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VoIP best practices revealed

Guidelines will help not only with VoIP and IP telephony, but also help ensure organizations lay a solid foundation for unified communications.

Convergence & VoIP Alert By , Network World
September 14, 2010 01:43 PM ET
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VoIP, unified messaging, products and services

Network World - Today, we'd like to share highlights from a valuable (and free) reader resource about "VoIP and IPT Best Practices for Implementation" written by our longtime colleague Gary Audin at Delphi. Audin's guidelines will help not only with VoIP and IP telephony, but also help ensure organizations lay a solid foundation for unified communications.

Audin begins with the perspective that migrating from the TDM PBX to VoIP and IP Telephony (IPT) will not be a one-time, instantaneous process. Rather, he suggests it is a continually evolving process that may take place over months and even years. Consequently, plans must be made, alternatives considered, and best practices followed to properly prepare facilities and to procure and deploy systems. He points out that Installing VoIP/IPT systems is not a plug-and-play implementation -- and that proper preparation is essential. Audin views VoIP/IPT migration as a four-stage process, including the following phases:

* Assessing and preparing the infrastructure to ensure its readiness.

* Establishing a pilot system to acquire experience to compare partners and suppliers (as an optional but highly recommended phase).

* Selecting and implementing the products.

* Ongoing operation and administration, as well as planning and installing for future expansion and upgrades.

The study provides a digest for each of the four stages and presents a checklist for best practices divided into categories with recommendation for: assessing the LAN and WLAN; completing the closet; assessing and improving the WAN; planning and testing; ensuring security; organizing for convergence; and best practices for selection, deployment and post-deployment activities.

For readers who would like to read the whole digest, a copy can be found here on Webtorials. We believe that even if you're still in the deployment phase, the "best practices" provide an excellent guide. If you're already partially or even fully deployed, the document is still extremely useful to make sure you have all of your bases appropriately covered.

Our thanks to Audin for once again sharing his expertise.

Read more about voip & convergence in Network World's VoIP & Convergence section.

Steve Taylor is president of Distributed Networking Associates and publisher/editor-in-chief of Webtorials. Larry Hettick, an independent analyst and consultant, is a 30-year industry veteran. He has covered VoIP and UC at Network World for 12 years.

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