By John Pope
With a challenging economy, it is important to focus on retaining existing customers, reducing costs, and looking for new revenue streams and services. Today, VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) brings many new benefits; however, you also need the proper “gateway” to integrate new features and services.
I see many VoIP implementations that fail to consider the use of intelligent gateways over traditional trunking gateways that just convert VoIP to TDM and vice versa. While trunking gateways are cheaper than intelligent gateways, the advantages of using an intelligent gateway often outweighs the increased costs. The following chart outlines the differences and advantages of using an intelligent gateway over a trunking gateway.
|Benefit / Feature
|Improving Customer Service|
|Caller Name (CNAME)||Yes||Yes|
|Recording of Complete Call||Yes||No|
|Recording of Multiparty Conferences||Yes||No|
|Automated Notification and Delivery of Messages||Yes||No|
|SIP Refer/Transfer (TBCT)||Yes||No|
|SIP Diversion/One Number||Yes||No|
|Number of Pops Supported||1024||5 (Typical)|
|Nat Traversal – Stun per Connection||Yes||No|
|Trunking Limit per Gateway||16 Spans||4 Spans (Typical)|
|VoIP Limit per Gateway||750||120|
|Fax Store and Forward at Gateway||Yes||No|
|Single Line Transfers from Switch||Yes||No|
|Other Voice Services (Skype/Yahoo/AIM)||Yes||No|
|FoIP (T38 and G711 per Channel/Call Dynamic)||Yes||No|
|Scheduled Routing Based on Date and/or Call||Yes||No|
|Click to Call/Caller Routing Based on Campaign||Yes||No|
As shown in the table, the advantages of using an intelligent gateway are many and should be considered when looking at future business opportunities. The primary benefits include the opportunities of improving customer service, reducing costs, and increasing revenues. As VoIP continues to move towards the mainstream and customer needs continue to grow, it is important not to make your sole decision based on your needs today but to also consider the future.
John Pope is the president of CenturiSoft and has been an early implementer of VoIP. You can contact John at 800-866-1929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
[From Connection Magazine – April 2010]