Want Voice over the Internet? CDW offers 5 pointers

According to Bryan Cohen,a senior sales engineer for CDW, there are 5 initial conditions companies need to have in place to successfully run VOIP. If a company does not meet any one of these criteria, Bryan recommends investing in alternative solutions.

1. A Quality of Service (QoS) Network
For VOIP to work, the switches and routers in the company’s network need to support the QoS standard, 802.1P/Q, to make sure that words arrive in the right order and that voice takes priority over data.
2. Network Redundancy
If the company network fails, it won’t be able to make phone calls or send emails. All communications will cease until the problem is fixed. Therefore, ensuring network redundancy is critical.
3. Additional Training
Traditional PBXes are managed through a telephone set or terminal. VOIP is managed through a PC. Therefore, someone within the office must become experienced at managing the VOIP system.
4. IT Support
Companies need someone who can manage both a VOIP and data network. Unlike calling a local Bell company when the phone system goes down, someone in the company will have to service the network or it will have to be outsourced.
5. Flexible Downtime
If your phone system isn’t mission critical, you can run VOIP. However, if it is mission-critical, you’ll need as close to 100 percent uptime as possible. Since no network provider can guarantee 100 percent 24/7 network uptime, you would better off with the reliability of a digital PBX system.