A few critical things to consider if you're doing an IP phone systems review for your organisation

VoIP would have to be one of the most complicated concepts in telephony. The biggest false impression of all is that VoIP is low cost telephone calls across the (open public) internet. Even though this absolutely is possible with VoIP, corporations require a considerably larger communication service level than low end VoIP (voiceover ADSL) provides.

This IP Phone System Review focuses on IP Telephony, (VoIP telephone system) a few important points you should look at when performing an IP phone system review for your business. You can download a far more comprehensive assessment on this topic at the end of this article.

Let’s get started…
Firstly, what is VoIP? VoIP Voice Over the internet Protocol, not Voice Over the Internet. The key words here are “Internet Protocol” that in general basic lay man’s terms means it converts voice telephone calls into ‘packages' of information which go over data networks. All of us have experienced bad quality VoIP calls at one time or other. VoIP phone calls using ADSL and the general public internet are typically too bad in quality to be a feasible business solution. Higher quality options are obtainable through data network providers similar to Telstra, Optus, iSeek, and so on. These companies supply excellent quality VoIP phone calls.

Additionally when doing your IP phone system review you may come across terms similar to IP Telephony and Unified Communications (UC)… so is there a difference? IP Telephony fundamentally pertains to the sort of hardware – handsets, servers, and so forth being deployed.

Unified Communications however relates to a set of capabilities created by IP Telephony equipment and software applications. These involve but are not restricted to – mobility, presence, instant messaging and web collaboration.
If you are thinking of VoIP for your organization, you cannot disregard bandwidth. Moreover you will require a enterprise grade data network to conveniently take advantages of the benefits of VoIP. If you’ve ever experienced} the ‘ going under water’ sound while on VoIP the following explanation should mean something to you…

… if ‘voice ‘ packages ‘ are slowed, even a small amount, due to data network congestion the call ends up being undecipherable. Data ‘packets packages' on the other hand can be slowed a little without the person noticing any harmful effects. So unless you implement ‘voice ready' data network equipment which prioritises voice over data, you and your fellow workers may sound like they are drowning on a regular basis.

If you don’t currently have a company grade data network the costs of setting up and maintaining this kind of infrastructure may negate the potential financial savings offered to you by VoIP. This is probably the biggest downside of VoIP for enterprises. (To uncover much more about bandwidth, e-mail Greg at greg@gregeicke.com.au and request his “Bandwidth Report”.)

So what does the future hold? As organisations continue to put into action far more robust computer networks and utilise specialised private data network companies (like iSeek), VoIP will turn out to be a far more feasible answer as should far more advanced Unified Communications (UC) options.

“Even the bottom line is feeling a positive affect: one company reported a 15 per cent rise in revenues as a result of unifying their communications. It's no wonder which the vast majority of IT managers we talked to see it as critical to growth.”
Mike Robinson, Converged Communications Director at Dimension Information, 2010