IP telephony in the office

What is IP telephony in the concept of an ordinary office clerk or boss deciding to install a PBX in an office. As the practice of communicating with potential customers showed, most people somewhere heard that using IP telephony you can save on long-distance calls and at the same time did not hear anything about what IP PBX is and what it can be installed instead of a traditional PBX. It’s even more likely not so - the majority have no other notion of automatic telephone exchange, except for the traditional one. As soon as you start talking about IP, they begin to say that it is expensive, it is unreliable that the quality of IP telephony is worse. But as practice shows, this is not true.

Let's deal with these misconceptions.

IP telephony in the office is expensive

Indeed, in the case of such famous brands as Cisco, IP telephony can be expensive. But does it make sense to overpay for the names? I think no. In most cases, you can use the solutions of more budget manufacturers, and they will work no worse. Then we begin to consider solutions based on open source software. The most popular solution, of course, is Asterisk and the SIP and IAX2 protocols. They allow you to build a scalable telephony system in an enterprise of any scale. Today you can buy a small PC with an Atom processor and connect 10 phones, adding new subscribers to your mini-server for free. Tomorrow, when the business grows to 50 or more employees, you just buy a more powerful server and transfer the configuration from the old one. An additional advantage, in comparison with traditional telephony, you get the ease of installation of telephony. After all, the phones will work on a computer local network, which means they can be transferred to another office or even disassemble and assemble everything in a new office, and you don’t need to cross anything, lay an additional cable. Everything works simply. The joint with the city can be done by SIP. Most telephony providers support it. Or buy a number from an IP telephony provider, then when you move to another office, your number will always be assigned only to you.

IP telephony is unreliable

In fact, if you use high-quality equipment, then the “uptime” of the IP telephony server can be a year or more. If you do not need services such as voice mail, recording conversations and other services that consume free space, you can get by with a small SSD drive in the server and a processor with passive cooling, and then server maintenance will be completely unnecessary. If you need a 99.9999% fault tolerance, you can build a system with redundant or load balancing between servers, and then the failure of one or more servers will not affect the telephony service in the company. When installing a traditional PBX, such a solution simply does not exist. You can also reserve Internet channels for external connections, which will also increase reliability. Failure or prevention from the provider will not interrupt customer calls.

The quality of IP telephony is worse

Indeed, many sip providers use the g729 codec, which is used in GSM networks, which compresses sound up to 8 kbps, and bad channels on the Internet introduce their distortions. But, building telephony in the office, we do not have to use this codec at all, you can use g711, which allows you to send faxes and provides excellent sound quality. The interlocutor from the other end of the country will hear you, as if you are in the next office. And here we come to another remarkable advantage of IP telephony - the possibility of combining offices.

Office Consolidation

If you need to combine offices, you can use the encrypted channels via the Internet to call directly to another office. Thus, it is possible to build a distributed telephone network with a single numbering and an unlimited number of channels. No need to buy any licenses, wait for them for a long time. No need to be attached to one brand, because it uses a proprietary protocol. Technology is open to your growth. You can use the exit to the city, which is connected in a remote office. And subscribers calling “to the city” may not know through which channel the call is being made. Although, of course, if you wish, you can configure any dialing rules, and Vasya will call only through a certain number, and he will be allocated only for him, and Lena will select a free line.


Thus, IP telephony is now a reliable, economical solution in offices of any scale. In large offices with existing telephony, you can switch to it gradually by integrating the IP PBX with the "traditional" analog or digital PBX.
IP telephony technology still has many great features, we will probably talk about them next time. I am ready to discuss your opinions on my conclusions, perhaps you have something to add or correct.

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