VoIP Systems Overview

The VoIP technology is an indispensable part of the modern IT world. Home offices and large enterprises benefit from the reliability and cost saving of the VoIP. As vendors struggle to strengthen their market positions, they focus on products’ enhancement, maintaining the compliance with industrial standards. This paper addresses the three VoIP usage scenarios and three most prominent vendors of VoIP solutions: Cisco Systems, Avaya, and Polycom.

However diverse are options for the possible VoIP usage, only the narrow choice of scenarios is analyzed here. The home office of one person and the small company of up to ten employees will require an entry-level solution, while the call center with about 200 users will utilize an industry-scale VoIP product. All three solutions, however, will have the end-point voice terminals or IP phones, a middleware to control and facilitate calls and the gate to PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).

The one-person home office is likely to benefit from the desktop SoundPoint product of Polycom Inc. The company is a long-standing leader in small-to-medium business segment, offering the balanced choice of voice and video communication solutions. The SoundPoint IP series is a family of IP desktop phones designed for the effective and productive communications. The ideal solution for one-user office specifics will be a Polycom SoundPoint IP 335 phone, the desktop device capable of up to eight simultaneous calls handling over two phone lines. This phone has a 102x33 pixel backlit grayscale graphical LCD, the message waiting indicator LED and the set of very ergonomic keys. It complies with the SIP (Session Initiated Protocol) standard and, as most of modern IP phones, has a VLAN (Virtual LAN) switching capabilities, which enables the network connection in-between the host computer and the rest of the LAN (Polycom Inc., 2012).

The Avaya IP Office suite with the Avaya 1210 IP deskphone would satisfy all needs of the small five-to-ten employees’ office. The Avaya Inc. is an indisputable technology leader within the area of traditional and IP voice communications, as well as video-conferencing and multisite collaboration solutions. Designed specifically for small and midsize businesses, Avaya IP Office facilitates the entire team’s real-time connection and collaboration. It is well scalable and enables for the company growth. There are tracking, recording, and reporting capabilities for customer interactions. The Avaya 1210 IP deskphone is the optimal solution as the end-point voice terminal. It offers the superior audio quality on top of the intuitive streamlined interface with the easy-to-use navigation cluster (Avaya Inc., 2012).

Moving to the enterprise-sized phone systems, the championing position of the Cisco Systems Inc. is widely acknowledged. The company is offering a wide choice of telecommunication equipment, software, and turnkey solutions suitable for enterprises of any size, telecom providers, and the Internet core itself. For the call center comprising 100 to 200 workplaces the Cisco Unified Communication Manager Express will be an optimal choice. This call processing solution does not require an extra Call Manager server and is available on any middle-size Cisco router offering the Integrated Services (ISRs). Thus, a single Cisco router of 1800, 2800 or 3800 series can be a core of the call center’s networking, aggregating and handling the traffic from IP phones as well. The most justifiable choice of the phone model is the Cisco Unified IP Phone 7911g. This cost-effective device contains all the traditional features of IP phone and is widely used in call centers throughout the world (Cisco Systems Inc., 2012).

As VoIP technology offers numerous advantages to all kinds of enterprises with different specifics, each solution is substantiated by the particular business’ needs of the company employing it. Generally, the company size is not an indicator as to which solution or the equipment model should be chosen. However, the cases considered in this paper are reasonably universal and convey the main factors for the best selection.

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