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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Ten-Minute Guide To Deploying VoIP

Thinking of deploying VoIP? It's tougher and more time-consuming than you think. But our ten-minute guide will give you the rundown on everything you need to know before you get started.

You want to build a voice over IP (VoIP) network in a hurry. The bad new is that you can't. "There's really no quick and easy way to do this," says Forrester Research telecom and networks group vice president Lisa Pierce. "Even if you outsource it, it will be a pain. You won't be able to do it in ten days -- you might not be able to do it in ten months."

Ironically, almost no communications technology is easier to set up than a telephone. You plug it into the wall; if it rings, you pick it up and say hello. There's not much more to it than that.

IP telephony, on the other hand, is a quite a bit more complicated. Disasters can happen and although Pierce points out that VoIP deployments are frequently fraught with peril, it doesn't necessarily have to be that bad. In fact, you can take your first steps toward a successful voice over IP (VoIP) deployment in only ten minutes.

The first step is to make a like a grade school kid and do your homework. "You can never do too much homework." Pierce says. "The most important thing to ask is how are you going to manage this thing? A lot of people have a nice wedding, but how many have a nice marriage? People aren't thinking about what happens after the deployment."

What happens afterwards will ultimately determine whether the VoIP deployment is a success or failure. "You really have to start with a simple question," Pierce says. "What problem are you trying to solve? If you can't give an answer, then you should probably wait. We all know that this is where the technology is going, but 45% of enterprises see no reason to do it at all right now."

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