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VOIP Questions

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    Lewis Balentine
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    Our sister company is going to VOIP and I am in the future that we will also because:

    1) It uses less bandwidth
    2) There is no maintenance
    3) The hardware cost less
    4) Everyone is doing it

    OK, I am old, senile and dense. I believe 2+2 does not equal 3 and there is no such thing as a free lunch. Can anyone address my ignorance ?

    1) I do not understand how 64kps analoge signal can be sampled, compressed, transmitted over a smaller bandwidth (disregarding the additional header overhead) and reconstructed to produce the same quality signal at the other end.

    2) OK, it does takes about 3 minutes to log on the PBX and move a phone number from one office to another. It make take me as much as 10 minutes to create a new extension number for a new employee. If new cable has to be run to the office because they are now putting three people in a one person office … well that is going to take a while.

    I can understand that a preprogramed VOIP phone can be moved from one office to another without any intervention, but what about a new employee? Does not someone have to enter the persons name, office and/or job title etc? What about where the employee’s calls are transfered to if he/she does not answer? Further I want to control who gets my limited number of direct dial phone numbers.

    3) I pay about $60 for a new Analog phone with programable keys, message light, hold etc. How can a VOIP phone that has to do sampling, compression, buffering, address filtering possibly cost less ? OK the PBX did cost a bundle (neglect the fact that it is paid for). Is it safe to assume that VOIP capable/enhanced switches, routers and gateways are not being given away?

    4) Our sister company has 5000 employees with a full time Cisco network engineers and a extensive SNMP managed network. We have less than 100 employees with a paid for PBX. We pay less than $1000 a year for maintance of our campus PBX (replacement phones included). Our phone vendor probably shows up on site maybe four times a year (the last two times to verify the Phone company’s T1 line was the problem). If “everybody is doing it”, there has got to be better reasons. What are they ??

    Any enlightenment will be appreciated?

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