Digital Systems v/s IP Phone Systems.
A white paper by Pierre Kerbage
VP of Sales & Marketing for Zultys, Inc.
Digital Systems have been around for decades. Many of these systems have proven to last 10 to 20 years in some cases, showing strong reliability in the work place. In the past few years, these legacy systems have added expandability and functionality such as T1, PRI, Automatic Call Distribution and much more and some models can scale to thousands of end points (phones) with great reliability.
IP Systems originated about a decade ago, and today, some of these systems can scale to tens of thousands of units in dozens if not hundreds of locations.
What is the advantage of an IP Phone system over a traditional systems ?
Some of the IP Systems today are HYBRID: meaning that they can handle TRADITIONAL phone lines (including Analog trunks, ISDN, T1, E1 and PRI to Multiple T1 and PRIs) as well as Voice Over IP (VoIP) phone lines. So they provide the best of both world. VoIP phone lines (also called SIP: Session Initiated Protocol) are typically provided by an ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider), and these type of trunks can replace or augment your traditional phone lines. Each TRUNK (meaning phone line) requires roughly about 84 Kilobit of bandwidth (uncompressed) when a conversation is in session. That means that a DATA T1 (1.5 Megabits) can handle about 17 or so conversations simultaneously. Many companies find that SIP is the way to go because they cost far less than traditional phone lines, as well as provide extremely competitive rates for long distance, and some providers have plans which include unlimited long distance. And if you make calls overseas, you are in for a treat as some of these plans can provide rates as cheap as a few pennies to Western Europe or Southeast Asia. In essence, if you are paying $1000 for Long Distance a month, and you can buy a brand new IP Phone system (that costs say: $20,000) , you could lease to own that system for around $460 per month, therefore SAVING the company nearly $5,000 per year and much more once you finish paying on the lease. THIS IS AN EFFECTIVE ROI that makes sense.
Having said that, many people are buying IP Phone systems today and STILL using traditional Phone lines because they either don't trust the internet or don't understand SIP Technology that well or don't have the upload bandwidth it takes to sustain these type of phone lines. But they LIKE the idea of buying an IP Phone system because it provides the FLEXIBILITY to use traditional phone lines OR VoIP Lines or BOTH.
But the appeal of IP Systems goes FAR BEYOND the fact that you can do IP Trunking.
Here are my Top Reasons why IP Phone Systems are incredibly beneficial and result in drastic cost savings and why Digital Systems are dying:
In short - IP Systems are here to stay and are definitely where EVERY Phone vendor on earth today is going. SIP is the ONLY ratified standard of telephony today. Simply putting it "If you ain't SIP, you AIN'T" and you won't connect to tomorrow's applications or phones or systems.
IP Phone systems DO save money by providing lesser expensive alternatives for Local and Long Distance lines as well as 0 Toll when using them between each other, and decrease costs of Cabling as well as the need to dispatch a Phone guy every time, since they use a Graphical User's Interface allowing each person the FLEXIBILITY to manage their own end points and the ability to move their system as much as they want WITHOUT requiring a phone Guy. Finally - moving an IP System is as easy as unplugging 3 connections. No more 66 Blocks and the confusing and unattractive wire closets you sometimes see. They are often a 2 or 3U Rack Mounted appliance that EASILY travel and here again, reduce cost if you ever have to move the system. IP Systems provides ease of use, flexibility, mobility, compliance, scalability, and a drastic overall reduction of price.
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