General discussion


VOIP, how does it save money over PBX

By sikki ·
I get the main gist of how VOIP systems work. But, what I need help with is how it saves money over the standard PBX system currently in use and already wired into a building. You still need to buy the phone lines, and numbers from the phone company. IP phone systems aren't cheap either, and support is about equivalent to paying for PBX support. I'm all for moving into the future and think that IP telepony systems are the way to go; they have excellent features, and with some they are getting closer to being one phone for everything in and out of the office.
How do I show my boss and up the ladder how spending 60 to 100k on this new system will be better than just updating what we have currently?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

Do a lot of research

by tbragsda In reply to VOIP, how does it save mo ...

I don't have much time right now, but I just went through (6 month) switch replacement project. Don't go with a VOIP switch without knowing about QOS problems. Look at hybrids. VOIP to the internal handsets is not a good use of the technology.

I have lots of junk I gathered over the last year, and if you would like, I can email you some of the stuff.


Collapse -

That's the thing

by house In reply to Do a lot of research

There are admins and there are VoIP admins. Dealing with VoIP is more of an art form than a science at this point.

1) use clustering on the backend for redundancy

2) be aware that packet loss can cause voice mutilation (even though it's UDP) - you can experience echo, and inconsistent tone - but then you can adjust the frequency of the packets (jitter)
We have a default of 20ms which basically means that a packet is sent 50 times per second. We can drop this as low as 80ms or approximately 12 packets/sec without losing too much in regards to quality, resulting in a much cleaner sound

3) Volume levels can be adjusted on the backend accordingly in order to kill the echo if you are being routed through 1001 networks - especially when dealing with VoIP -> POTS and back to VoIP

a few golden rules of the internal office VoIP network....
-do not use DHCP
-dedicated line (goes without saying... a per usage based backup would be ideal too)
-throttle and dedicate bandwidth
-server redundancy
-somebody who knows this stuff... outside of the books
-multiple DID trunks

edit - oz has made me aware that you can only use dhcp with proprietary systems... maybe it's ok then... I should do some research into these systems that are being discussed... the only thing I know is the way things work technically (not proprietary) - hence our beautiful network

Collapse -


by Oz_Media In reply to That's the thing

Have you ever worked with a proprietary system, even though I know you are in the VoIP industry.

You have no control network side on most of these issues, the system simply won't start without those parameters first being checked and approved by the system. Tweaking your network side will ensure a NEAX never boots.

In these high end products, such as I assume the original poster is using (has a pBX not a Key System now) you MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST have the manufacturer trained techniciann complete the ENTIRE install. Failure to do so, void your warranty on a large investment. And you will get NO phone support with out a licence code. In fact most can't be configured/features unlocked etc. period without a licence code provided by the manufacturer for everyone who has completed their training, even then they are checked for the level of training they have and if they don't meet standards for specific line cards they can't even get the codes themselves.

People have always TRIED to circumvent this by saying they have unstalled networks and home sytems for years, blah,blah,blah but they can't even get it to power up. The manufacturer won't even take their calls as you need a code just to place a call to tech support, the warranty is null and void instantly and it will NEVER be covered even if the equipment is resold, once it is touched by unauthorized hands it's all over.

They offer system management consoles for IT staff to play with, and that's it.

The system REQUIRES a Virtual Network and creates it's own, while also utilizing it's own QOS to ensure your lines are installed and configured correctly. It is out of the admins hands (thank god) for MANY reasons, MOST IT staff even those with communications training do NOT understand how these products work and funble through them with nothing but problems and end up saying the system sucks because it doesn't sound right, features wont work etc. Even being trained two years ago, I am not authorized to install NEW NEC VoIP PBX's or Nortel BCM's unless using older software versions.
If they update the software level, ALL techs need to upgrade skills and get new certification. All clients MUST also upgrade their systems before any further warranty work will be performed.

So unless they are looking for a smaller, bridged or outsourced solution, it is a TERRIBLE idea to even begin setting up a network to be VoIP complaint, it will only make the real installers job a little harder and costly to the employer.

Let the instalers arrange and configure line services, let them cable your system and let them configure your PBX. THey won't mess with your network, if you don't mess with their PBX. And yes it is regarded as THEIR PBX, you just pay for it and use it, other than that it it out of your hands. I have yet to meet a single IT person, who knew how to PROPERLY install a PBX, yet alone VoIP in proprietary systems. I have spoken and worked with some real long term GURUS of IT, they just knew better right from the get go and left it up to the provider to install.

EDIT: In all fairness though you are right on these issues and you have also mentioned there is a difference between an admin and a VoIP Admin. As for packet tweaking, this is handled automatically by most PBX based systems and when it comes to DHCP, hate to break it to you but that is the ONLY service that an NEC will install, it handles the static addressing from that point in the form of a virtual network, where it also controls QOS.

