Let’s deal with these misconceptions.
Office IP telephony is expensive
Indeed, in the case of such eminent brands as Cisco, IP telephony can be expensive. However, is there any sense in overpaying for the brand? I think no. In most cases, you can use the solutions of more budget-minded manufacturers, and they will work with the same quality.
Then we begin to consider solutions based on open source software. The most popular solution, of course, is Asterisk and SIP and IAX2 protocols. They allow you to build a scalable telephony system in an enterprise of any scale. You can buy a small PC on the Atom processor today and connect 10 phones, adding new subscribers to your mini server for free. Tomorrow, when the business grows to 50 or more employees, you simply buy a more powerful server and transfer the configuration from the old one. An additional advantage, in comparison with traditional telephony, you will get an easy installation of telephony. After all, the phones will work on a computer local network, which means they can be transferred to another office or even dismantled and assembled in a new office, and you do not need to cross anything, lay an additional cable. All works simply. A junction with the city can be done by SIP. Most telephony providers support it. Or buy a number from the provider of IP telephony, then when you move to another office your number will always be fixed only for you.
In fact, if you use high-quality equipment, the “uptime” of the IP telephony server may be a year or more. In case you do not need services like voicemail, recordings of conversations and other services that consume free space, you can do with a small SSD drive in the server and a processor with passive cooling, and then server maintenance will not be required at all. In case you need a fault tolerance of 99.9999%, you can build a system with redundant or load-sharing between servers, and then the failure of one or more servers will not affect the company’s telephony service. When installing a traditional PBX, this solution simply does not exist. It is also possible to reserve Internet channels for external connections, which will also increase reliability. Failure or prevention of the provider will not interrupt customer calls.
Indeed, many sip providers use the g729 codec, which is used in GSM networks, which compresses the sound to 8 kbps, and bad channels on the Internet make their distortions. However, building telephony in the office, we do not need to use this codec, you can use g711, which allows you to send faxes and provides excellent sound quality. The interlocutor from the other end of the country will hear you, as if you are in a nearby office. Then we came to another great advantage of IP telephony – the possibility of combining offices.
If necessary to consolidate offices, you can call directly to another office using encrypted channels on the Internet. Thus, it is possible to build a distributed telephone network with a single numbering and an unlimited number of channels. No need to buy any licenses and wait for a long time. You do not need to become attached to one brand, because it uses a proprietary protocol. Technology is open to your growth. You can use the output to a city that is connected to a remote office. In addition, subscribers, calling “into the city”, may not know through which channel the call is made.
Thus, IP telephony is already a reliable, economical solution in offices of any scale. In large offices with an existing telephony, you can switch to it gradually, by integrating the IP PBX with a “traditional” analog or digital PBX.
IP telephony technology has many other remarkable properties, we’ll probably talk about them next time. I am ready to discuss your opinions on my conclusions, perhaps you have something to add or correct.