We decided to change our whole internal company telephone system over last month. We were reticent in moving to a Cloud based solution but the results have been astonishingly good. We qualified out the band width requirements and the quality of the service on the call with tests across different scenarios. Basically, the lowest level of quality would be a connection over a normal broadband internet line from another country.
We shipped one of the phones over the Ireland to see how it got on. It was like talking to someone in the next room and what’s more it was set up in 1 minute after plugging it in. Our call manager is a hosted Cisco backbone based at Level 3 Hosting centre and DR’s to another Hosting centre. Our call plan has enabled the business to cut it’s phone costs by about 30 to 40% and UK landlines are free. Interestingly Google have now got into the hosted VoIP market on softphones.
This is free to the US but prohibitive to the Euro destinations in comparison to what our company pays. We use the Cisco 7940 and 7960 range of handsets and they can be picked up and plugged in anywhere with a broadband connection. This means we can simply pick up our whole company telephone system and go relocate to another office anywhere with an internet connection, which gives us great flexibility and a business continuity solution. The future of phones is definitely the hosted VoIP backbone and probably the rates with become even more negligible than they are at the moment.
Overall we have been impressed with the quality of the voice call, it doesn’t really have any degradation of quality and we can’t really tell the difference over the old BT landlines. For a company though we would always recommend installing the phone lines over a dedicated internet connection (DSL works fine for most companies here) voice line, to avoid completely any peak demands from users doing downloads or uploads and any potential lowering of quality but I have to say we haven’t seen any from some of our remote sites, which don’t have it on a separate line.
Overall, very happy with the solution, it’s come a long way from the old crackle, high pitch zing in your ear.