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Why VOIP?

 
 
DLR
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      11-13-2003
I have sat through a number of proposals for VOIP and still no one can tell
me why I should consider VOIP. I agree that VOIP could be the future and I
am impressed with the technology. However, currently even the newest Cisco
hardware and software cannot deliver the service reliability or quality that
would motivate an investment in excess of $1 M. Especially with great risk
to our customers and our ability to provide the response and quality that is
expected.

In other words, what can VOIP do that the newest PBX hardware can't.....not
to mention at a fraction of the cost. (long distance savings are minimal due
to the type of daily business usage and the eventual tax on the internet
will negate even more of the projected savings comparison)

My company is 50 locations in the mid-Atlantic states providing both
residential and commercial field services. Total annual revenue = $225 M. My
point being.... the price is not the object....the reliability and quality
of delivery for customer and coworker are my primary considerations with a
good ROI. (soft and/or hard)

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who could provide testimony of
their specific experiences or general bullet points on the advantages of
VOIP v/s PBX in today's market.

Thanks,

--
DLR


 
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Hank Karl
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      11-13-2003
IMO, a big advantage to VoIP is the ability to have extensions on
your PBX appear anywhere. Remote workers in SOHO locations may have a
VPN, and also have a VoIP connection to the company PBX, so they get
all the PBX features (voice mail, conferencing, 800 numbers, easy
transfer from other users, ....)

Another advantage to VoIP is the savings in operating expenses from
having one network, but these may not be as great as many people
think, because now the data network will have to be ruggedized and
brought up to the standards users expect in a telephone network.

Advanced services that lead to efficiency improvements are possible
with VoIP, but many of these services could (in theory) be provided
with analog phones.


On Wed, 12 Nov 2003 20:49:46 -0500, "DLR" <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>I have sat through a number of proposals for VOIP and still no one can tell
>me why I should consider VOIP. I agree that VOIP could be the future and I
>am impressed with the technology. However, currently even the newest Cisco
>hardware and software cannot deliver the service reliability or quality that
>would motivate an investment in excess of $1 M. Especially with great risk
>to our customers and our ability to provide the response and quality that is
>expected.
>
>In other words, what can VOIP do that the newest PBX hardware can't.....not
>to mention at a fraction of the cost. (long distance savings are minimal due
>to the type of daily business usage and the eventual tax on the internet
>will negate even more of the projected savings comparison)
>
>My company is 50 locations in the mid-Atlantic states providing both
>residential and commercial field services. Total annual revenue = $225 M. My
>point being.... the price is not the object....the reliability and quality
>of delivery for customer and coworker are my primary considerations with a
>good ROI. (soft and/or hard)
>
>I would be interested in hearing from anyone who could provide testimony of
>their specific experiences or general bullet points on the advantages of
>VOIP v/s PBX in today's market.
>
>Thanks,


 
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DPGumby
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-13-2003
I agree if you want the reliability you stay with a traditional PBX. There
is no VoIP system that have the same level of reliability as a traditional
PBX when you now consider the added layer of complexity/vulnerability you
add by putting you telephones on your data network. Has there ever been an
instance where a PBX was brought to its knees by a virus attack? Iv'e seen
IP systems be effected. Not only the product themselves, but also the
network that the IP telephones are running on.

Cost justification always depends on the situation. I was on a site looking
for a new telephone system. They had cat 2 cable and all the data running on
hubs. It would have required a total re-cabling of the building + upgrading
all the network equipment + buying the VoIP system. The PBX gave them
superior reliability ( a requirement ) plus was much cheaper. If they had
the cabling in place and network in place they might have been willing to
try IP.
It may be cheaper to have everthing on one infrastructure
( the network ) but most PBX's you put them in and leave them, IP you always
have to consider them when you are working on the network ( you can easily
make a programming change to the network that can effect all the phones).

