COLT Telecom - Voice Services Managing the transition to an IP Network


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COLT Telecom - Voice Services Managing the transition to an IP Network

  1. 1. VoICE SErVICES ManaGInG thE tranSItIon to an IP nEt work Contents Executive summary 2 Deployment trends 3 Cost efficiency 4 Definitions 4 Flexibility 6 Convergence 6 Productivity 8 IP Gateways 8 Challenges 9 Voice over IP or voice over the internet 9 Choosing a vendor 11 Session Internet protocol 11 Conclusion 12 in association with
  2. 2. VoICE SErVICES ManaGInG thE tranSItIon to an IP nEt work ExECutIVE SuMMary the effort which organisations Despite having been discussed organisations will reap the full are currently expending for nearly a decade, mainstream benefits of VoIP when they address on the transition to IP implementation of voice as a service the issues throughout their entire on so-called converged IP data infrastructure, which may favour voice will, in the long term, networks has finally begun in earnest a hosted solution. If they pursue be rewarded with lower among large and medium-sized piecemeal migration the optimal infrastructure opex costs, organisations (1) over the last 12 position of cost efficiency and raised reduced telephony tariffs and months. productivity is not guaranteed. increased productivity for their employees. through the use of voice over IP the key to corporate success is (VoIP), organisations aim to achieve the ability to respond quickly to significant cost efficiencies in changing market conditions, new infrastructure opex, telephony tariffs competitors and emerging customer and total cost of ownership (tCo). demands. therefore, organisations should be wary of the potential Beyond cost-cutting, VoIP services pitfalls of locking themselves in to an promise to make productivity inflexible VoIP solution which limits enhancements, such as conferencing their growth potential or is unable to and unified messaging, more easily accommodate radical changes. they available to employees than with must look for the most flexible end conventional voice systems. to end solution. Ref (1) 200 or more employees in association with 2
  3. 3. VoICE SErVICES ManaGInG thE tranSItIon to an IP nEt work DEPLoyMEnt trEnDS 74 percent of large Despite the prevalence of email, IP services, according to market organisations expect to fully instant messaging and SMS (short analyst firm IDC (2). the majority migrate their voice networks message service), voice is still the of these - 81 percent - are IP-based leading business communication telephony solutions at some or all of to IP-based by the end of tool. Voice applications can the companies’ sites and 36 percent 2008. By December 2005, 28 consume up to 25 percent of an involve enabling VoIP calls over their percent had taken the first organisation’s ICt (information and wan. steps. (IDC) communications) budget, according to ovum, a market research firm. three-quarters of these companies In the third quarter 2006, (ie one in five of the total surveyed) shipments of IP telephones the notion of ‘IP (Internet protocol) began this transition in the period rose 15.7 percent over the everywhere’, whereby organisations from Jan – Dec 2005. adopt IP throughout their entire data previous quarter in western and voice infrastructures, has been however, having waited six or Europe. (IDC) talked about since the early days seven years to begin the process, of the internet boom in the late- organisations now expect to move By 2010, there will be 48.5 forward quickly. according to IDC’s 1990s. and while some early-adopter million VoIP connections. (IDC) organisations took up the challenge survey, 74 percent of large firms immediately, it is only in the last two expect to fully migrate their voice In the third quarter 2006, years that significant numbers of networks to IP-based by the end of shipments of IP telephones large organisations with extensive 2008, that is, to replace all tDM voice rose 15.7 percent over the infrastructure investments have with IP services. previous quarter, according begun to deploy VoIP as the first step to IDC’s survey among 16 towards pure-IP networks. there are three main factors driving this upsurge in activity to implement western European countries. In December 2005, 28 percent VoIP: cost efficiency, flexibility and the top three vendors, in of large enterprises had already employee productivity. order, were Cisco, avaya and implemented some converged alcatel. Ref (2) Voice and Data Convergence Hits the Mainstream: Why Enterprises are Quickly Migrating Their Networks, IDC. the survey was conducted among 440 large companies in Spain, Germany, Belgium, the netherlands, Ireland, Italy, France, the uk and the uS. in association with 3
  4. 4. VoICE SErVICES ManaGInG thE tranSItIon to an IP nEt work CoSt EFFICIEnCy Modern organisations experience Leaving aside power distribution, DEFInItIonS increasing pressure to be more this requires maintaining two efficient so as to thrive in today’s infrastructures, with all the ensuing fiercely competitive business operational expenditure, managing climate. Economic and technological two distinct sets of suppliers and What is IP? globalisation means business runs employing support staff with skills in Internet Protocol (IP) is a 24/7; new competitors emerge in PBx and data networks – which are the form of well-funded start-ups rarely combined in the same person. communication language or existing businesses moving in that enables a network of from other sectors; organic growth Furthermore, organisations with computers to communicate so is supplemented by mergers and more than one building have we can send emails and share acquisitions; customers are more frequently evolved with a single documents and other files. IP knowledgeable, networked and data network but a separate PBx for is the underlying mechanism vociferous than ever before; and the each