Voice over IP (VoIP), the convergence of voice over packet-switched IP data networks, and IP Telephony are amongst the most important emerging trends in telecommunications. Although their implementation is capturing a significant portion of the emerging telephony market, the technology, and more importantly the acceptance of it, is still developing. Here Sian Tudor Jones from Xantus Consulting comments:
The business case for implementing VoIP or IPT will inevitably include such business benefits as increased functionality, ACD, CTI and extension mobility whilst cost savings may be found in reduced on-net call costs and lower costs associated with moves, adds and changes. However, once inherent start-up costs are considered, it can be challenging to build a business case based entirely on cost especially for companies currently with a private internal network or having an install base that is not fully depreciated.
Implementing VoIP requires attention to many factors including: available bandwidth, Qos/Cos policies, manageability, scalability, functionality requirements, availability (including survivable remote solutions for branch office networks), performance and security. Integration is another key consideration as, inevitably, large enterprise telephony environments often feature heterogeneous, multi-vendor networks with disparate devices deployed for the distinctive needs of their large and small sites.
Business deployment can be hindered by the lower quality of voice over IP. Voice quality is a subjective topic and the definition of ‘good’ voice quality varies greatly with business needs and user expectations. Whilst lower delay, packet loss and jitter values produce the best voice quality the trade off may come in the form of increased costs associated with network infrastructure upgrades. There is also a trade off between real world limits and acceptable voice quality. Indeed some limits lie beyond easy control (such as the inherent fixed delay between geographically remote sites, for example between the UK and India).
Whilst the benefits and opportunities provided by VoIP and IPT are compelling, in order to fully realise the potential rewards companies need now, more than ever, to ensure their IT Strategy (which may cross multiple departments encompassing voice, data, AV and application teams) is comprehensive and clearly defined. The challenge is for companies to develop a coherent strategy in a still relatively immature market.
For more information or to arrange an interview on Voice over IP and IP Telephony – the most important emerging trends contact Ruth Palmer or Emma Hemmings at Indigo Pink PR on 01782 791386 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Notes to the editor
Xantus is a specialist IT Consulting Group dedicated to assisting large corporate organisations offering a comprehensive range of services. Xantus has the technical expertise to address key client issues such as convergence, contact centre evolution, mobility, global networking, security, business continuity and systems consolidation.
Xantus’ clients include leading financial service organisations and global retail, media, leisure and pharmaceutical corporates. Working for FTSE 50 organisations or equivalent, including 7 of the top 10 UK Companies. Clients include Abbey, Allied Domecq, Aviva, Barclays Bank, Boots, BT, MBNA Europe, National Australia Group, Northern Rock, Prudential, Standard Chartered Bank, Lloyds, Department for Work and Pensions, Vodafone, Walkers Snack Foods and Yorkshire Building Society.
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