To VOIP In House or “Out” of the House – that’s the Question

Most of us would agree that VOIP is a good thing. You save money, you have more features, you have more flexibility and other reasons. The challenge some companies may face, however, is to host the VOIP solution on their own IP PBX or to outsource the phone system to someone else. Dan Hoffman (pictured), President and Founder of M5 Networks (and recent Inc. 500 list maker) spares with Ed Basart co-founder and CTO of ShoreTel in a Network World article.
Here’s two of their points:
Dan Hoffman wrties “IP PBXs can be hard to manage.” Implementing the same phone system hundreds of times has taught hosted vendors how to avoid pitfalls of deploying VoIP. Companies also save time and resources because hosted providers use proactive and reactive monitoring systems to resolve problems faster than an in-house solution.

Ed Basart writes Examine hosted IP telephony solutions, and you can see two fundamental problems that stem from technological constraints and cultural issues. The first problem is the old Centrex paradigm that puts a $10 million piece of equipment in the IP cloud and shares it among customers. From the carrier’s point of view, no equipment at the customer premises equals maximum efficiency. However, voice is now traveling over a best-effort network rather than dedicated circuits. Upstart carriers such as Vonage can deliver only two- or three-nines availability, which limits their utility in the enterprise market and prevents them from offering feature-rich services. Big guys such as AT&T, which control the network, might get the availability up to four-nines, but that is still far short of the five-nines capabilities of traditional phone trunks.
Read the full face off here.