ChannelLife New Zealand logo
Industry insider news for New Zealand's technology resellers
Story image

VoIP -Avoid the pitfalls, while navigating the VoIP labyrinth

Thu 1 Mar 2007
FYI, this story is more than a year old

* IT Net worldWhen planning an upgrade from a legacy to a VoIP based PBX system, it is essential to understand differences in communication technologies. Already VoIP solutions vary between generation, equipment and technology. It requires knowledge and planning to make an informed choice and to build the best converged infrastructure for an environment.

Sound foundationsThere are essentially three generations of IP-based (or VOIP) PBX systems available.

* The first leverages existing infrastructure, IP-enabling PBXs and bridging the gap between IP and time division multiplexing (TDM) solutions * The second focuses fully on IP transport of voice traffic and requires proprietary network infrastructure. * The third is a distributed software based client-server environment, which can be easily implemented and integrated with existing business applications.

While some vendors may use the same or similar terminology to describe their products, approaches can vary significantly with implications in implementation and results.

For each business, the decision to choose hybrid, hardware-based VoIP or software-switch VoIP solutions depends on several factors. These include the architecture of the existing voice infrastructure, the readiness of the network to support VoIP traffic and critically, how voice communications relates to overall strategic business goals. Whatever the deployment choice, decision-makers need to understand overall advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Creative blueprint

IP-PBX architecture will increasingly put organisations at a competitive advantage over the next decade. Confidence in Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), the worldwide “de facto” VoIP standard, is leading to its rapid worldwide deployment  as a replacement of traditional PBXs.

Many small and medium sized businesses are now considering enhanced collaborative tools such as conferencing and instant messaging on the desktop, productivity options previously considered unaffordable and insecure. For instance, with systems integration, accounting personnel can see if a caller has an outstanding bill or query before they even answer their call.

The economic benefits of centralised voice services and strategic benefits of managing voice as an IT application increasingly put enterprises with a TDM or hybrid system at a cost and competitive disadvantage. This doesn’t mean enterprises must move immediately to a pure IP solution - but any new technology investment must be proven to move the organisation towards the goal of a prosperous enterprise and the latest generation of pure VoIP systems.

Bricks and mortar

Here are the basic areas to consider when evaluating IP telephony options:

* Asking the right questions

Talk to multiple vendors about their converged or overall IP network vision. How do they handle voice and do they offer “just another data network application”? Does it truly integrate with existing software applications? How can the proposed solution increase operational efficiency in critical departments?

* Avoiding closed systems

When evaluating vendors and products, look for standard-based protocols and standard environments to ensure independence from vendors, flexibility to develop and freedom to add new features and applications.

* Integration matters

Consider and quantify productivity gain by integrating VoIP with core business processes, workflows and applications like CRMs and ERPs. With the latest generation of IP telephony, a set of new productivity-enhancing applications maximise enterprise efficiency and enable new channels to engage to create new profit opportunities.

* Network preparation

Perform detailed IP analysis to understand current volume of voice traffic, then model impact on the IP network. Additional equipment and WAN bandwidth may be required and should be figured into the new environment.

* Demo and Trial Installation

Vendors should be able to demonstrate a proposed solution and may even offer a trial installation onsite.

* Flexibility and Mobility

A system should be able to move and grow with a business no matter how many people, sites or locations it may have in the future.

* Having a fallback plan

IP networks are mature, but backup and contingency planning is still wise. Plan voice rerouting or backup phone lines to avoid a potential service interruption as a fail-over scenario.

Creative vision

One final and essential aspect in a successful evaluation is the handling of the telephone feature set. Take care that every required position in a Request for Proposal has a hierarchical importance assigned, clearly weighted and prioritised. For instance, consider if features such as “music on hold” or “conference functionality” have the same scoring value as “voice recording” or “CTI integration to existing CRM system” or “One number for dynamic team configuration”.

A complex technology such as VoIP makes creating an effective Request for Proposal for deployment a major task, but by going forward with “best practice” thinking a successful evaluation and ultimate implementation will be achieved. “The advantages of VoIP are very real and easily achievable in almost every business,” says IT Net World director Andy Egli. “The path to implementation can sometimes appear daunting because the technology seems so new, but help is always at hand. Gather knowledge, make an informed choice and your outcome will be so much sounder.”

* IT Computer Products

Distributor IT Computer Products believes it has a product that will take the small to medium enterprise (SME) VoIP market by storm.

Peter White, product manager, says the Quadro range of products from manufacturer Epygi are perfectly suited to the New Zealand market.

“We actively went looking for something that we could offer to the SME segment and Epygi had the answer. Key to its success is that it’s very simple,” he says.

