1 Making the right chice between VIP Service and Traditinal Telephne Service Befre making the switch t VIP, businesses are ften cncerned abut a cmparisn between traditinal and VIP service. Cncerns ver relative quality f bth ptins, up-frnt capital expenditures required, features and benefits, disaster recvery elements and reliability. Quality f service The quality f VIP is equivalent t that f the public switched telephne netwrk in mst cases. Althugh in the early days f VIP this was nt the case, advances in technlgy has eliminated any difference n this frnt. Users f VIP hwever, shuld be aware that quality can be affected by the bandwidth being deplyed. Fr example, VIP ver a dial-up Internet line wuld be highly impractical, and vice quality wuld be pr. Fr a small business with just a few phnes, a standard bradband cnnectin wuld be adequate, althugh fr a larger business, a fractinal r full T1 may be in rder t accmmdate the vlume. Generally speaking thugh, s lng as enugh bandwidth is in use, quality f service will be the same fr VIP and traditinal phne service. Yu may already be using VIP VIP is nt a new technlgy; it has been arund since 1973 when the Department f Defense experimented with using intercnnected cmputers t carry vice calls in additin t data transfers. In fact, yu may already be using VIP withut knwing it. Because f the reductin in equipment and service csts that VIP ffers, mst telephne cmpanies and cell phne service prviders cnvert calls, at sme stage f the jurney, t VIP and then dwnlad it t their exchanges, and the call is sent t its final destinatin frm there. It is a seamless transitin and the user never knws that VIP is being used. Up-frnt expenditures The PBX is the largest capital expenditure fr telephny, and this hlds true fr bth VIP and traditinal service althugh VIP requires a specialized type f PBX, called the IP PBX. The cst differential between the tw types f PBXes has narrwed, and the difference is minimal. One advantage VIP will have ver traditinal service, especially fr smaller businesses, is that VIP is available as a hsted service, which eliminates the need fr the n-premises IP PBX. Multi-line service can still be prvisined, but the PBX is actually maintained ff-site by a third
2 party prvider, and fees are usually based n a mnthly subscriptin rather than equipment purchase. In sme cases, when a larger crpratin chses t deply their wn IP PBX n premises, it may als be necessary t purchase IP phnes r adapters, and this may represent an additinal expenditure if existing phnes must be replaced. Hwever, fr a new cmpany that must buy phnes anyway, the cst is abut the same. Reliability Reliability again is rughly equivalent, althugh since yur VIP service is dependent n a VIP prvider and a bradband Internet service prvider, as ppsed t the phne cmpany, a cmpany will need t examine the service guarantees f these prviders. Examine the service level agreement (SLA) t see if a guaranteed uptime is prvided. And while traditinal phne lines can and d g dwn, Internet service can als be interrupted, and when that ccurs, phne service wuld als g dwn in the case f VIP. Make sure yur prvider has demnstrated reliability and a gd uptime guarantee. Regular phne service wrks 99.9% f the time, says Keynte. That means just ne ut f every 1,000 calls wn't be cmpleted. But the average VIP service drps 31 ut f every 1,000 calls. Even the wrst result might seem gd. But any drpped call culd be crucial, such as a call t an emergency service. And U.S. residents are used t, and cunt n, nearly 100% phne call success. In sund quality, VIP scred lwer than regular phne service. Keynte studied audi delay - hw much time elapses after a caller speaks befre the wrds are heard n the ther end f the line. These are fractins f secnds, but t much delay makes a call sund herky-jerky, such as hw sme verseas calls sund. On average, VIP had a lnger audi delay than regular phne service. The delay was nt s lng as t result in cnversatin verlap, but it remains an area that VIP prviders mst need t imprve. Prtability f VIP An advantage f VIP ver traditinal service is that because calls are ging ver the Internet, instead f the phne cmpany s wires, calls are n lnger tied t a single physical lcatin. Additinal services can be prvisined t allw phne calls t be made frm any lcatin, directly frm any cmputer with a bradband cnnectin, using the same phne number. This allws fr example, an executive wh travels a lt, t maintain regular phne service while n the rad.
