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Understanding Voice Over IP

VoIP can be a boon or a nightmare, depending on how you implement it. A good implementation means doing your homework before you touch a cable or spend a penny on hardware and software. So before making the switch, read Five Steps to Take Before Implementing VoIP. It'll help you set expectations, make the business case, test, plan and choose the right vendor. And to make sure that you're going in with your eyes wide open, check out Six Myths About VoIP before you make the leap.

VoIP is simple, right? Do a little bit of network configuration, plug in a VoIP phone and voila--instant IP telephony!

That's wrong, of course. Plenty of tough work goes into a VoIP deployment. But that doesn't mean you need to hire a passel of consultants and wait six months to get started. In fact, you can get a head start on things if you follow our 10-Minute Guide to Deploying VoIP. It gives you the rundown on everything you need to know before you get started, from figuring out how you'll manage it to doing a network inventory and more.

As you might imagine, deploying VoIP is tricky business, and there are plenty of potholes you'll encounter along the way. What to do about them? Read about The Five Biggest VoIP 'Gotchas'. You'll find out how to watch out for gotchas such as making a premature vendor choice and how to decide whether the IT department or the old telecommunications department should oversee the VoIP migration.

Before going full-bore into a VoIP deployment, you may first want to start off with a low-cost pilot project, and it doesn't have to be an expensive proposition. If you want advice on how to do a quick-and-dirty pilot VoIP deployment, check out VoIP on the Cheap.

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