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Why You Should Take The VoIP Plunge--Now

If you're still on the fence about VoIP, consider these reasons from telecom experts about why it's time to make the move.

If you're still on the fence about VoIP, there are several reasons that you may want to consider to take the plunge. Telecom experts provide several reasons why it's time to get on the VoIP bandwagon.

Todd Landry, director of marketing for Sphere Communications, Lincolnshire, Ill., a company that provides IP-PBX systems sees the following as the most compelling reasons for adding VoIP:

VoIP makes it easier and more cost effective to deploy additional technologies PBX and interactive voice response units and other technologies can be added and administered from a central location rather than adding separate systems at separate physical locations. This a lower initial cost, as well as easier administration and maintenance going forward. For example, if you want to change a feature on a VoIP-related application, you need to make it only one time on a central system, rather than making it several times on several different systems (like PBXs) throughout the organization.

Additionally, many newer systems such as PBXs IVRs, etc., that are designed for VoIP are backwards-compatible with traditional telecom systems. Many of the largest announced VoIP deployments, such as the Bank of America (a three-year deployment of 180,00 Cisco IP phones began a year ago), are adding VoIP while keeping many of their traditional telecommunications systems.

No need for telecom specialists With PBX and other traditional telecommunications systems, you often need to keep someone on staff who has telecommunications expertise or have to hire that expertise on an as-needed basis. Since VoIP is a IP/computer-based solution rather than a telecommunications technology, usually you can use the same people that handle computer systems to handle VoIP issues. So there's no need to hire separate telecommunications expertise.

Much of the administration of VoIP-related resources are simple enough to be handled by a receptionist or administrative assistant without the need for a technician of any kind, Landry adds. Even someone who's never seen an IP-PBX before can learn how to use some of the functionality in just a few minutes. That isn't true of traditional telecom equipment.

Increased flexibility for expansion With VoIP, the phones can be plugged in to any computer on the local area network and the user's phone number goes with him. In a more traditional setting, telecom wires and equipment need to be moved to keep the same phone number.

More desk space With VoIP and a softphone, there's no need to have a traditional telephone and a computer screen at a person's desk.

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