Mind Your Business: The High and Low Road of VoIP

By Steve Michaels

Q. I have thought about using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to save on my phone bills, but I’ve gotten different answers from different sources regarding the quality and reliability of VoIP. Is there a formula for its success?

A. There is no “formula” for success with VoIP, but there are various methods of deploying VoIP successfully with high quality assurance. Please remember that the term VoIP has been blemished by low cost providers that only support DSL or cable modems. There are many call centers currently utilizing VoIP everyday, and the quality is transparent and in some cases better than analog phone lines.

Here is an analogy to help explain this. You need to get to the local mall, and you have two alternative routes to take. The first is a back road with many potholes and intersections. Even though you are able to reach your destination, the quality of the ride is far less appealing than if you were able to jump onto a tollway and get to the mall much more quickly and easily. The quality of the ride on the toll road would be far superior; however, it would cost you more money for that speed and quality.

As a business owner, VoIP (the car) will ride on any network (the back road or the tollway), and this will affect the quality of the VoIP (ride) and thus the quality of the call. In the end, there are some variables, or equipment, that makes VoIP successful, but mostly its success is due to the route that VoIP takes. It is up to the call center owner or manager to make a decision on how to utilize VoIP and assess the cost of implementation to achieve that desired quality. As a part of this decision, you need to make sure that your current proposed equipment is able to handle the “toll road” – that is, the currently available technology.

(The above description of VoIP was taken from an explanation given to a customer by Vince McGlone.)

Steve Michaels is a business broker with TAS Marketing and can be contacted at 800-369-6126 or tas@tasmarketing.com for questions.

[From Connection Magazine May 2009]

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