Network Checklist for Deploying Enterprise VoIP
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems can come in many shapes and sizes, offering a variety of features and capabilities. Your company’s current and future voice needs will help determine which VoIP solution is right for your organization. Assessing your network needs, accounting for the correct infrastructure cabling and equipment, configuring it for optimized communications and security, and monitoring for appropriate usage are some of the primary tasks required for deploying hosted or hybrid VoIP in your enterprise. Following these steps will assist in securing a successful VoIP deployment for your business.
Voice and Data Network Analysis
The first step that should be taken, prior to deploying hosted VoIP in your enterprise, is to conduct a detailed network analysis. You will want to decide whether or not the voice and data networks should be converged or if they should be configured in separate infrastructures.
Network Bandwidth for Data, Voice, and QoS Metrics
Make sure to check the bandwidth of your network compared to current data and voice traffic, as well as a measure of current Quality of Service (QoS) metrics. Furthermore, an inventory and examination of all present network devices should be administered to determine interoperability between the current firewall, switches, routers, and so on, and a new VoIP system. This is a standard part of the process at West UC to make sure that provisioning goes smoothly for clients.
Network Cabling is Capable and Compliant
Another step to prepare your IT infrastructure for enterprise VoIP is to make sure that your network has the proper cabling installed for each of the IP phone sets to be used. Ideally, you should select either CAT 5e or CAT 6, especially if video communications will be implemented. Also, you’ll want to test the installed cable infrastructure for any issues with compression, noise, or other quality issues. Finally, be sure that each line of cable does not stretch past the industry maximum of 100 meters/328 feet in length.
Configure Network Switches to Avoid Bottlenecks
Ensure that your switches are properly allocated and configured throughout your network. You need to be sure that the switches each have a clean configuration for optimized communication and that they are not connected switch to switch. The reason for this is that daisy chained switches can cause major bottlenecks with network traffic, which both impacts QoS and can cause undesirable results.
To avoid further communication issues, all network hubs should be removed from the system. Additionally, Layer 3 Power over Ethernet (PoE) switches should be installed to assist with disaster recovery protocols. While you may have concerns about how the modified infrastructure will affect your daily business operations, experienced providers, like West UC, have processes in place to keep disruptions to a minimum.
Secure Your Desktop and Devices
Properly prepare and configure all client machines for hosted VoIP usage. Ideally, you should install enterprise-level anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-spyware software on all client PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and server machines. Utilize a business-class spam filtering appliance or hosted spam filtering service for your servers. By doing so, you’ll ensure that no unwanted data or voice information comes into or goes out of the network – securing your infrastructure from the outside in.
Monitor Network Bandwidth for Data Overuse
Along with implementing the appropriate security measures, you should also be monitoring your network bandwidth and usage in order to identify which users may be spending too much time on music streaming, video downloads, or other activities not vital to their daily job responsibilities. Proactive and continual monitoring of such activities ensures that appropriate modifications can be made to prevent unwanted data or voice transmissions traffic.
Dedicate Bandwidth to SIP Trunks
In reviewing more of the infrastructure requirements, make sure to provide dedicated bandwidth for your SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunks. You may even want to dynamically assign bandwidth in order to give priority to voice traffic. Furthermore, you’ll want to set up end-to-end QoS routers between your office and the provider for an optimized experience. Implementing products like West’s MaxxConnect harnesses the power of a cloud-based architecture to align voice services with your business needs for capacity management, flexibility, scalability, and network redundancy.
Get Started with Hosted VoIP Today!
Hosted IP communications providers like West UC have pioneered cloud-based, hosted VoIP solutions. And as industry leaders, they are helping companies to leverage technology as critical source of significant competitive advantage.
Whether your PBX has failed, it’s operational but doesn’t provide the features you are looking for, or you are searching for a more capable enterprise VoIP system, use this guide to start your VoIP implementation now. Following these steps will help your organization maximize the functionality of enterprise unified communications while reducing costs and optimizing workforce efficiency.
Don’t delay your enterprise VoIP deployment – get started today! Use the form at the right side of the page to reach out to a VoIP expert.