VoIP At Work

Published Date
01 - Nov - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Nov - 2005
 
VoIP At Work
VoIP is a great way to increase productivity without major hassles

IBM Global Services offers end-to-end solutions ranging from hardware to software, services and consulting. Since it's inception in India in 1992, IBM has expanded its operations to include regional headquarters in Bangalore and offices in 14 cities. IBM Global Services has extensively deployed VoIP technology in all its offices across India.


Praveen Cherian,
Country Manager, Networking Services,
IBM Global Services

"By using IP phones to make long-distance calls, we spend just a fraction of the amount that we would normally spend when using the traditional telecom network"

"There are three ways to place a VoIP call-using ATA (Analogue Telephone Adaptor), IP phones and PC-to-PC communication. The practical upshot of using VoIP technology is that the freely available (and free to use) software allows callers to entirely bypass phone companies and associated costs for making a telephone call.

With VoIP, we can call wherever there's a broadband connection. Business travellers can carry IP phones for ready access and instant connectivity. For us, VoIP is a great way to increase productivity without major hassles. The biggest benefit is the savings in communication cost. By using IP phones to make long-distance calls, we spend just a fraction of the amount that we would normally spend when using the traditional telecom network.

VoIP allows optimum utilisation of network resources. Even with a LAN connection, VoIP can be deployed on all PCs in an office, either by implementing it over a LAN, or creating a separate Virtual LAN. The former provides more bandwidth, and the latter keeps voice and data networks separate. PC-to-PC communication is the easiest way to use VoIP. To make long-distance calls, all you need is software, a microphone, speakers, a sound card and an Internet connection. And the cost? Just the monthly ISP fee.

Like any emerging technology, VoIP needs to overcome certain challenges. As it uses an Internet connection, it is susceptible to the problems associated with broadband services-such as transmission errors that affect call quality. Nevertheless, as developers keep refining VoIP, it will eventually replace the current phone system. We feel VoIP will continue to be implemented by enterprises and over time, it will benefit consumers."

The usage of IP telephony is still limited in this country

Founded in 1984, Intellicon Pvt Ltd delivers solutions to diverse industries and on a wide spectrum of technologies including telecommunications, bar-coding, data capture and specialised software services. At present, Intellicon does not use VoIP technology.

"Firstly, the usage of IP telephony is still limited in this country. You simply cannot integrate your PSTN Lines (traditional telephone lines or PRI/BRI ISDN lines) and Internet connection in the same system (whether EPABX system or integrated voice/data switch).

"In other words, you need to have two parallel voice switching systems-one for inter or intra-office traffic and one to communicate with the external world. This in turn would increase the cost and hence it is not a practical option unless you have huge amount of internal traffic.


Chetan Turakhia, Head, Telecommunications Division, Intellicon Pvt Ltd

"IP phones cost much more than the regular phones. Even if the cost of the VOIP card or gateway is not too much, the overall costs are high because you need IP phones at each point"

"Secondly, IP phones cost much more than regular phones. Even if the cost of the VOIP card or gateway is not too much, the overall costs are high because you need IP phones at each point.

In a professional setup, it is important to have a smooth uninterrupted flow of communication (without breaks and jitters or any other type of delay). Hence, while voice traffic occupies very less bandwidth, with VoIP technology, when the Internet connection is erratic or, say, dedicated bandwidth is not available, the quality of calls gets affected.

Of course, one cannot deny that there are some advantages associated with VoIP. For instance, the major advantage is cost. Once you set up the LAN/WAN infrastructure, the usage cost is almost nothing as far as intra-office communication is concerned. In certain industries the internal traffic is very high. In such cases, VoIP makes a lot of sense. For example, Banks, Railways, Airlines have their own Wide Area Network. So, essentially, VoIP usage is an industry-specific thing.


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