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January 28, 2008

Enterprise VoIP: Weighing the Cost Factor

By Brian Solomon, TMCnet Web Editor

When considering enterprise VoIP devices, you're either going to see them as costly expenses, or look deeper into the matter and see the bottom-line enhancement that VoIP has to offer.
VoIP has the ability to enhance productivity, increasing the performance of your network. An IP phone may cost more than a digital business phone, but it also allows enterprise transformation in a way the old phone can’t.
The reason for this is the fact that VoIP provides a platform for shaping voice applications to get the perfect fit for your business. That kind of flexibility was not possible with old-fashioned, monolithic phone systems.
It's like the difference between MS-DOS and modern, feature-rich operating systems like Windows or Mac OS. VoIP is similarly flexible, so the cost isn't the only thing to consider. It doesn't just replace the old phone system, but rather augments and surpasses it by empowering businesses in new ways.
Interaction between VoIP systems and database applications is easier, because both work on IP networks. When there’s an incoming call on your IP phone, Outlook can automatically retrieve the contact record for the caller, based on the caller ID. To record the call, you could use a piece of PC software rather than a bulky cassette or digital recorder device. You could listen to your voice mail using your email program, and respond to it by email. Comparing a traditional system's cost to that of a VoIP system isn't a fair comparison, because it doesn't take these things into account.
Brian Solomon is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To see more of his articles, please visit Brian Solomon’s columnist page
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