Why Voice Over IP (VoIP)?

At ServiceMark we are strong proponents of Voice over IP technology, and we are also strong proponents of traditional telephone technology. We are not advocates of technology for technology sake. We help our customers explore which technologies (such as Voice over IP) are relevant for their business and which technologies may not be needed, then recommend deploying the technology that is the best fit. We are enthusiastic about applying technology for our customers in a meaningful way that produces greater efficiency and better customer service.

What is Voice over IP?

VoIP is an acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol, and a brief definition is “talking over public or private IP data network”. In some applications the technology involves talking over the public internet. However, VoIP is not limited to the public internet, but also includes connecting IP telephones to a local data network (LAN) inside a single building or campus environment, or talking over a private data network (WAN) that connects multiple office buildings.

Why Voice over IP?

The applications of VoIP technology are numerous, but we’ll limit our comments to how VoIP is commonly used for business purposes.
• VoIP technology can provide a reduction of long distance charges.
• VoIP technology can deliver cost effective telephone and internet services over a common connection such as coax cables, T1s, or fiber optics.
• VoIP telephones and desktop computers can share a common data network connection which may reduce wiring costs inside a building.
• It is now affordable and reliable to deploy wireless technology to connect VoIP phones and computers in multiple buildings located on a single campus which eliminates the need for overhead or underground cables.
• VoIP can provide the ability for telephones in multiple offices to work together as one telephone system.
• VoIP can extend the high end functionality of a business telephone to a person that works from home.

Is Voice over IP Reliable?

Today VoIP is a mature technology and is very reliable if best practices are followed. Conversely, VoIP can be deployed best effort with no guarantees of quality.

Examples of VoIP best practices that are very reliable and can be guaranteed are as follows:

• Voice and data service delivered via T1’s or Fiber over “dedicated” bandwidth is very stable.
• Voice connectivity over a carrier’s network (such as Windstream or AT&T) that does not rely on the public internet to transmit phone calls should be very reliable
• Connectivity of VoIP phones to data switches that deploy Quality of Service (QoS) insures quality phone conversations

Examples of VoIP best effort deployments that are not always reliable are as follows:

• Cable TV companies utilize VoIP technology to deliver telephone service over a coax cable. Quality of phone conversations over coax cable can vary because the bandwidth is not dedicated bandwidth and is shared with your neighbors. When others in your neighborhood get busy on the internet the quality of phone service can suffer.
• Voice connectivity over the public internet is not guaranteed. Common problems include echo, jitter, latency, cutting in/out, overall poor voice quality, and disconnects.
• Connectivity of VoIP phones to data switches that are not equipped with Quality of Service (QoS) can result in poor voice quality.

When I buy a phone system, should I configure the system with all VoIP phones?

“Why VoIP?” should be discussed and vetted. While we have mentioned several reasons to consider VoIP, it’s important to note that it’s commonplace that we install digital phones as opposed to VoIP phones for many business customers. For more insight click here to view a video that profiles three of ServiceMark’s customers. One of the customer’s in the video utilizes VoIP phones, and two of the customers utilize digital phones. It’s worthwhile to discuss what a company hopes to achieve now and in the future, and which solution (VoIP phones or digital phones) is the most cost effective solution based on a customer’s specific circumstances.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss in further detail how you can realize cost savings, improve customer service, and help discover which technologies are relevant for your business. Please call us at 816-478-2000 and press 2, or e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a free, no obligation consultation.