IP, in my mind does however give you some solutions that a PBX can't ( or
can but it is expensive to implement ). What are some of those things? I sit
here at home with my Mitel 5020 VoIP set plugged into my DSL router. It is
in effect on our 3300ICP system in the office. If someone calls my business
number, it rings here. If I go out and someone leaves me a voicemail message
on our office voicemail, when I come back, the message waiting light is
flashing. I can dial anyone in our corporation using the built in telephone
directory, use any feature ( camp on call back etc ) and make use of the
office telephone facilites to save on long distance. Try that on a PBX!
Yeah, there are ways to do something similar on a PBX but not this easily.
If I don't want the phone, I could use a VPN account with YA Pro and get the
same features on my home PC.

The other place I have seen some success with VoIP is in mixed enviroments
( PBX's and IP systems ). The PBX go in areas where reliability and cost
make them the right choice. The IP systems go in smaller offices. We have
had success in a network of Mitel SX2000's and 3300's. All the PBX's are
joined over T1 with MSDN and are IP "trunked" to the 3300 IP systems. It
allowed the customer to deploy the small offices very cheaply. The data
network was already there so it was used to add the IP systems, without
having to provision any trunks, except a few for power failure ( all calls
come and go through the nearest PBX ).

Anyway maybe some others have some ideas where IP shines.



 
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Ian
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      11-13-2003

<SNIP>
> I would be interested in hearing from anyone who could provide testimony

of
> their specific experiences or general bullet points on the advantages of
> VOIP v/s PBX in today's market.
>


HI
Forget looking for advantages..

Voip is just another method of deliveing the data to the phone.

If we start with hardware

TDM first
CPU---->extension card--->wire----->phone

VOIP
CPU--->L2Switch--->wire------>phone

as you can see at their simplest its the same.

The advantages are though.......
You dont need special cards for softphones.

its eaiser to remotely locate extensions

Single infrastucture, and the cost saving that implies.

This is where all the manufacurers are spending the R&D money, TDM is pretty
much dead now R&D wise.

Feature wise Most of the decent systems support all the normally reqd
features. (I know Cisco didnt but that was some years ago now.)

Finally

Point for point they cost about the same if not VOIP being a bit cheaper.
If you have a greenfield site then its a no brainer. if you have a large
network of old dataequipment including Hubs and 10baseT etc, Get your data
network upgraded first then look at VOIP.

From personal experiance the biggest hurdle is getting the comms dept. to
talk to the data networks dept. and good reason for this as once VOIP is
installed there is usally a job cut and no guess where from.

Go back 20 years and the same argument was going on about replacing
mechanical with electronic. Its called change.


Ian


 
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Miguel Cruz
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      11-13-2003
DLR <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> In other words, what can VOIP do that the newest PBX hardware can't.....not
> to mention at a fraction of the cost. (long distance savings are minimal due
> to the type of daily business usage and the eventual tax on the internet
> will negate even more of the projected savings comparison)


Tell us more about this "eventual tax on the internet" for which you have
calculated the cost and compared to your long distance rates. As the only
person out there with hard numbers, you could be pretty popular.

miguel
--
See the world from your web browser: http://travel.u.nu/
 
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Cullen Jennings
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-02-2003
On 11/12/03 5:49 PM, in article http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed), "DLR"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> In other words, what can VOIP do that the newest PBX hardware can't....


I notice the newest PBX systems from Nortel, Avaya, Mitel, Cisco etc seem to
all be VOIP systems.

The question is what can new phone systems do that your current phone does
not do. Clearly, allowing you to have your office phone when you are in your
home office or in a hotel in another country is popular for some people. For
others is seem to be the advanced integration with presence and calendars so
that the system know who to send to what phone. Some others seem to like the
seamless way you can be on a phone call and move to video, or IM, or web
collaboration.

The phone on my desk has been a VoIP phone for several years now - they work
just fine.

Cullen



 
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Lee
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      12-03-2003
> On 11/12/03 5:49 PM, in article (E-Mail Removed), "DLR"
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> > In other words, what can VOIP do that the newest PBX hardware can't....

>

Cullen et al;
I just had VoIP rammed down my throat. I went from an orphaned digital
key system to Cisco Call Manager 3.3.
Pluses and minuses or Likes and dislikes...
YMMV
Old orphaned system. Manufacturer discontinued in 1993. In 13+ years
of operation I never had to reboot any of the controllers, never had
to install any operating patches, never had anyone "hack" into or
disrupt the operations and nothing on the "network" ever caused any
operating problems. I also never ever had any "virus" attacks or
needed any "virus protection" software. I had to replace them as the
mass storage card hard disks were failing and I couldn't obtain
replacements.