building. the result is a web battle for talent – capable people of complexity which, even if well- for the worldwide network of managed, can inhibit growth and with commercial and technical skills computers that make up the and a sound work ethic – further flexibility and increase costs per site. internet and the language exacerbates the pressure on that browser software uses to companies to be more efficient, to do By carrying voice as a service on the access websites. more with less. data network, these operational costs can be reduced. the operational costs In the constant search for smarter of maintaining the PBx network(s) ways to do business and, more will be eliminated, as will any costs What is Voice over IP (VoIP)? importantly, new streams of revenue, that would have been incurred organisations rely heavily on their ICt by changing the voice network VoIP is the technology used to infrastructure. when the organisation expands or transmit voice conversations otherwise changes operations. over a data network using IP. network savings By running voice across a single the data network involved For historical reasons organisations IP network, branch offices need might be the Internet or a have operated two distinct networks, no longer maintain separate PBxs corporate intranet. VoIP takes one for voice and one for data, which and all equipment associated with an analogue voice, encodes it have evolved in parallel as business voice traffic can be centralised. digitally, converts it into requirements have changed. a desk according to a recent study of large in a conventional company has three uS companies, once the converged wires running to it: one for power, networks had achieved ‘steady state’, one for data and one for the internal annual operating costs were 30 (continued page 5) phone system. percent lower for a single IP network in association with 4
  5. 5. VoICE SErVICES ManaGInG thE tranSItIon to an IP nEt work (continued from page 4) than for separate voice and data incurring per minute call charges. networks (3). Moreover, the capital cost of equivalent services, such as a But if the organisation operates voicemail server, tends to be much a single IP network, a VoIP call packets, and transmits them lower for IP systems than for PBx. from one part of the organisation over the data network to to another, no matter how their destination using the however, the organisation will still geographically dispersed, will be free most efficient path. at the need to employ support staff who of charge (that is, the call will not understand data networks and incur a cost per minute, although destination the packets are understand how voice works as a it will share the burden of network reassembled and reconverted service on an IP network. this may operational costs). VoIP systems to the format they started in: require an increase in support staff enable least-cost routing, so that calls analogue voice. numbers rather than a reduction are routed to “hop on” the enterprise during the transition from separate wan using the IP PBx and then voice and data networks to a single “hop off” again at the location that IP network. offers the most savings. Dedicated What is IP telephony? client software provides this service obviously this will not be the case if transparently to caller and called as the use of IP has evolved, so the PBx is hosted: the cost of support party. has the range of applications staff will be born by the service and devices that can be provider. For highly distributed organisations supported. the use of IP is with multiple branches, these now common in multimedia allied to the cost-reduction equation telephony cost-savings can be is the fact that as legacy PBx systems significantly large enough to justify communication and can also reach the end of their serviceable the move to VoIP. be used with telephones and lives, firms are faced with the telephone systems to make decision of whether to invest in a applications phone calls across the internet. new PBx or make the transition to a this technique is most VoIP system. Given the advantages, the advantages described above can it is natural that they should choose also be applied to mobile phones, commonly associated with to retire the legacy PBx and switch so that when travelling abroad, for low-cost phone services via from dual infrastructure to a single IP example, the client software on the the public internet promoted infrastructure. handset knows to make the call using for residential or home use. the appropriate roaming agreement telephony tariffs via the enterprise or hosted IP PBx, so that the call is made using the another source of cost reduction lowest-cost route. the IP PBx deals (continued page 6) realised by VoIP is lower telephony with the QoS (quality of service) tariffs. using conventional PBx issues, ensuring that voice traffic systems, calls from one branch office is given priority over less critical to another would be routed over applications, such as email. the PStn once they leave the PBx, Ref (3) Choosing a Communications Managed Service Provider: Strategies for Decreasing Risk and Cost in Converged Networking, Lippis Consulting in association with 5
