VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems vary greatly in their features, capabilities, size, form factor, service connectivity, cabling, phone sets, etc., but while the technology has evolved greatly over the past decade, the fundamentals of IP PBX systems — such as how they operate and what they require to perform reliably — have not changed.
This slideshow highlights 11 steps for correctly rolling out an enterprise VoIP phone system, provided by Zultys.
Click through for 11 steps to a successful enterprise VoIP system rollout, as identified by Zultys.
Decide if your voice network and data network should be converged onto one network or if it would be better to keep them separate.
If you will be joining voice and data onto one network, perform a detailed network analysis. Will it be able to have adequate bandwidth, can it provide for a guaranteed quality of service (QoS), is your firewall VoIP-friendly, etc? An analysis by a qualified, outside firm often is a worthy investment.
Ensure that your network is cabled properly for the phone sets (CAT 5e is the minimum today and CAT 6 is quickly becoming the de facto cabling standard with video communications a growing requirement). Test your cable structure. Are any cables pinched or noisy? Be sure that none of your cables exceeds 100 meters (328 feet) in length.
Never daisy chain switches (switch to switch). Piggybacking switches will cause major slowdowns of network traffic, affect QoS and can cause unpredictable results.
Remove all network hubs.
Use single Layer 3 Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches.
Use enterprise-level anti-virus software on all servers and client PCs.
Ensure that you are running a business-class, server-based spam filter appliance or a hosted spam filtering solution. Hosted anti-spam systems have the advantage of filtering the spam before it enters your network.
Monitor which users are abusing your network bandwidth, e.g. are users running applications for downloading music or streaming video or audio all day?
Require dedicated bandwidth for your SIP trunks. Some providers also allocate additional bandwidth dynamically when required, giving priority to voice traffic.
Ensure that QoS routers are used end-to-end — meaning the provider has a QoS router(s) on its end, as well.