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Is VoIP Right For Your Medium-Sized Enterprise?

The hype is inescapable --- converged networks and VoIP promises to drastically lower telecom and networking costs, and usher in a new era of converged data and voice applications. But

For Bozzuto and Associates Inc., the migration to voice over IP (VoIP) was a simple question of good business sense. The Greenbelt, MD-based development and construction firm was in a sharp growth curve four years ago and, to accommodate the new staff, it decided to branch out to an office up the road.

"We were at maximum capacity in our building, so we relocated our homes division and accounting to a new building," says Bozzuto Associates' IS director Chad Cooley. "The problem was that there were no conduits between the buildings, so we had to find a way to do our data a voice systems for the whole company."

Although the company was probably a little ahead of its time four years ago, Cooley says that Bozzuto Associates wasn't sure it wanted to make a major long-term investment in telephonic equipment and network infrastructure. Conscious of the speed of technological change and the rapidity of its own growth, the company wanted a voice and data system that gave it the flexibility to adapt.

The solution was to join the new location to the head office by a wireless network connection and route IP telephones through a VoIP gateway. "It solved a whole lot of problems," Cooley says. "We were able to get the new location up and running, and we were able to save half the cost of doing it by consolidating the network on one infrastructure."

Indeed, that's the appeal of VoIP to midsized organizations. For all of the hype about toll bypass and advanced telephony integration features, the bottom line at the midmarket is the bottom line: VoIP makes sense because it can help reduce capital expenses while greatly simplifying the deployment and management of the company telephone system.

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