Resellers do all configuration through a web-based interface and, although there are no licensing fees or ongoing maintenance costs – if they want to include a SLA it’s up to them, says White.

White has been actively recruiting resellers for the last four months and is keen to hear from anyone wanting to move into the telecommunications market.

“Ideally I’d like to hear from companies that already have expertise in networking and computers as it’s easier to teach someone about communications than vice versa.”

He warns that IT Computer Products vets potential partners quite extensively before signing them up to resell Quadro products.

“If a customer’s network goes down for a couple of hours it’s an inconvenience but not the end of the world, however if their phone system goes down that’s a big deal hence we want the right people working on it.”

Features* The Quadro connects to broadband internet service – Ethernet or ADSL -  and supports up to four phones or four PBX trunks. * For calls outside the office, Quadro’s caller ID recognises the user’s mobile number and authenticates access to the Quadro. Users then dial an extension and the Quadro routes the call on the best possible route – either down the hall or around the globe.

* Most Quadro models have a lifeline safety feature in the event of power failure. If power goes out, one phone immediately connects to the public phone network for emergency services. The Quadro has many PBX features such as voice mail, 3-way conferencing, call waiting and call statistics.

* The Quadro is also packed with an array of network features including a firewall and a virtual private network (VPN) for secure, private voice and data communications.

* Uses standard off-the-shelf telephones and works with standard network hubs and switches

