stay.
5. TDM is dying
Traditional analogue and digital voice services are being phased out. BT has announced its intention to phase out ISDN services by 2025 and we need to be ready. Far from feeling a sense of doom and gloom about this, we should be adopting and embracing the new technology and all the benefits that come with it. In much the same way that we moved away from token ring data networks (if you’re under the age of 30 look it up) and on to Ethernet, we need to consider that technology has improved and there are huge benefits to be had. It’s not only BT that are driving this, many manufacturers are beginning to phase out support for legacy TDM equipment. It’s time to think about the future.
6. Virtualise to Minimise
With less need for dedicated cabling, equipment positions and physical hardware, VoIP can provide incredible space reclamation. TDM architecture was big and bulky. A traditional comms room might have consisted of several server racks, a wall dedicated to cables; and a great big box in the corner full of batteries, power converters and telecoms equipment. Not any more! A SIP based phone system can be completely virtualised. Host it in your virtual machine environment, host it on your premises, host it in a data centre; or, better still, get someone else to host it for you! Either way, you reclaim all of that space. Not only that, but you reduce the reliance on dedicated hardware, utilise your built in resilience and redundancy and build it into your Disaster Recovery plans. Why not go one step further, don’t have desk phones, find a solution with software for your PC, tablet or smart phone and utilise your existing hardware.
7. It’s secure
Security is always a concern for any organisation, especially when it comes to telecoms. TDM was never particularly secure and packet analysers and analogue hardware could easily be put in place to eavesdrop on conversations. I won’t bore you with the details here, there’s plenty of information on the internet, but SIP can be encrypted and the use of certificates and session border controllers can reduce the risk of espionage and fraudulent activity.
8. Scale up, scale down
How many external channels have you got? How many users have you got? What happens when that important sales campaign goes live? Are you expecting an influx of extra calls? ISDN is expensive to install and expensive to operate. You don’t want to be paying more for capacity that you don’t usually need. VoIP services are flexible, easy to deploy and scalable. Even at user level, to add another 100 users will usually only require an extra 100 devices and licenses, and a small amount of effort from your IT department to deploy them. In the past you would have to factor in further equipment, cabling and installation. Opening another site? Expanding onto another floor of your building? Easy, as long as your core network extends to that location you can easily deploy telephony services from your existing system. No need for separate PBX’s or complicated networks with dedicated connections or leased lines.
If you’d like to find out more about VoIP or our Hosted Voice Service then download our brochure or contact us today.