Sounds good, but here's the rub...it's also been
estimated that up to 85% of corporate networks are simply not ready
to handle VoIP.
Combining voice with data is a tricky proposition.
After decades of getting used to near-perfect sound quality
delivered over traditional voice networks, even the slightest delays
in voip can be very annoying.
Before diving in to a full-blown VoIP solution, it is
advisable that you conduct a voice over IP readiness assessment of
your existing network. This assessment will provide you with two
very important pieces of information:
The capability of your
existing data network to deliver high-quality voip calls, and; the
ability to evaluate the quality of these calls during a wide variety
of traffic scenarios. Keep in mind that most data networks were not
designed for VoIP, so chances are that some upgrading of your
existing network will be necessary. One critical requirement for
VoIP to work is QoS. (Short for Quality of Service, a networking
term that specifies a guaranteed throughput level). For QoS to work,
the routers and switches that manage the data traffic flow in your
network must be able to prioritize VoIP data packets via
4 Steps to a Successful VoIP Readiness
1. Conduct a complete inventory of your existing
network. Identify routers, switches and links in your network and
store their configuration data in a database. This step is crucial
before you can move to step 2.
2. Determine the current CPU, memory and bandwidth of
your network devices, routers and switches. This information will
give you a "baseline" of your existing network infrastructure and
3. Simulate and compare VoIP usage scenarios to
estimate the call capacity of the network.
4. Determine how well VoIP will perform on your network
by measuring simulated VoIP traffic and calculating call quality
based on a Mean Opinion Score (MOS).
We have recently added a VoIP bandwidth calculator tool
to help you determine various codec, MOS, and bandwidth
While VoIP can ride over the
highways that your data currently does, it is a new application with
new rules. A VoIP readiness assessment will give you the information
you need to incorporate a VoIP solution without unnecessary hassles
and expenses due to lack of proper planning and
About the Author:
Karen Thatcher is President and CEO of TelCon
Associates, Inc. a 32 year old telecom auditing and bill management
company. For help in assessing your telecom network for VoIP
implementation, visit http://www.telconassociates.com