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Merrill Lynch's Six VoIP Deployment Tips

Roll out voice over IP across 250 offices and 10,000 VoIP nodes and you learn a thing or two about the technology. So when Alok Kapoor, managing director of Merrill Lynch, Global Private Client Technology talked about VoIP here at VoiceCon, he had some concrete advice for any implementer. Here are six of his deployment tips:

1. Have good metrics on the performance of legacy systems. Kapoor repeatedly emphasized that because he lacked that information it was difficult for his customers to assess which voice problems were attributable to the new VoIP system and which existed in the legacy environment.

2. Use productivity gains to solicit buy-in. Kapoor sold his users on the productivity gains that VoIP applications could deliver for his company. Key applications included click-to-dial, click-to-answer and screen pops in which the right customer information from was displayed when a call is answered. Moving forward, he's looking at being able to maintain the context of a transferred call and provide click-to-dial on a number on any Web page.

3. Roll out applications early. Kapoor planned on stabilizing the VoIP environment before deploying computer-telephony integration applications. However, by deferring CTI applications, his project failed to deliver promised productivity gains right from the start. In retrospect, he says, he should have deployed the CTI applications earlier in the process, satisfying customer expectations earlier in the VoIP rollout.

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