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Nine Tips For Deploying Enterprise-Class VoIP

Whether to deploy VoIP is no longer an issue --- it's something you have to do. But there are a lot of high-level steps you need to take before deploying. It's not just technology you need to be concerned about. In fact, say many experts, hardware and software may be the least of your problems. It's the business issues you should be concerned with most.

Which issues are important --- and what to do about them? We've talked to several experts, who offer their advice.

Brett Shockley, CEO of Spanlink Communications, a consultant in VoIP solutions based in Minneapolis, suggests the following.

Clearly define your vision and goals. When migrating to an IP communications system, formulate a detailed plan that maps to the business goals and operational needs of your organization. Be absolutely clear about why you need VoIP and design a system that matches those needs. Otherwise, the risk is that the deployment will be either too narrowly considered or too overreaching to justify the total cost of ownership.

Take full advantage of the business benefits of your VoIP system. Too often, companies approach VoIP as a simple replacement of their current TDM-based PBX voice system with a VoIP PBX. Strategically, design your IP communications system to take advantage of new business processes that make you more competitive. The risk is implementing a solution that doesn't deliver a return, doesn't scale, and therefore must ultimately be re-engineered.

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