Since the Call Managers were installed this summer there have been at
least three Application upgrades and numerous Microsoft support
patches. (To be exact in the past 15 months there have been over 60
Microsoft issued patches for Win 2K) The system design does allow for
the upgrading with usually a very short "outage" for the sets as they
fail over from one server to another.

Orphaned system had three basic sets with the ability on two of the
sets to answer over one hundred calls. The "largest" Cisco combination
can manage only 34 lines and that "set" is huge and costs over $1000.
(A "better" deal is the new Telstrat i2732. It cost less than a Cisco
7960 and it is like having a 7960 and 7914 minus a couple of buttons)

Orphaned system interfaced with and "enhanced" Centrex services. Cisco
is designed to interface "digitally" with PSTN and provides what the
"computer geeks" at Cisco "think" a telephone system should work like.

Cost Savings??? VoIP will allow you to "dial around" to save on LD. It
will allow you to "save" on cabling costs as you only need one station
cable to carry both data and voice. You should be able to see a
reduction in your monthly recurring charges as you pay for DID lines
and trunks instead of separate station lines. (The cost difference
here will pay for "my" system in about 18 years ;>) You can build
"fake" numbers for calls out which means you don't have to pay the
ILEC for every number you are actually using. Moves, Adds, Changes are
very easy to accomplish via a WEB programming interface and the fact
that the set programming can be pushed to the set where ever it
happens to be on the network. (within reason). Cost savings claimed
for unified messaging or CTI are a wash as "most" PBX/Digital Key
systems made in the past few years can already perform these actions.
(Specifically Nortel Norstars as I have a bunch of them) Biggest
benefit is to the data users as their "network speed" will rise due to
the infrastructure required to support the phones.

Problems: Network "issues" can play havoc with the phone operations
even though the telephones are in a different V-Lan. Since the feeds
are "digital" (PRI ISDN) you can't (or at least I can't) get station
billing detail from the ILEC. All outbound toll calls bill to the PRI
Trunk the call originated from. (If anyone knows the magic word to
tell SBC to get station details working please let me know). Voice
compression results in "cell phone" quality on many calls. Echo
problems can take a long time to quash. One simple programming change
to a "router" can totally hose the phone operations. The sets are
vunerable to virus and DoS attacks. (Their resistance is very good and
improving all the time, but...)

Other "pluses" Call Center operations are "cool". Hot seating and CTI
integration provides the supervisors more controls than they had with
the C.O. based ACD system they were using. Scripts make it easy to
change or enhance call flows and audio prompts that are played for the
customers.

I'm sure I'll grow to enjoy this new system, and at least for now
Cisco is working on feature upgrades and are still developing new
equipment like the 7970 color set. (Although why anyone would want to
"surf" from a 6"inch color screen instead of from their 19" color flat
panel is beyond me.)
Have also heard rumors that Cisco is working on a Linux based version
of Call Manager to get away from NT2K.

Background. I participated in the installation of the first Western
Electric 2B ESS ever installed outside of the Bell System. I've been
involved with Centrex and phone systems since 1979. This VoIP stuff is
still all smoke and mirrors to my "old" brain...

Lee
 
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Nortec
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-03-2003

"Lee" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) m...
> > On 11/12/03 5:49 PM, in article (E-Mail Removed),

"DLR"
> > <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >
> > > In other words, what can VOIP do that the newest PBX hardware