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Fastly, INX, Kinly, SmartBear & Vectra AI
We round up all job appointments from July 29 - August 12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
How well do rangatahi understand cyber safety in Aotearoa?
Do rangatahi in Aotearoa understand the importance of being safe online, or has lifelong exposure to the internet resulted in widespread complacency?
Story image
Data Protection
Zero Trust, but verify - finding the OT in ZerO Trust
The move to remote and cloud-based technologies has shifted the goalposts for cybersecurity. It now needs to cover multiple people, devices, platforms, and networks.
Story image
Why printing security plays a vital part in keeping Aotearoa safe
While internet printing, mobile printing and other similar technologies have no doubt made things easier to manage, it has also brought a whole new set of problems to the table.
Story image
Samsung introduces new generation of foldable smartphones
Samsung has unveiled its new range of Galaxy Z smartphones, bringing new developments to the company’s foldable smartphone portfolio.
Story image
Dicker Data
Dicker Data brought on as Acronis partner for A/NZ
The news about the partnership comes in as cyber criminals continue to exploit gaps in traditional solutions and strategies in NZ and across the APAC region.
Story image
Red Hat
Red Hat announces 2022 awards winners for A/NZ region
Red Hat recently acknowledged Australia and New Zealand partners with its annual awards, highlighting partners across various categories.
Story image
Financial results
Jade Software’s plan to get back to surplus in 2022
Jade Software has released its latest financial report, revealing that the company has kept its loss low from $567,000 in FY 2020 to just $153,000 in FY 2021.
Story image
Cloud and data protection big challenges for NZ businesses
"This surge towards a cloud-first approach meant security and safety became afterthoughts - there's no point being the fastest car on the racetrack if you crash.”
Story image
Home security
Hands-on review: Eufy Wire-Free Dual Cam Video Doorbell 2K
We have had our house secured by Eufy products for over seven months now. We love the brand, and it has never let us down.
Story image
10 Minute IT Jams
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from Heidrick & Struggles
Graham Kittle joins us today to discuss how the company is helping organisations bring about change within their business.
Story image
Web application firewall
Radware recognised in KuppingerCole’s 2022 Leadership Compass report
Radware has been named a Product, Innovation, Market and Overall Leader in the 2022 KuppingerCole Leadership Compass report for Web Application Firewalls.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
The essential guide to digital transformation by SolarWinds
Digital transformation is a buzzword thrown around all the time by companies, but what does it actually mean and why is it important? SolarWinds breaks it down.
Story image
Ingram Micro
Ingram Micro NZ sees $74 million revenue growth in 2021
Ingram Micro New Zealand's latest financial report reveals that its revenue from contracts with customers increased by almost $74 million in 2021.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Exclusive: NZ-based DEFEND offers global cyber protection
DEFEND supports customers in 66 countries across the globe with a relentless focus on ensuring that every dollar spent on security provides a meaningful return on investment and reduces cyber risk.
Story image
High level of Customer Identity & Access Management adoption
The study from Okta revealed that the pandemic has either accelerated or highlighted the need for digital-first strategies.
Story image
Hands-on review: Arlo Go 2 security camera
In my humble opinion, Arlo Go 2 offers security for anyone needing to keep a remote eye on prized possessions or premises at different locations.
Story image
NZ program recovers and recycles more than 177 tonnes of e-waste
The TechCollect NZ pilot program says its milestone of recovering and recycling more than 177 tonnes of ICT e-waste recognises the efforts of many.
Story image
Google Cloud
Google Cloud to open first cloud region in NZ - among others
Google Cloud has announced plans to bring three new cloud regions, one each in New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand.
Story image
Claroty launches new cloud-based industrial cybersecurity platform
The company says Claroty xDome is the industry's first solution to deliver the ease and scalability of SaaS without compromising on visibility, protection, and monitoring controls.
Story image
Spectralink DECT devices now integrated with Microsoft Teams SIP Gateway
Spectralink DECT devices are now integrated with Microsoft Teams SIP Gateway to help create better results for business-critical frontline workers.
Story image
New Zealand
2degrees announces appointments to newly established board
2degrees has announced Liz Coutts as the board chair, while Russell Stanners and Kathy Meads join her as directors.
Story image
Garmin expands NZ footprint with new Auckland distribution centre
The facility at Goodman’s Highbrook Business Park will be fully operational from October 2022 and features 3,586sqm of warehouse space.
Story image
Keysight Technologies and Nokia’s public test of 800GE success
Keysight and Nokia have successfully demonstrated the first public 800GE test, validating the readiness of next-generation optics for service providers and network operators.
Story image
New range of Samsung Smart Watches announced with health focus
Samsung has announced new additions to its SmartWatch portfolio, with the Galaxy Watch5 and Galaxy Watch5 Pro to be released in late August.
Story image
Snyk announces plans to expand partner network in APJ
Recognising that partnerships are critical for growth, Snyk is building an entire partner ecosystem that will drive its expansion across APJ.
Story image
Workplace design a crucial factor for better employee experience - report
The key to a successful workplace could be its design, according to research from Ecosystm and Neat.
Story image
Home Entertainment
Hands-on review: TCL 65″ C835 Mini LED 4K Google TV
We introduce you today to a TV that brings the height of immersion to your viewing experience: The TCL 65″ C835 Mini LED 4K Google TV.
Story image
LG Electronics
LG Electronics’ revenue in NZ grows by 57% in FY 2021
The New Zealand branch of LG Electronics Australia's total revenue shot up by nearly NZD $45 million reaching a total of $123.7 million for FY 2021.
Story image
Organisations exposing highly sensitive protocols to public internet
More than 60% of organisations expose remote control protocol SSH to the public internet, while 36% of organisations expose the insecure FTP protocol.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Cohesity, Equinix, IDC, Proofpoint & Xero
We round up all job appointments from July 29 - August 5, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Application Performance Monitoring / APM
New Relic integrates offering with Atlassian’s Jira Software
New Relic has integrated errors inbox with Jira Software to allow developers to easily access and set up complete stack error tracking and software performance monitoring from within the tool.
Story image
Dark web
Beware the darkverse and its cyber-physical threats
A darkverse of criminality hidden from law enforcement could quickly evolve to fuel a new industry of metaverse-related cybercrime.
Story image
SnapLogic teams up with meetmagic for charity and children
SnapLogic has announced its partnership with meetmagic, an online Australian platform that combines business and philanthropy.
Story image
9 in 10 retailers prepared for economic challenges this year
Some 9 in 10 retailers (86%) are prepared for continued inflation, higher interest rates and potentially lower consumer spending, according to new research.
Story image
Ministry will no longer accept equipment from Chinese firm Hikvision
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) says it will no longer accept equipment from a major Chinese surveillance camera maker.
Story image
Document Management
TrustRadius gives M-Files two document management awards
TrustRadius has recognised M-Files with both a 2022 Best Feature Set and a 2022 Best Relationship award in document management.
Story image
Nozomi Networks adds nine partners to its MSSP program
OT and IoT security company Nozomi Networks has added nine new members to its MSSP Partner Program, and the list includes CyberCX and Deloitte.
Story image
Attacks on gaming companies more than double over past year
The State of the Internet report shows gaming companies and gamer accounts are at risk, following a surge in web application attacks post pandemic.
Story image
Privileged Access Management / PAM
The importance of stopping identity sprawl for cybersecurity
The 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) shows that 61% of all breaches involve malicious actors gaining unauthorised, privileged access to data by using a compromised credential. Unfortunately, it is often too late when the misuse of a credential is detected.
Story image
Why security needs to shape your journey to the cloud
It's estimated that 80% of workloads could be in the cloud in the next few years. How can you make all that data secure?