Once you decide to move your business into the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) world, many networking and infrastructure factors must be considered for a smooth transition from traditional telephone to VoIP.
The pre-engineering meeting is the key moment when everyone involved in the process must participate to discuss the existing or brand new office infrastructure. Typically, VoIP technology must reside on CAT5e wiring or higher to eliminate endless troubleshooting based on poor audio quality, proper connection to the phone system IP processor, or in most cases the phone system simply won’t operate on older CAT3 technology. Consider how your office wiring terminates in the Telco closet since traditional 66 or 110 blocks are not players that should be part of the VoIP equation. Wiring termination on a patch panel and properly tagging every voice location throughout the office will make your job easy in every aspect after the job has been completed.
The network environment is another big player in building a flawless solution. Work with the customer’s LAN administrator and determine if the VoIP solution will reside on the customer’s data LAN or if it will have its dedicated voice LAN. For either solution, one must consider data usage per phone, computer telephony integration, DHCP server (router or Windows server), Ethernet switches, voicemail to email, and conference cards, that at the end of the day all of them will end up tied together as the voice network.
It is highly recommended to setup a dedicated voice network for your VoIP phone system. In many cases (25-100 users), consider obtaining a small business router to provide the DHCP service to your IP phones. Also, a Gigabit non-PoE Ethernet switch must be part of the topology and such will become the “Core” of your voice network. Connections from the patch panel to the end point (voice jacks) must be handled by a PoE Ethernet switch to eliminate power cords attached to your IP phones leaving one single connection to your phone. In the case of the Samsung OfficeServ VoIP phone system solution the “Core” switch and the phone signaling Ethernet switches must be part of the same family. Samsung provides a great combination of Ethernet switches that are built and designed to interact with one another on a VoIP environment and create a smooth functionality.
Providing the customer with your choice of routers and switches will facilitate the entire setup of the network and the phone system operation. You can control how the DHCP server is configured as well as being able to handle all the pertinent port forwarding for remote manageability and for remote employees access to the services and features provided by the phone system.
Highly important to consider is a high-quality backup power source to protect your investment. In a rather large environment, 2 or 3 UPS battery backups are recommended due to the large quantity of components that are part of the voice network.
VoIP is here to stay and facilitate our business lives.
Have fun and enjoy pretending you’re at the office when on vacation in Aruba.
Photo Source : Samsung