Although VoIP or Voice over IP (as it is also known) – basically phone calls over the Internet – is starting to become a popular solution for business telecommunications, your business might not be ready for it. Business networks come in all shapes and sizes, and a deficiency in one area of your network can prevent you from adopting a VoIP service solution. Fortunately, each of these factors can be addressed to ascertain whether your business is ready for VoIP
A LAN (Local Area Network) supplies the networking capability for the group of computers that your business operates from your office site. Your LAN must have the ability to both protect and prioritize data packets of information. The LAN’s switching fabric must also support prioritization of traffic through differentiated services (a form of computer networking architecture) and network segmentation via VLANs (Virtual Local Area Network, usually 802.1Q). In order to make troubleshooting easier and support high-quality service, your LAN should also have the ability to isolate real-time media and switch in real time.
Your choice of router is also an important component of your network, and should also separate real time media from other traffic. The router should actually route real time media at a separate IP address, which will also help with analysis and optimization of performance.
Your Network Connection Speed
Possibly the most discussed factor in determining whether a particular business network can support VoIP is the actual quality of your Internet connection. Fortunately the discussion has inspired many resources such as “Pingtest” that enables business to evaluate their connection speed.
Finally, the actual end user equipment will have a substantial impact on perceived VoIP service quality. Cheap handsets and headsets make for poor fidelity, and extra IT time spent diagnosing the problem. Although your choice of equipment may seem like a minor concern, the result of the choice will affect your both your productivity and your image. You can purchase VoIP phones from most VoIP PBX providers.
Be Sure You Are Ready
Make sure you are ready before causing a disastrous loss of phone service in your business. Once you find out about your ability (or lack thereof) to carry multiple voice calls simultaneously over your network and Internet service, you may reconsider cutting the cord to your traditional phone company’s reliable lines.