VoIP: Limitations and Challenges
We've talked in our blogs about the advantages of VoIP technology in the workplace. It is important to also be aware that VoIP is not a technology that you buy out of the box. It is important that when you migrate to VoIP you get the assistance and support of a managed service provider. VoIP is feature-rich, but it is also complex. For instance, VoIP can allow for high definition calls using G.722. The quality difference is fantastic. However, G.722 has limited availability. Old telco lines cannot carry this standard. Also, when calls move from one mobile carrier to another, HD is lost and the call drops back to G.711. Finally, before you adopt G.722 HD calling, keep in mind that this means your voice packets are traveling over the open internet, which creates very real security concerns. Utilization of HD means you will need to develop security protocols and use encryption.
Another thing to be aware of with VoIP: segregate bandwidth to ensure sufficient capacity for voice communications. A managed service provider can help with this issue. A best practice when designing a VoIP system is to put the VoIP traffic on a separate VLAN segregated from the normal network data traffic. This will help ensure that the two types of traffic do not affect each other. Simply put, if your entire office staff decided to start downloading Youtube videos simultaneously, your voice communications would suffer.
In summary, VoIP is a fantastic technology for your organization. If you haven't done so already, you will adopt it at some point. PBX systems don’t last forever, and manufacturers stop supporting older systems and parts become unavailable. Whenever that happens you will need to adopt a VoIP system, and you will be glad you did. But VoIP is complex. It isn't something that comes in a box and gets plugged in like a TV. There are a lot of moving parts. A managed service provider can handle the complexities of VoIP adoption including encryption, security, and SIP protocol interface issues with the telco or cable company. It can be a bit more complex, but the costs savings and improvement to your communications will yield measurable ROI for your organization.