IP Telephony Basics. Part of The Technology Overview Series for Small and Medium Businesses

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1 IP Telephony Basics Part of The Technology Overview Series for Small and Medium Businesses

2 What is IP Telephony? IP Telephony uses the Internet Protocol (IP) to transmit voice or FAX traffic over a public or private data network To ensure high quality voice communications, IP Telephony, also called Voice over IP (VoIP), requires sufficient bandwidth to ensure transmission delay is minimized. A Quality of Service (QoS) router is used to reduce delay by giving voice traffic the highest priority on the network IP Telephony can also use the Internet. This requires the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) available from your service provider. Remember that IP Telephony requires a quality of service guarantee from your service provider to ensure high quality communications. Ensure your service provider understands your needs! IP Telephony Basics - 1

3 Why do I need IP Telephony? IP Telephony capabilities can provide significant cost savings to businesses with branch locations by eliminating the need for long distance charges or by reducing the number of local access lines required by the business IP Telephony can be integrated into other solutions like unified messaging or web-enabled call centers to provide enhanced savings and service levels to companies using the Internet for commerce or service applications. IP Telephony can save businesses time and money by allowing their LAN infrastructure & wiring facilities to also carry voice traffic to and from their voice system IP telephony can also provide follow-me routing for calls as you change locations and re-access your company s Unified Network IP Telephony Basics - 2

4 What are the building blocks of an IP Telephony Solution? An IP Telephony Solution contains the following elements: Stations or telephone sets that allow the user to access the system s capabilities A Quality of Service or QoS Gateway that converts the voice signals into data packets and places these packets onto an external data network A data network a Virtual Private Network or a Private Network A Wide Area interface such as a QoS Router or Switch A voice switch or system that allows users regular access to the PSTN for calls that cannot be carried over the private network QoS LAN infrastructure & Cabling to connect all the pieces together A secure firewall behind any public access point IP Telephony Basics - 3

5 What issues do I need to be aware of before I buy? Reliability: You should ensure that the voice quality of your IP Telephony solution meets your requirements. Ensure your unified network can prioritize voice traffic and can deal with high traffic conditions. Should Quality deteriorate below your defined minimum level your system should be equipped to support a backup capability Quality: Poor voice quality will make your IP Telephony solution difficult and unpopular to use. Ensure your vendor understands and designs your solution to your voice and data traffic demands, and has a proven track record of successful integration and ongoing support Ease of Use: With a proper solution an IP Telephony call should be as easy to make as a regular PSTN call. The solution should have the intelligence to route all calls correctly and make cost saving decisions while respecting quality demands. In addition, you should not feel the need to give up standard voice features to gain the benefits of IP Telephony today s solutions should demonstrate expert capabilities in both voice services and data. IP Telephony Basics - 4

6 What issues do I need to be aware of before I buy? Management: Ongoing management and monitoring of your IP telephony solution will be a key operational requirement. Decide if the management will be performed by someone in your organization or out-sourced. Carefully consider the choices different vendors offer, and determine how they meet your critical business requirements. Open VS Proprietary: Ensure that your solution is based on open standards that will allow you the flexibility you ll want when selecting vendors, or adding new components or capabilities to your IP telephony solution. Vendor Selection: Get more than one proposal from more than one provider to validate the various offers IP Telephony Basics - 5

7 How do I learn More? Nortel Networks offers a complete set of IP Telephony Solutions specifically designed with the small and medium business market in mind. Visit us on-line at: for an overview of our Business Communications Manager Solution for branch offices for an overview of our new Business Series portfolio of converged voice and data solutions Or find an authorized Nortel Networks reseller in your location to discuss your needs in more detail. Our Partner locater is on-line at: IP Telephony Basics - 6

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