Best Practices for a Successful VoIP Implementation
Voice over IP (VoIP) can integrate voice with other forms of communication and save clients money on long-distance charges as well as increase efficiencies in communications between staff no matter what location they work at, but there’s more to deploying VoIP than just putting new phones on desks.
VoIP implementation should follow industry standard best practices.
With the typical on-premise VoIP implementation, voice data travels over the client’s existing LAN. As with any other data, network congestion can delay packets or even cause some to be dropped. While this is just a minor inconvenience for most forms of data — an Intranet page taking slightly longer to load, for instance — even a few dropped VoIP packets can introduce unacceptable echoes or breaks in a voice stream.
Customers are used to the nearly flawless voice quality they get with standard phone lines and will usually not settle for lower quality with VoIP services. To support VoIP, networks have to be assessed and often upgraded as a first step — in fact, many vendors require it.
Larger companies tend to have robust networks that are mostly ready to handle VoIP implementation, but networks at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often need upgrading, especially when it comes to the connection between sites.
VoIP services need to be available 24/7 even during peak traffic hours, so just setting up enough bandwidth to handle average loads is not enough. You should prioritize your network to make sure that VoIP data travels freely all the time, and you may want to set up a virtual LAN (VLAN) for the VoIP devices to guarantee they get all the bandwidth they need.
You should also set up prioritization to ensure that VoIP packets are prioritized across not only your network, but also as they enter and leave your network to connect to a remote node or device over a WAN connection. This provides quality of service (QoS) as data packets enter or leave the LAN.
Aside from bandwidth considerations, setting up a VLAN can also make security easier to manage. Because VoIP implementations combine phone service and data networks, you need to address security for both areas.
Your approach to security with VoIP should be similar to any other data. If you’re using VoIP services between different sites, make sure that all data is encrypted through a VPN.
Deploying VoIP at a single site first lets you avoid the additional challenges in getting good voice quality across your WAN on day one. Because VoIP (SIP) is completely separate from traditional phone lines, you can set up the system without interrupting normal phone service and then switch over at your own pace after testing.
For more information please visit www.GoECS.com