can't....
> >

> Cullen et al;
> I just had VoIP rammed down my throat. I went from an orphaned digital
> key system to Cisco Call Manager 3.3.
> Pluses and minuses or Likes and dislikes...
> YMMV
> Old orphaned system. Manufacturer discontinued in 1993. In 13+ years
> of operation I never had to reboot any of the controllers, never had
> to install any operating patches, never had anyone "hack" into or
> disrupt the operations and nothing on the "network" ever caused any
> operating problems. I also never ever had any "virus" attacks or
> needed any "virus protection" software. I had to replace them as the
> mass storage card hard disks were failing and I couldn't obtain
> replacements.
>
> Since the Call Managers were installed this summer there have been at
> least three Application upgrades and numerous Microsoft support
> patches. (To be exact in the past 15 months there have been over 60
> Microsoft issued patches for Win 2K) The system design does allow for
> the upgrading with usually a very short "outage" for the sets as they
> fail over from one server to another.
>
> Orphaned system had three basic sets with the ability on two of the
> sets to answer over one hundred calls. The "largest" Cisco combination
> can manage only 34 lines and that "set" is huge and costs over $1000.
> (A "better" deal is the new Telstrat i2732. It cost less than a Cisco
> 7960 and it is like having a 7960 and 7914 minus a couple of buttons)
>
> Orphaned system interfaced with and "enhanced" Centrex services. Cisco
> is designed to interface "digitally" with PSTN and provides what the
> "computer geeks" at Cisco "think" a telephone system should work like.
>
> Cost Savings??? VoIP will allow you to "dial around" to save on LD. It
> will allow you to "save" on cabling costs as you only need one station
> cable to carry both data and voice. You should be able to see a
> reduction in your monthly recurring charges as you pay for DID lines
> and trunks instead of separate station lines. (The cost difference
> here will pay for "my" system in about 18 years ;>) You can build
> "fake" numbers for calls out which means you don't have to pay the
> ILEC for every number you are actually using. Moves, Adds, Changes are
> very easy to accomplish via a WEB programming interface and the fact
> that the set programming can be pushed to the set where ever it
> happens to be on the network. (within reason). Cost savings claimed
> for unified messaging or CTI are a wash as "most" PBX/Digital Key
> systems made in the past few years can already perform these actions.
> (Specifically Nortel Norstars as I have a bunch of them) Biggest
> benefit is to the data users as their "network speed" will rise due to
> the infrastructure required to support the phones.
>
> Problems: Network "issues" can play havoc with the phone operations
> even though the telephones are in a different V-Lan. Since the feeds
> are "digital" (PRI ISDN) you can't (or at least I can't) get station
> billing detail from the ILEC. All outbound toll calls bill to the PRI
> Trunk the call originated from. (If anyone knows the magic word to
> tell SBC to get station details working please let me know). Voice
> compression results in "cell phone" quality on many calls. Echo
> problems can take a long time to quash. One simple programming change
> to a "router" can totally hose the phone operations. The sets are
> vunerable to virus and DoS attacks. (Their resistance is very good and
> improving all the time, but...)
>
> Other "pluses" Call Center operations are "cool". Hot seating and CTI
> integration provides the supervisors more controls than they had with
> the C.O. based ACD system they were using. Scripts make it easy to
> change or enhance call flows and audio prompts that are played for the
> customers.
>
> I'm sure I'll grow to enjoy this new system, and at least for now
> Cisco is working on feature upgrades and are still developing new
> equipment like the 7970 color set. (Although why anyone would want to
> "surf" from a 6"inch color screen instead of from their 19" color flat
> panel is beyond me.)
> Have also heard rumors that Cisco is working on a Linux based version
> of Call Manager to get away from NT2K.
>
> Background. I participated in the installation of the first Western
> Electric 2B ESS ever installed outside of the Bell System. I've been
> involved with Centrex and phone systems since 1979. This VoIP stuff is
> still all smoke and mirrors to my "old" brain...
>
> Lee


The one issue that I've never seen addressed is with everything on "one
cable" how do you implement gigabit ethernet since all the phones are 10/100
mbps?

Oh, I see - when you what to upgrade to GB ethernet, you now have to upgrade
your phones too. Don't you just love the idea of converged networks?


 
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DPGumby
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      12-04-2003
Would gigabit ethernet not support legacy 10/100 NICs?


 
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Nortec
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      12-04-2003
"DPGumby" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:wQvzb.9900$(E-Mail Removed). ..
> Would gigabit ethernet not support legacy 10/100 NICs?


It would at 10/100 speeds - so your gigabit switch would be limited to
10/100 Mbps (the maximum speed of the IP phone's build in switch).


 
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