Collapse -

well then...

by house In reply to WOw

I've never worked with a proprietary system, you're right... we are innovators

Don't expect me to type as much as you... we are on different spectrums when it comes to VoIP. You know quite a bit about proprietary netwroks... that is not my game.

Collapse -

Sure mate

by Oz_Media In reply to well then...

Not to discount you or your work, the INNOVATORS are what has caused all the VoIP garbage. EVeryone want s to jump on board, now there are $300.00 solutions or $30,000.00 soldutions, which is mileadingcustomers and causing them to lose fistfulls of money. I have had to bail them out by buying back the Avaya's, 3-Coms and Cisco's only to break the news that they need to spend another $50K to get what they need.

Home solutions are one thing, network solutions are another thing, but the Business Phone industry has only been made successful by those that HAVE developed and been innovative with millions in R&amp for decades.

Computer hardware or software manufacturers for example don't have the SLIGHTEST clue what businesses need in a phone system, most BUSINESSES don't know as they take the simplest things for granted, only to find they don't exist elsewhere.

It's a tough racket and many billion dollar globally successful companies have gone bye bye because they can't provide what is needed for business clients, Nitsuko (actually WAS really good at one time), Samsung no longer viable in teh industry,Toshiba and Panasonic even fell apart trying to compete but are now left with a small market share of the small business industry.

I understand that what you do is completely different as do you also, unfortunately many businesses do not, due to the influx and confusion in the VoIP market.

I find people just aren't positioning themselves in a marketplace properly. Whether this is due to poor market development or pipe dreams of 'I can do that too' I don't know. The end result in most cases is that the customer is on the losing end more often than not.
Whether over or underinvesting, of course. Many people don't need a NEAX 2400 and a simpler, less costly solution does the trick, this market separation is not defined due to all the confusion though, and it needs to be.

Collapse -

We know our postion

by house In reply to Sure mate

We deal with the public network... therefore... mostly with single point solutions and ld

..just throwin' out some technique

Collapse -

How about a VoIP PBX?

by Oz_Media In reply to VOIP, how does it save mo ...

Here's the industry leader so far:

or you can get into the entry level Hybrid PBX and have a mixed environment.

But cost savings is long term, not short as with any telephone system.

Just don't get sucked into the little Ayaya or 30Com solutions, they just don't stack up for business use. Remember the phone system is your company's spinal cord, how LITTLE do you wich to spend on one of the most important aspects of your business? It's like trying to buy a cheap motorcycle helmet, it doesn't make sense and although it seems the same,when your head hits the pavement you'll be happy you spent the extra money.

Nortel's BCM is beter than it USED to be but still quite problematic.

I had a NEAX2000IVS at home for about a year, then a 2400 and manaed the VoIP network for some large chains of stores. THese products stand the test of time and save costs, but they have aplications that work and if you don't fit them, you are simply wasting money.

They have very good information online and they won't keep bugging you like hungry sales reps if you ask for information or suggestions.

They will gladly point you to some worksheets for claculating your ROI or comparing with your current equipment.

But unless you are a good sized medium or large business, that does a lot of long distance between branches or to suppliers a VoIP PBX is a big investment. 60-100K? Keep digging in those pockets.

ONE LAST point, beware of VoIP wannabe's. Make sure you are using TRUE VoIP and not network to pots systems that merely pretend to offer VoIP in a standard PBX.

Collapse -

Toll By pass

by Jellimonsta In reply to VOIP, how does it save mo ...

Where VoIP systems save money over a PBX system is in toll by pass. Toll by pass enables companies with branch sites connected via WAN to communicate with each other over that WAN (dependant upon hardware, bandwidth and users). If you have multiple sites, VoIP used w/ MPLS could be a good ROI down the line, especially if there is probability of VC (video conferencing) needs down the line.
Don't expect to see instant cost saving factors in small to medium scale IPT rollouts though. If you are not in need of replacing your PBX it may not make sense to move to IPT for a few years.
In order to roll out IPT (VoIP) you will need to make sure you have a sufficient data network infrastructure, this includes cable (cat5e and enough of it for redundant links for a true core/distribution campus LAN design). You also need the appropriate switching and routing hardware in place.

Collapse -


by amcol In reply to Toll By pass

I switched my organization, highly international in nature, to VoIP and am saving somewhere between $8k-$10k per month in international roaming charges.

Collapse -

LD is the tip of the iceberg though

by Oz_Media In reply to Correct

While MOST companies seek VoIP as a way to save on LD, it is also cheaper in many other areas too, over a traditional Key sstem or PBX.

Least Cost Routing, Station Detail Recording and an ensured Class or Service are all ways to rduce operating costs. Hardware is more flexible and expandable than a PBX or Key system, feature set is more robust, maintenance (once proprly configured) is FAR lower, system management time is reduces, user effort is also reduced when coupled with an integrated UM system.

While initial and obvious costs would be saved in toll calls, this is just a scrtch on the surface of the long term savings.

Related Discussions

Related Forums