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Free White Paper Outlines Five 'Checkpoints' to Consider when Selecting an IP Phone System


TMCnews Featured Article

October 16, 2009

Free White Paper Outlines Five 'Checkpoints' to Consider when Selecting an IP Phone System

By Patrick Barnard, Senior Web Editor, TMCnet

Traditional circuit-based phone technology has served the corporate world well for decades -- but companies are now migrating to IP phone systems because of the cost savings and operational efficiencies they deliver.

In fact, it can be argued that VoIP, or Voice–over-Internet Protocol technology is now the standard in corporate communications. Companies that are just now getting around to upgrading their networks to VoIP are no longer considered “early adopters” – if anything, they are “late to the party.” And as VoIP continues to mature, prove its reliability, reduce costs and deliver new “productivity-enhancing” capabilities, companies are only getting more comfortable with the thought of making the jump.

Analyst firm Radicati Group predicts that by the end of this year, roughly 74 percent of all corporate telephony lines will be IP-based, as enterprises migrate to integrated IP PBX (News - Alert) software application suites. Despite the recession, adoption of VoIP is expected to continue to trend up, due to companies’ desire to cut communications costs, plus the fact that vendors are phasing out their traditional, or “legacy” phone systems and starting to discontinue support of their traditional phone products.

Along with the emergence of VoIP technology over the last decade or so, there has been an explosion of vendors offering a wide range of IP phone systems. Unlike the old days of traditional phone technology, when companies could buy equipment from only a handful of manufacturers, there are now hundreds of vendors, many of them new entrants, fiercely competing in the IP phone system market, delivering a staggering array of systems for designed for companies of all sizes and operating in a wide range of industries. This has made the process of selecting an IP phone system that meets a company’s specific needs complicated and confusing.

If your company is one of the “stragglers” that hasn’t made the jump to an IP phone system yet, there are some basic considerations you should know about before you begin the process. A free white paper from IP phone system maker Interactive Intelligence, “Paving a Successful Migration Path to VoIP: Five Checkpoints to Make Your Migration the Right Move,” outlines five tips that companies should consider before making the transition. The five “checkpoints” are summarized as follows:

1. Don’t let proprietary vendors fool you, since many of their “solutions” for VoIP and IP telephony still incorporate multiple hardware systems and don’t fully support SIP and open communications standards.

2. Network analyses and infrastructure planning are essential to a solid IP communications foundation, both for initial implementation and for future business communications needs. No shortcuts allowed!

3. Know where lower costs and higher ROI are really coming from in making a business case for IP communications. Consider things like having to replace an outdated PBX phone system, software flexibility over hardware, simplified administration, reduced maintenance and energy costs, customer loyalty because service is better, etc.

4. “I’m sure my IT staff can manage an IP PBX system and VoIP,” or are you? Phone and data networks were separate entities prior to VoIP, and most IT professionals either installed phones or PCs and applications, but rarely both. Ensure that your IT teams are properly trained and certified in IP technologies, and that IT staff are all going in the same direction.

5. “How does converged voice and data reach my end-users?” It does with the new breed of pre-integrated IP PBX application suites and desktop tools that truly bring voice and data together at a user’s fingertips.

Each of these “checkpoints” is expanded upon considerably in the white paper. The white paper also explains the benefits of IP telephony for enterprises. To download a free copy of this informative white paper, click here.

Patrick Barnard is a contributing writer for TMCnet. To read more of Patrick’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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