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November 21, 2012
VoIP: How to Get There Rather Easily


By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor


There seems to be a misleading idea that switching over to a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) system is a task in and of itself that can be rather intimidating. While there is a lot to consider when migrating to VoIP – from hardware equipment such as VoIP routers, gateways, Ethernet, and so on – it really comes down to one simple thing: Voice quality.

Businesses rely on consistent communication, so quality communication serves as the beginning of the journey to VoIP that will ultimately lead to cost savings and other realms of communication, such as e-mail and video. It all starts with the single step of having a good Internet connection. From there, getting to VoIP is rather seamless.

If there is a good connection in place, all that’s left is choosing the type of VoIP service your business needs, whether it’s hosted or uses a private branch exchange (PBX (News - Alert)). From there, choose the service that best meets your needs both cost-wise and subscription needs-wise.

Equipment selection is the next step, and this is where you choose your VoIP routers, phones and so on. There are a plethora of options with many features that speak to (no pun intended) many needs of critical communications.

"A lot of vendors today offer hybrid solutions that make the transition less bumpy. Granted, it is not the full VoIP experience but it offers enough benefits to migrate in a less hurried and more economical manner,” said Paul Luff, SMC Country Manager, South Africa.

Additionally, instead of having to look through catalogs of expensive VoIP phones, businesses can easily purchase a soft phone and connect to an already-existing PBX, eliminating the need for an entire infrastructure overhaul.

"The switch to VoIP does not require you to throw away existing phones and buy new IP phones. Existing phones can be connected to the IP network through Analogue Telephony Adapters (ATA) which essentially features a LAN interface on one side and a traditional phone plug on the other side. It translates signals so that a traditional phone appears to the PBX as an IP phone,” Luff explained.

Glen Flowers, product marketing manager at Patton (News - Alert) Electronics, further explained to TMC why businesses don’t need to necessarily ditch their existing voice equipment. “Many businesses’ existing voice equipment still has a lot of useful life left in it. Often, the older traditional phones, PBX equipment, overhead paging and even intercom systems are still working just fine, and frequently they’re long-since paid for,” he explains. “So in those cases, the old adage ‘if it ain’t broke doesn’t fix it’ applies—at least mostly.”

Flowers continues by suggesting that rather than “ripping out replacing your working voice network,” IP-enable it instead. This way, all of your SIP or H.323 gear will be able to seamlessly transport with a VoIP router or gateway-router. “Not only do you realize the cost savings of IP telephony, but you avoid disrupting existing business processes and you don’t have to re-train your workers to use a new, unfamiliar system.”

With VoIP, there are undoubtedly savings to be had. Converting to VoIP telephony might be a good move for your business; all it takes is a bit of research. In setting aside the time, you’ll find selecting the solution that best fits your needs is easier than you imagined.

To get a running start, check out Patton’s award-winning, renowned line of VoIP equipment by visiting www.patton.com.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.




Edited by Allison Boccamazzo


 
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