  6. 6. VoICE SErVICES ManaGInG thE tranSItIon to an IP nEt work FLExIBILIty (continued from page 5) another attraction of moving to For organisations that have VoIP is the ease with which additions followed this line of reasoning moves and changes can be executed furthest and divested themselves and new voice services deployed. of the physicality of manufacturing, What’s the difference their business comprises of pure between IP telephony the demand for flexibility in business knowledge workers - people and VoIP? is, in part, the realisation of what late- operating in streams of information nineties business gurus, like James that feed their decisions and the VoIP and IP telephony are Martin, dubbed business agility (4): business processes. closely related: IP telephony is harnessing technology to provide dependent on VoIP. VoIP is the an organisation with the ability to Even for organisations that retain respond quickly to the demands more traditional structures, such as building block for delivering of its customers and changing manufacturing and distribution, their conversations over an IP competitive position. employees require greater flexibility network. to avoid confusion, to make accurately informed the use of IP to enable business and telephony applications is referred to as IP telephony, whereas VoIP is the underlying technology. Conventional separate voice and data infrastructure versus converged infrastructure Ref (4) Cybercorp, James Martin, Amacom, 1996 in association with 6
  7. 7. VoICE SErVICES ManaGInG thE tranSItIon to an IP nEt work decisions in near-real-time, bringing Few office workers master the products to market more quickly, functions of the PBx system available ConVErGEnCE and responding to customers and on their desk phone. In fact, office suppliers appropriately. workers are increasingly using mobile phones at their desks because Infrastructure changes these offer a familiar interface with Convergence is a word used an easily accessible list of contacts. by telcos, infrastructure Given these high-paced conditions of according to a study conducted by vendors, service providers, modern business, many organisations Strategy analytics in august 2005, 22 analysts and the press as a are finding that their premises percent of workers use mobiles while catch-all to imply a mystical are in a constant state of internal at their desk. Some estimates are construction, breakdown and even higher: that four out of 10 calls alloying of voice and data reconstruction with teams allocated made from an office are made from networks. In reality it often dynamically to M&as, new projects, mobiles. means replacement of the spin-offs or ‘fire-fighting’. voice infrastructure rather however, an IP PBx offers the chance than a merging of the two. Changing desks, adding new people to reinvigorate the desk phone or operations and eliminating with a host of services configurable For example, in a converged unused lines due to layoffs is an and accessible from the familiar IP network, voice will be a arduous process of hardware and interface of the PC. office workers software changes with conventional will no longer have to remember type of data traffic running PBx systems. on an IP PBx, effecting which esoteric keypad combinations over the IP network, and moves, changes and additions is are required to set up a conference telephony applications, such much simpler. call, they can select conferencing as multiparty conferencing, functions from their screens, pull in will be services embodied by Configurable applications callers and engage in IM sessions software and configurable with participants during the allied to the flexibility of IP networks conference. from a PC. to accommodate changes and additions is the increased ease with an IP PBx can also integrate with which they can deliver configurable mobile phones and applications. voice applications, such as within the campus a mobile phone conferencing, redirection and follow- can be made to operate as if it me services. after cost reduction was an extension of the IP PBx. For and flexibility, the promise of greater remote and mobile workers, soft employee productivity is the third phones can provide all the facilities factor driving the adoption of VoIP. of an IP PBx extension from a laptop. in association with 7
  8. 8. VoICE SErVICES ManaGInG thE tranSItIon to an IP nEt work ProDuCtIVIty Beyond the office environment, a skills, sound work ethic, broadband VoIP system also makes it much web access and a grasp of at least IP GatEwayS easier to accommodate mobile and one language other than their remote workers and provide them mother-tongue – is in short supply with the same telephony services as in developed nations with ageing to connect a company’s VoIP if they were sitting at their desks. demographics. system to the public network requires an IP gateway In businesses such as professional organisations have to cast their nets running h.323 protocol or SIP services firms which rely on highly wider and wider to recruit and retain mobile knowledge workers, talented people. that inevitably (session initiation protocol customers expect to be able to means offering flexible and remote – see page 10) which deals contact consultants and account working to build teams connected with the interface between managers immediately - wherever in the virtual world rather than the packetised IP and the circuit- they are. physical office. switched PStn. Deploying an IP PBx can improve Consequently, the number of h.323 and SIP provide similar customer service by providing employees fulfilling some aspect of functionality. seamless transparent mobility their role in mobile and/or remote with facilities like follow-me and a conditions is increasing dramatically. single direct-dial contact number Industry analysts at IDC estimate which connects to the called party there were some 650 million mobile regardless of whether they are at and remote workers in 2004. By 2009 their desk or at a remote location. that will have risen to 850 million, or about one in four of the total global Economic and societal changes workforce. towards hot-desk policies, home working and remote working are organisations have to accommodate becoming the norm rather than the these fundamental changes when exception. organisations will have planning their ICt infrastructures. to cope with increasing numbers running voice as a service on an of employees based outside the IP network can help provide this traditional office environment. flexibility. For example, a remote worker using a ‘soft phone’ on her Business analysts agree that the laptop can make and receive calls organisations that will be most over an IP virtual private network successful in the future are those (VPn) with the same facilities and at which harness the greatest human the same call rates as if she was using talent. But ‘talent’ - educated people a desk phone in the office. with technical and/or commercial in association with 8