3 A cnventinal backup The advantages f VIP are indisputable. Hwever, sme cmpanies chse t retain a single cnventinal phne line fr backup purpses and emergencies. Since a cnventinal line is nt necessarily tied t the electrical system, it can still be used during a pwer utage, and can still be used in case f a bradband utage as well. Fr cmpanies that depend n having an utside line at all times, this is ften a gd strategy. In Summary : Quality : Crprate VIP services (nt Vnage r Skype) ffer a quality that is very cmparable t traditinal phne systems. Reliability : Reliability is directly linked t the reliability f yur internet cnnectin. Yu shuld invest in a ptical fibre primary cnnectin and a decent secndary / backup cnnectin (DSL r Cable). What s required t avid prblems with VIP : We strngly recmmend t invest in a slid internet access : DSL and Cable will nly d the jb fr a small ffice (1-10 emplyees) with prper QS. Uplad speed is imprtant (at least 1 Mbps shuld be dedicated fr VIP) Uptime is imprtant. If yur internet is dwn and yu d have a secnd internet cnnectin yur internet, s and phnes will be dwn. Typically ptical fibre is far mre reliable and if smething is wrng, cmpanies will repair it within 4 hurs. If yu must chse between DSL and Cable, chse cable. This technlgy is mre reliable and is nt sensitive t the quality f the cpper netwrk in yur neighbrhd, the distance between yur ffice and the CO (Central Office) like DSL is. S in rder f preference : 1. Optical fibre 2. Cable internet (like Videtrn) 3. DSL internet (like Bell Sympatic) IP phnes als need pwer t wrk. N pwer, n phnes. Invest in a reliable UPS / Battery system and make sure that yur building has pwer backup : batteries, generatr.
4 Dwnlad speed is imprtant (5-10 Mbps). This will als drastically imprved verall internet experience and increase prductivity. Optical fibre is better. Typically available in speeds f 5Mbps Up/Dwn r 10 Mbps up/dwn. 100 Mbps and 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps) are als available. QS is recmmended : VIP is a bandwidth sensitive applicatin, therefre using equipement (a QS Switch r Ruter) r technlgy that allws yu t priritize yur vice cnversatins n yur netwrk is always a very gd idea. It is als pssible t allcate sme reserved capacity n yur main ptical fibre internet just fr yur VIP applicatin (typically 2 Mbps n a 10 Mbps ptical internet cnnectin). Sme prviders als ffer ptical fibre service with embedded Qs technlgy, like MPLS (MultiPrtcl Label Switching). MPLS puts a tag that identifies the cntent f each packet that travels n yur netwrk and attributes pririty t bandwidth sensitive packets. As an exemple, this technlgy will give pririty t the packets related t a VIP phne cnversatin ver sme YuTube vide that is being watched smewhere else in the ffice. Sme traffic can als be blcked cmpletely like : streaming vides, streaming radi, IP TV, etc. Avid cheap prviders such as Vnage, Skype, etc. This service is fine fr a residential applicatin but d nt put the reputatin f yur business n the line fr the sake f saving. Is VIP the right technlgy fr me? : Fr the right setup yu will nt save mney n the phne system. Perfrmant VIP phne system are nt cheaper than traditinal hpne systems Yu shuld get VIP if : The additinal VIP benefits are appealing fr yu and yur business mdel It s imprtant fr yu t fllw the current techlgical trends. All ecnmic indicatrs clearly shw that VIP is explding : The IP PBX market prepares fr take-ff. It happened in Orders fr IP PBX lines exceeded thse f traditinal PBX (In-Stat). The reprt predicted that the vast majrity f the 6.6% annualized PBX market grwth rate thrugh 2009 wuld be IP.
5 An In-Stat analyst pined that "with clser ties t data, this new vehicle is influencing crprate pwer structures and will ultimately have even mre far-reaching effects n hw business is dne arund the glbe." Market research firm Dell'Or Grup frecasts a three-fld increase in IP PBX sales t a prjected US $ 2 billin by Their reprt als predicted that sales f IP telephnes wuld exceed $ 4 billin by that year. Accrding t the reprt, ther PBX segments are nt expected t fare s well by Hybrid IP/TDM PBX revenues are predicted t decline starting in 2010, and by 2011, traditinal PBXs are prjected t make up less than five percent f the ttal market revenues. Strategic research firm Atlantic-ACM predicts that the sectr will grw frm US $ 6.4 billin ( 3.2 billin) in 2006 t $ 15 billin ( 7.6 billin) in The market fr business VIP and IP VPN (virtual private netwrk) services is due t mre than duble ver the cming five years, accrding t new figures.