Today's VoIP-seeking businesses have a choice of three options: managed , hosted or on-premise systems.
With managed-VoIP services, a third-party provider offers all the equipment, software, operations facilities and technical expertise needed for a company to reap the benefits of an IP-enabled phone system without the costs, risks and headaches of an on-premise VoIP solution. A managed VoIP-service package typically includes the design, integration and deployment of IP-telephony equipment and software, along with management and maintenance of existing telephony solutions and the new VoIP network.
Network management and maintenance offerings usually consist of remote fault monitoring with network surveillance, customer-defined service-level agreements for response and resolution, moves and changes, comprehensive customer reporting and service management, guaranteeing a certain percentage of network uptime. Pricing may range from usage-based to a fixed flat rate, depending on a company's needs and preferences. In most cases, companies can keep tabs on their costs of operation through regular reports.
Managed VoIP is designed for SMBs with limited IT resources and a burning desire to leave telephony headaches and hassles to a third-party service provider's team of experts.
Avaya Inc.'s Remote Managed Services for IP Telephony service ensures that a company's IP-telephony applications, platforms and underlying data network are working together for optimal reliability, stability and availability. Companies can choose the amount of operational responsibility they want to farm out to Avaya.
Some of the most feature-rich systems available, hosted-VoIP services rely on a service provider's hosted-PBX equipment to route a company's voice and data traffic. Calls are routed over the PSTN (public switched telephone network) to the hosted-PBX system.
This method is best suited for small and medium-size businesses with limited IT resources and budgetary funds that want the perks of a powerful VoIP system without the hefty price tag.
Qwest Communications International Inc .'s OneFlex Hosted VoIP uses business-class IP technology to bring voice and data together in a single solution. Qwest hosts the voice server and messaging hardware off-site. A company makes and receives calls while being able to check voice messages online, filter incoming calls, add new employees to the system in minutes and more.
An on-premise VoIP system is a phone system whose equipment — including servers, cables and routers — must be installed and maintained by the company purchasing the system. All hardware associated with a traditional on-premise PBX system is deployed and maintained by a company's IT staff.
The right audience for this type of VoIP system is large enterprises interested in systems that can be easily tweaked, swiftly modified and uniquely configured for optimal control and customization.
Nortel Networks' Communication & Application Servers portfolio of telephony and converged IP-telephony solutions deliver seamless, scalable real-time customer and business communications with the flexibility and reliability that enable enterprises to migrate to packet-based networks. For example, the Communication Server 2000 can be applied to new networks or to existing DMS-based networks to allow them to migrate to a VoIP network solution.
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