  9. 9. VoICE SErVICES ManaGInG thE tranSItIon to an IP nEt work ChaLLEnGES Given the challenges detailed however, organisations which opt VoICE oVEr IP or VoICE previously, how should organisations to do nothing will miss out on the respond? Let’s look at some opportunities to reduce capex and oVEr thE IntErnEt alternatives. opex ICt costs as detailed previously, and find their growth and flexibility Some vendors offer voice calls 1. Do nothing. inhibited by the complexity of the using the internet, but this dual network. accommodating raises quality of service (QoS) For the organisation where separate flexible, remote and home workers voice and data networks happily will require a significantly higher issues. coexist, doing nothing is a tempting level of expense and effort, and IP packets suffer from delay route. Voice is a critical business services which raise the productivity tool and transferring it from a of employees, such as unified (lag in transferring data conventional network to an IP messaging, conferencing and remote packets from one point to network will cause disruption and softphones, will remain beyond another), jitter (variations in require skilled staff and project reach. delay) and loss (packets don’t management. arrive at all), all of which can the organisation which does nothing compromise real-time voice. will increasingly lose out to leaner more flexible competitors who use Voice over the Internet treats the flexibility of their VoIP facilities voice data like any other to reap the cost-efficiency benefits, respond to market changes more packet. under peak loads quickly and serve their customers voice frames will be dropped better. Eventually, the do-nothing equally with data frames. non- approach will lead to reduced voice data is not time-sensitive profitability and poor value for the and dropped packets can be business owners. corrected by retransmission. Besides, at some point the PBx will Voice needs to be real time so come to the end of its serviceable dropped voice packets cannot life and it is now almost impossible be corrected thus. to purchase PBx equipment without some form of IP technology incorporated. Even if the strategy is to do nothing for now, wise (continued page 10) managers will be planning for the day when a decision has to be made remote workers can have the because operating with the current same functionality as office-based equipment is no longer feasible. workers in association with 9
  10. 10. VoICE SErVICES ManaGInG thE tranSItIon to an IP nEt work (continued from page 9) 2. Invest in a new IP PBx only. 4. Internet telephony to maximise the shift to IP organisations may also be tempted organisations have to consider their by the promise of reduced telephony Voice needs alternative paths whole infrastructure at the same costs to outside parties into adopting to guarantee a continuous time. Purchasing an IP PBx and internet telephony as the only means flow of packets regardless of connecting it to a tDM line to the of carrying voice to the outside congestion on the network. outside world without an efficient world. But pure Internet telephony IP gateway, or using conventional is not a carrier-grade service yet in within a company’s intranet, handsets instead of IP handsets, is terms of quality and reliability in IP telephony facilitates the not maximising the IP PBx or the the same way as circuit-switched delivery of voice packets potential of VoIP. technology is. across the network with speed, control, and plenty of options. 3. Single-vendor vision that is not to say that pure internet telephony will never achieve organisations using the another danger is that organisations this standard. In the meantime, internet to route external calls commit themselves wholeheartedly organisations that require the same to one vendor’s vision of the future. high levels of quality and reliability do so without the means to this is particularly a danger with VoIP as are available on the PStn should manage the traffic, assure the services where vendors have created keep their options open. quality of the conversation, a lot of excitement in the press with and without advanced epic visions of ‘convergence’. 5. Consider whole infrastructure features enabling the end user to control the calls. Convergence is not the holy Grail. organisations will not reap all the organisations do not need another benefits of VoIP through piecemeal Voice over the internet technological marketing concept but migration, but only when they services may soon be a cost-efficient flexible infrastructure address the issues throughout which provides a stable platform on their entire infrastructure. they enterprise quality but are not which to conduct dynamic business. should also look at support costs. there yet. a voice solution which requires retaining flexibility in the esoteric support knowledge is also a infrastructure is vital: surviving and dangerous route for an organisation thriving in the modern competitive to take, even if the system fulfils all world depends on it. the dangers of the other requirements of quality, opting for cul-de-sac voice systems reliability and flexibility. Specialised which inhibit growth or will prove staff are expensive to recruit and can expensive to adapt should business be even more expensive to retain if operations change cannot be over- they decide to use their position as emphasised. lynch-pin to hold the company to ransom. in association with 10
