There's something unfair about success and failure in enterprise voice over IP (VoIP). When the system works it's business as usual. After all, there are few things simpler than picking up the phone to make a call, and all of those IP features and applications can help make the flow of business move effortlessly.
When it doesn't work, however, enterprise VoIP can be a disaster. When something as simple, basic and essential as the phone system stops working, business grinds to a halt. There are few things easier than making a phone call and conversely, there are few things more frustrating than picking up the telephone receiver and hearing no dialtone.
"Voice over IP (VoIP) can be very successful in the enterprise," says George Goodall, research analyst at the Info-Tech Research Group. "On the other hand, it can also be a massive failure." The key, Goodall says, is to step very carefully and make sure that everything is in order before trashing that old private branch exchange (PBX) and going to IP.
"Most of the problems with VoIP implementation can be caught before you implement it," Goodall says. "You can save a lot of trouble if you proceed carefully."
So what should you do? Listen to advice from the experts, and follow these five steps you should take before moving to a VoIP system.