A recent report by Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) comparison and review website Software Advice has looked at how multi-site businesses can more effectively unify VoIP systems across multi-site networks.

VoIP calls are transmitted as network packets on Internet connections carrying an array of other data; and due to their nature, the calls are naturally subject to quality issues that don’t affect traditional voice services. Internet connections supporting VoIP systems must therefore offer a consistent level of available bandwidth to ensure high-quality audio.

The process of implementing VoIP becomes more complex when businesses have Internet connections at more than one location – but, by unifying communications systems at multiple sites, businesses can save money on operational costs and phone bills.

To this end, the Software Advice survey focused on employees in organisations with at least two locations communicating over the public Internet – 7 questions were asked and 228 responses taken from random employees in organisations with voice networks including multiple sites.

Online activities most affected by network problems – sample graph from the report.

Online activities most affected by network problems – sample graph from the report.

Daniel Harris, VoIP and telecom researcher at Software Advice says of the report:

“Our survey of users in multi-site voice networks uncovered the fact that applications for voice and video calling work better in many network environments than normal Web-based applications. 31 percent selected using normal Web-based applications as the online activity most impacted by networking problems, whereas only 12 percent selected videoconferencing and 11 percent selected voice calling, thanks in part to the work that hosted PBX providers carry out to monitor quality on their own networks as well as customers’ networks.

Moreover, we found that many business LANs are ready for hosted voice solutions. When we asked employees about how frequently they experience network problems at work, only 11 percent reported that they experience problems “often” or “very often.” The other 89 percent of our respondents reported that perceptible network problems were intermittent to nonexistent.”

Paul Tindley, CEO of SmartIPX added:

“The report confirms that VoIP is now mainstream for many businesses and with the right infrastructure no business should be reluctant to adopt.

I concur with the findings that modern IP networks are better equipped to handle VOIP, while removal of legacy voice equipment and services has also had a positive impact on VOIP adoption. I would also add that the convergence of voice and mobile also means that end users are now comfortable with the VOIP/video experience but are clearly still frustrated with access speeds.”

Read the report in full here.

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