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Risk factors for migration to IP telephony

What are the risk factors in a migration to IP telephony? Is there a governance model to address and manage the risk factors?
Like anything, preparation is essential. Before thinking of a migration to IP telephony you should have a through understanding of your network infrastructure and a detailed network diagram that can be shared with the people that will be helping you with your VoIP solution. You'll have to make sure that you've got a proper switched network in place and that there are no shared media devices (hubs). If you're going to route calls over a WAN between your sites, you'll want to look at bandwidth management devices such as those from Packeteer. You'll also want to enable quality of service to prioritize voice traffic on the WAN connections. You need to ensure also that the VoIP system you select can configure proper bandwidth management to only allow a specified number of calls to be set up over a WAN path. Next, you'll want to look at security considerations. You'll want to have a solution based on a robust operating system such as Linux and you'll want to get all documentation regarding the security features of the product. In general, you should work closely with a qualified business partner of the IP telephony solution provider as they will likely have checklists to go through and test equipment to help ensure that your network is ready to deploy VoIP.

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