Already quite a large number of people in the world know what IP-telephony is and even can, if necessary, use the Skype program and independently execute a VoIP call. At the same time, until recently, only rich companies could afford to invest substantial amounts in the organization of the IP-telephony system, and now even the most modest firms are able to acquire IP PBX. Nevertheless, among ordinary consumers, very strange ideas are still circulating that there is VoIP and how problematic it is to take advantage of the fruits of this technology.
The information publication TMCnet tried to dispel part of the frightening myths that surrounded, in the view of a mass potential user, modern IP telephony, which had changed quite dramatically even in the last couple of years.
The first myth sounds like this: VoIP is too new technology, its use is very limited, and the future is vague. To put it mildly, it’s not quite true. More precisely – not at all. Speech has long been about the fact that the foggy future is just the usual telephony. The word “when” rather than “if” serves as a determining factor when trying to predict the use of VoIP as a common de facto voice standard. Analyst company Info-Tech Research believes that by 2008 half of all small and medium-sized businesses will use VoIP exclusively. English McKinsey Consulting forecasts similar proportions for the UK. They are echoed by Gartner Group, which claims that by 2010 95% of large enterprises will switch to convergent networks.
According to many experts, conventional telephony is in fact already doomed, and how quickly its remnants will be replaced by systems on the IP platform, depends only on the will of the case. According to Synergy Research, global sales of IP PBX will exceed sales of conventional PBX-systems this year. By 2007, IP-based PBX trading will bring vendors around $ 6 billion, while conventional PBXs will lose about half of their sales markets and will earn no more than $ 3.5 billion.
Against the background of such figures, it is even inconvenient to speak of the low prevalence of VoIP. It is possible that consumers can use VoIP without even knowing it. The tube has remained the same. And you can talk as usual.
Due to the second myth, many people believe that saving money by using VoIP is possible only when talking about two IP-telephony systems, and when calling a mobile or conventional landline phone, there is no practical interest in this process. Without going into too much detail, you can simply bring to the knowledge of a poorly informed consumer that calls using an IP platform are always cheaper than regular communication, and between two clients of identical VoIP systems, in their bulk, are free.
The disgusting quality of communication, characteristic for all VoIP conversations, is one of the most common myths and will appear in our number “three”. Here, perhaps, there was a situation when, as they say, “there were spoons, but the sediment remained.” Over the improvement of the quality of VoIP communications, the specialists of the whole world have been working tirelessly for many years, creating hardware and software that compensate for the loss of packages and other unpleasant consequences of the transition to digital communication. The world is already full of solutions and operating systems that provide excellent quality, often exceeding the traditional telephone line. However, the argument “everyone knows that …” continues to support a negative opinion about the sound quality in IP telephony.
“IP-telephony is an unreliable form of communication that will refuse at the moment of power outages,” adepts of the fourth myth will say and will be partially right. “Partially” because this issue, like the sound quality, has long worried the developers of VoIP-systems and has already found a lot of solutions built into the finished products. Fault-tolerant circuits from uninterruptible power supplies and PoE (Power over Ethernet) to the banal automatic switching to an active mode of communication make VoIP a no less reliable communication system than traditional or mobile telephony.
Convergent networks have certain difficulties with providing security simply by the fact of their nature, but this does not mean that everything is hopeless, as the supporters of the fifth myth try to imagine. VPN connection, encryption, and properly configured firewall will avoid most problems associated with unauthorized access to VoIP conversation or attempts to prevent its implementation.
In addition, some consumers seriously fear the big difficulties with the installation, use and maintenance of VoIP systems. The sixth myth promises so many problems and complexities that it can kill any desire, try out Internet telephony, in the bud. Meanwhile, ready-made modern solutions can be installed and configured without special knowledge, although technical support and training is an indispensable additional attribute of any more or less serious VoIP system. Developers are well aware that small businesses cannot support a special VoIP specialist, so most of the developments have a “boxed” version, which implies only the simplest operations.
Another widespread myth (on our list at the number “seven”) says that the transition to VoIP is an extremely expensive procedure that is available only to large companies that can invest significant funds in the new technology. The English consulting company McKinsey Consulting, published in the spring, the report, led the curious data of the survey of heads of large enterprises. Out of 77 people, 53% said they plan to invest the largest investments in the IT sector, with an emphasis on the development of VoIP. The management of enterprises of the small and medium business sector is also certain for some reason that with the transition to VoIP, they will require a complete replacement of existing equipment, which is fraught with excessive expenses. As a comment to these fears, it should be noted that advanced modern VoIP systems integrate into the existing communication system, using, if possible, all the working resources.
Approximately from the same fears “legs grow” and the eighth myth: VoIP-system requires constant upgrades, which “fly in a pretty penny.” However, many VoIP solutions are being upgraded, usually by updating the software, which can be done quickly and inexpensively. And it’s completely free.
The ninth myth reflects the concerns of potential customers about the choice of a provider of IP telephony solutions. After all, if this company leaves the market, then you can stay without technical support. Which automatically means the collapse of the entire communication system! Here, the prudent consumer should re-read the first myth and calm down: within the growing, accelerated the pace of the market, problems with those. support should not arise.
Most of the described myths, as you can see, are rooted in the negative experience of “communication” with IP telephony of the past. Now much has changed and it’s time to re-evaluate VoIP capabilities in a new way.