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Is 'pure IP' VoIP or hybrid VoIP better in the long run?

Is a 'pure IP' VoIP deployment or hybrid VoIP deployment better in the long run? Telephony expert Jon Arnold explains how to determine which deployment model is better.

This is a great question with no simple answer. To clarify, the term pure IP may be misleading. It could mean "premises-based,"...

which is the traditional deployment model for telephony. However, it may also refer to hosted VoIP, which is delivered and managed from the cloud. Both are "pure" scenarios in terms of being complete solutions, and that stands in contrast to the hybrid VoIP model, which is a mix of the two.

The term pure IP, however, is not the normal parlance, and this is where one must make careful assumptions. This language is more suitable in describing an end-to-end environment that is all IP, but really has nothing to do with the deployment model. In that context, pure IP provides the optimum environment for VoIP since calls do not traverse the PSTN. This allows VoIP to perform at its peak level without any of the compromises that often accompany the transcoding needed to go back and forth between IP and legacy networks.

Coming back to deployment models, there are several criteria businesses need to consider when choosing to remain premises-based or to go with a cloud-based offering. These criteria will be specific to every business, and the decision-making process is beyond the scope of this forum.

The important takeaway for this question is to understand that VoIP does not have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Some businesses have valid reasons to remain premises-based, while others have equally valid reasons to choose a complete hosted service. Others will be unsure either way, and that's perfectly fine.

Many VoIP providers can deliver a hybrid solution, where parts of the service are managed on-site and others reside in the cloud. For businesses that want the best of both worlds, hybrid VoIP deployment models are great, as they allow you to continue using legacy equipment until end of life, while taking advantage of VoIP without disrupting your network or investing in new equipment.

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This was last published in December 2014

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