Companies Make Room For Voice Over IP - InformationWeek

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2/26/2004
03:19 PM
Paul Travis
Paul Travis
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Companies Make Room For Voice Over IP

As more businesses look at implementing voice-over-IP systems, technology managers have to make sure their computing and networking infrastructures can handle the increased load. Voice calls traveling over a data network need a certain amount of bandwidth to ensure high sound quality. While turning voice calls into packets and transmitting them over a data network doesn't add a heavy burden, savvy tech managers will want to be confident that key components are powerful enough to handle the load because they know that voice calls are critical to business.

More than 80% of 300 business-technology executives interviewed in a recent InformationWeek Research VoIP survey say they were using, testing, or planning to deploy voice-over-IP technology. Cost savings are cited as the main reason for deploying the relatively unproven technology.

Tech SupportTo make sure there is no decline in the quality of the voice calls that travel as data packets, many businesses have decided to upgrade several components of their networking infrastructure. More than half say they have upgraded network routers and network switches to support VoIP. Routers and switches must be properly configured and powerful enough to transmit voice packets quickly to ensure that conversations are clear and easy to understand.

Nearly half of respondents upgraded bandwidth and servers. Many businesses have a hard time estimating in advance how much bandwidth voice over IP will consume. VoIP users say voice traffic adds little to the network load.

As part of a VoIP upgrade, slightly more than a quarter of those surveyed say they enhanced network cabling and network-management software. One of the major benefits of the technology is the ability to easily add and drop users from the network and to control the entire system from a single management console.

How prepared is your company to support voice-over-IP systems? Let us know at the address below.

Paul Travis
Senior News Editor
[email protected]


Decision MakersDecision Makers

Who in your company is involved in the purchase of VoIP technology?

Decisions about a new phone system are too important to be left to telecom managers. In fact, those surveyed by InformationWeek Research say telecom managers ranked third on the list of those involved in VoIP decisions. Heading the list was IT management. VoIP traffic travels over data networks and the technology operates more like computer systems, so it's not surprising that IT managers and staff are involved since they're likely to end up responsible for support.

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