Traditional Telephony versus IP

With the ever increasing demand for mobility in office space IP telephony and VOIP are playing a more prominent role in the way businesses are adopting these new technologies.

IT Managers need to address the issues of Voice and Data in the work place, with a new set of problems incurred due to Voice Technologies not being tolerant of time delays and packet losses over the Data Networks. As these technologies have evolved priority has been given to Voice over Data with the introduction of QOS (Quality of Service) and RTP (Real Time Protocol). Bandwidth has also been a major consideration and this has been addressed with the introduction of a variety of Voice Codec’s i.e. G711, G729a, and G726. Data Switches are now providing Power over Ethernet to drive the IP Phones.

The changes required to prepare the Data Network for the introduction of Voice Technologies come at a price. For large Corporations that have extensive Data Networks and large IT Infrastructure, upgrades to these Networks can be included in their budgets. For the rest of us that don’t have this luxury, the financial outlay can be quite substantial posing the question do we really need to follow this path.

Below I will give you some alternatives to consider.

TRADITIONAL TELEPHONE SYSTEMS:

These systems have been around for decades and have served business well. The reliability factor has been their driving force along with features offered to clients. Price has been competitive as major players like NEC and ALCATEL vie for market share.

Market pressure has also forced these companies to adopt new IP technologies but with proven, stable hardware and software platforms. The main features that were offered in the traditional telephony world are still offered in the IP world giving a lot more credence to software and hardware development.

IP TELEPHONE SYSTEMS:

There has been a big push in the last 5 years for large Data and Software Companies eg. CISCO and MICROSOFT to get a slice of the action as far as Voice Technologies and adopt the one stop shop approach offering a complete voice and data solution to clients.

This was inevitable due to the advancing technology race which is engulfing our world. Technology is a great thing but not at the expense of others. IP Telephony has presented some very innovative ideas on how we approach communications in the future.

I believe that both IP and Traditional can coexist, allowing us to move into this transition at our own pace.

CONCLUSION:

  • When considering upgrading your Telephony you can have the best of both worlds with today’s technology.

 

  • If it is mobility you are after then IP is for you.

 

  • If you are desk bound then traditional is for you.

 

  • Before making the decision to throw out your old telephone system check to see if an upgrade path is available.

 

  • If you have a Key Phone System consider upgrading to a PABX.

 

  • Most Key Phone Systems unfortunately have an end of life cycle. Due to the competitive nature of the industry this cycle can be reached in a short timeframe leaving the client at the mercy of the second hand market.

 

  • PABX manufacturers on the other hand continue to upgrade their software and hardware platforms to keep abreast of changing market trends, therefore offering new solutions that may enhance the way your business operates without the need to replace an entire telephone system.

 

  • When deciding on a new telephone system, do your homework and balance the ‘Bells and Whistles’ with ‘Functionality and Reliability’.

 

  • Remember ROI (Return of Investment).