VOIP 101: Understanding VOIP

No matter if you are a large corporation or a small to medium-sized business (SMB) owner, you are faced with increasing financial and technical challenges. Most companies today face a multitude of issues relating to their networking components, network security, adding new network services, and balancing the demands of reducing their capital and operating expenses. Therefore, many organizations CIO’s faces difficult decisions on whether to outsource their network operations, maintenance, and support to a third-party vendor. One of the major driving forces behind outsourcing corporations' network operations is the new market innovations that offer companies an easy way to handle their voice and data network. The jump to VOIP and the convergence of data make it difficult for IT departments to handle the new complex network operations. 

Understanding hosted VOIP:

In a hosted VOIP network a third-party vendor or a service provider offers your company different hosting solutions. Hosted providers offer two options for hosting your company’s VOIP services. VOIP vendors will either have a global network operations center (GNOC) located off premises or they will host your services on your premises. The hosting company needs to own the equipment to reduce the amount of CAPEX (capital expenditure) for your company. Many organizations prefer the optimized hosted solution because of their capabilities, desired services, network needs, and core technical competencies. 

Choosing your hosting company:

Hosting companies offer different infrastructure architecture that can be designed in a variety of ways to fit your company’s needs. Your company’s CIOs need to make the decision of which vendor you will hire to host your network. Obviously your CIOs need to carefully select a trusted partner to host your VOIP and data network. By checking the hosting company performance record, disaster recovery plan, customer support, business continuity, and their commitment to investing in new service deployments and deployments will help your CIO to choose the right vendor. 

Technical issues with VOIP:

As technology advances, so do the complicated technical issues with VOIP that need to be addressed immediately. The technical issues with security and quality of service (QoS) can be addressed within the network. However, both issues can continue to evolve weekly and can become a very cumbersome problem for most companies' IT departments. When these issues arise in your network it makes it hard for any IT organization to identify and resolve these problems without investing a significant amount of time to find the problems. 

VOIP security and network issues:

The VOIP industry chooses to focus on the positive features it has to offer its clients, such as plug-and-play adaptability and IT infrastructure. The key elements in a VOIP infrastructure take advantage of the IP flexibility. However, these advantages make the network more susceptible to outside attacks, IP infrastructure issues, denial of service (DOS) attacks, worms, and viruses. The attacks on the VOIP network may lead to major outages that can occur within your data networks that will take down your company’s network for hours or even days.

Furthermore, there are a variety of different attacks that only target the VOIP networks. These attacks range from malicious transmission of obscenities to spam over IP telephony (SPIT). If your company hosts your VOIP network in-house, these problems can lead to a variety of problems for your business. Your business can lose your entire communication network and data network until the issues are resolved. 

Today, many organizations choose a VOIP hosted network for their communication needs. A vendor can regulate the network to protect outside influences from disrupting their phone services. Hosting your VOIP network on premises your IT department will be responsive for keeping your phone services free of latency, distortion, and dropped calls. Organizations CIOs have a tough decision to make when it comes to selecting the right VOIP hosting service for their communication needs.


Image: flickr.com

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Ann Johnston

About Ann Johnston

Ann enjoys writing, reading, gardening, fishing and the great outdoors. Her job has allowed her to travel and live in different countries. She enjoys studying and learning about different cultures..