January 25, 2018
The number of businesses switching to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for their phone services is increasing every day, and with good reason: According to research, the typical business can save anywhere from 30 to 75 percent on telephone costs by using the internet to make voice calls. VoIP has been proven to improve productivity, overall customer service, and employee mobility, to the point where there are approximately one billion people using the technology today.
Perhaps even more startling is that fact that only about 31 percent of businesses have actually made the switch to VoIP. Despite predictions of extensive growth in the industry, there are still businesses that have not switched. In many cases, this is due to concerns about the quality of the calls and reliability of the service. Some businesses have reported having issues with their VoIP systems that have required expensive interventions and upgrades, but in the majority of cases, that is due in large part to a lack of separation on the company’s data networks. Simply put, using separate networks for voice and data services presents a number of benefits to any business, and increases the likelihood of VoIP being a solid investment.
3 Main Benefits of Network Separation
With today’s modern technological infrastructures, separating voice and data networks is often as simple as segmenting the VLAN. With the right software in place, you can easily separate your LAN into multiple virtualized streams. They all exist on the same hardware, but the different types of data are separated into multiple streams.
Doing this presents three key benefits to the VoIP user.:
1. Improved Call Quality. When calls are made using VoIP technology, the data is sent in packets over the network to the receiver. Callers expect those packets to be sent almost instantaneously, because if there are any delays (known as latency and jitter) the call quality will suffer. Imagine having a conversation with someone, but everything he or she said was on a two-second delay. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is noticeable to the average person, and will disrupt the flow of conversation. That’s not even taking into account the likelihood of packets being “dropped” when encountering congestion on the network; this creates the “breaking up” issue that so many of us are familiar with. If the conversation is taking place during a conference call, such delays can lead to people talking over each other or not hearing each other, limiting productivity.
By limiting VoIP traffic to its own data stream on the network, you can significantly reduce the amount of network congestion that the data packets encounter, and improve the overall call quality. Your calls won’t be competing for space with other forms of traffic.
2. Improved Monitoring. When things aren’t working right on your network — there are dropped calls, excessive latency, etc. — if it’s not segmented, it can be challenging to identify and isolate the actual problem. VoIP monitoring tools are an effective way to ensure that your network continues to operate at optimal levels, but combining them with a dedicated VoIP network makes them even more effective. The benefits go both ways as well; if you are having trouble on your data network, if VoIP traffic is funneled to a different stream, then you know that it’s not a cause of data slowdowns or other problems.
3. Improved Security. As with any internet-enabled technology, VoIP comes with its own set of security risks. For example, hackers are targeting VoIP lines to eavesdrop on conversations to gather information, or simply “hijack” the lines for their own use, making calls on your dime. With a dedicated VoIP network, you can implement stricter security protocols to block this “bad” traffic and keep your calls secure without impeding the traffic on your data network.
The benefits of switching your company’s communication to a VoIP service are myriad, but without the proper technology and setup in place, you might find that you have more problems than you expect. By taking the simple step of segmenting your voice and data networks, and diverting traffic into separate streams, you’ll be able to easily avoid many of the issues that frustrate VoIP users.
Cher Zavala is a content co-ordinator who assists in contributing quality articles on various topics. In her free time she also enjoys hiking, traveling and getting to know the world around her. Cher has built up many strong relationships over the years within the blogging community and loves sharing her useful tips with others.