Seven questions to ask before you switch your switch

The first step an agency should take toward adopting voice over IP is to assess its network, said Jeff Snyder, vice president of Gartner Inc. of Stamford, Conn.

'There are products available that will help you monitor and model your network and see where it will change with IP telephony; so you can spot the bottlenecks and see what you need to upgrade.'

He advised that enterprises answer seven questions before deciding to make the switch:
  • What are your mission-critical operations?

  • What are your mission-critical applications?

  • What is the cost of transporting custom applications or integrations to the new environment?

  • Is your existing infrastructure able to support the new traffic volume on your network?

  • What drives your conversion to IP telephony?

  • How much can you afford to spend today?

  • Who is best suited to manage this implementation project?

Only after answering these questions can you make the right decision on whether to implement it now or wait a few years for prices to drop and applications to improve.

'IP telephony is inevitable,' Snyder said, 'but do it on your own terms.'

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