  11. 11. VoICE SErVICES ManaGInG thE tranSItIon to an IP nEt work ChooSInG a VEnDor So, given the potential dangers the organisation recruit and retain above, what should an organisation sufficient project managers for the SIP look for in a voice-solutions vendor? implementation of the solution In today’s economic climate and support staff for its day to day businesses cannot predict the future. running? Session initiation protocol arguably, they never could. (SIP) is an open multi- Dealing with this uncertainty points media signalling standard, “humans whether acting as heavily in favour of a hosted solution a ‘rendezvous’ protocol, individuals or in collective fashion in for VoIP which is managed 24/7 a firm or government, face massive leaving the organisation to focus which allows endpoints inherent uncertainty about the effect on its primary business purpose. on the Internet to discover, of their actions,” says Paul ormerod, this is why IDC’s survey (2) found 20 locate, negotiate, and theoretical economist and founder percent of large enterprises currently establish sessions. SIP allows of the henley Centre for Forecasting. use managed services for separate carrier voice equipment to “whether it is the great characters voice and data networks, but in the interoperate with enterprise of tragedy or the giant corporations future, 39 percent expect to use such as Microsoft, the future remains managed services for converged voice equipment over an IP covered in a deep veil to all. Species, voice and data. network. SIP sets up and tears people, firms, governments are all down voice calls to and from complex entities that must survive in Migrating to a VoIP solution using a the enterprise over this IP data dynamic environments which evolve hosted service provider means the network. over time. their ability to understand vast majority of capex costs and risks such environments is inherently are borne by the provider. Security SIP provides the limited.” (5) of the system, resilience and disaster communications directory recovery and the recruitment and therefore, the foremost attribute retention of project management server with the means to reach required is flexibility. organisations and support staff will also fall to the each individual’s desk phone, can buy or lease equipment which provider. mobile, PDa, email and instant claims to be upgradeable, but messaging (IM) programme. how upgradeable is it in reality? opex costs will be known and It supports multiple forms how many people will be working predictable and the organisation can of real-time communication, at headquarters in three years choose between per user or flat call time? how many branches will the rate charges. the effects on the VoIP including voice, video, and organisation support? what will be system of changes to the business instant messaging, and allows the policy on home working and can be calculated with the provider for ‘presence’ information (see hot-desks? If swingeing carbon on a what-if basis. page 11) on the network. taxes make extensive business travel unfeasible, how will the organisation Even if the organisation chooses SIP is published by the adapt to video conference the hosted service route to VoIP, it Internet Engineering task meetings? will the organisation still has to ensure that it chooses a Force (IEtF) and is supported require a contact centre? how will provider which not only suits their by all major vendors of IP PBxs, IP phones, IP gateways and call managers. Ref (5) Why Most Things Fail, Paul Ormerod, Faber & Faber, 2005 in association with 11
  12. 12. VoICE SErVICES ManaGInG thE tranSItIon to an IP nEt work For further information current business position but has a single provider is unlikely to be on finding the right VoIP the flexibility to cope with emerging able to offer the range of equipment solution business needs, in terms of network and services that a large organisation infrastructure and new telephony requires for its changing needs, but a [url here] applications, even if these are quite strong partnership with an industry- radical. therefore the systems the leading hardware and infrastructure provider offers will have to be vendor should be in place. scalable and modular with the ability to design a solution which fits the Voice communication is such a vital business as it evolves, rather than a business tool that organisations may one-size-fits-all solution, balk at relinquishing control of it to a service provider. But with well- the provider should be able to managed service level agreements identify precisely where savings and struck with the right provider, efficiencies from migrating to VoIP organisations can smooth their will occur for the organisation and transition to VoIP and benefit from a offer a uniform experience to all resilient and flexible solution. users, regardless of where they access the system from. ConCLuSIon the effort which organisations are employees and virtual teams in the currently expending on the transition highly distributed organisations of to VoIP will, in the long term, be the future. rewarded with reduced tCo of their telephony systems from lower the fact that an organisation cannot infrastructure opex costs, reduced predict what its business will look telephony tariffs and increased like in the timeframe of the life of its productivity for their employees. infrastructure points heavily towards a hosted managed PBx as part of the however, an optimal outcome for solution. these firms will be achieved in the modern competitive environment Convergence is not the holy Grail. only if they consider flexibility a organisations do not need another top priority and look to address all technological marketing concept. infrastructure issues, not just deploy they require a cost-efficient flexible a piecemeal solution. Voice is the infrastructure which provides the leading business communication tool right platform on which to conduct and thus will be central to integrating dynamic business. Copyright Colt and IDG Global Solutions 2007 all trademarks are the property of their respective owners in association with 12