Implementing VoIP requires attention to many factors including: available bandwidth, Qos/Cos policies, manageability, scalability, functionality requirements, availability (including survivable remote solutions for branch office networks), performance and security. Integration is another key consideration as, inevitably, large enterprise telephony environments often feature heterogeneous, multi-vendor networks with disparate devices deployed for the distinctive needs of their large and small sites.
Business deployment can be hindered by the lower quality of voice over IP. Voice quality is a subjective topic and the definition of ‘good’ voice quality varies greatly with business needs and user expectations. Whilst lower delay, packet loss and jitter values produce the best voice quality the trade off may come in the form of increased costs associated with network infrastructure upgrades. There is also a trade off between real world limits and acceptable voice quality. Indeed some limits lie beyond easy control (such as the inherent fixed delay between geographically remote sites, for example between the UK and India).
Whilst the benefits and opportunities provided by VoIP and IPT are compelling, in order to fully realise the potential rewards companies need now, more than ever, to ensure their IT Strategy (which may cross multiple departments encompassing voice, data, AV and application teams) is comprehensive and clearly defined. The challenge is for companies to develop a coherent strategy in a still relatively immature market.