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What is the biggest hurdle in an efficient IP telephony migration?

Learn about the biggest hurdles in an efficient IP telephony migration, including integrating the IP PBX with the existing network.

What is the biggest hurdle in an efficient IP telephony migration?
Overall, the biggest hurdle would lie in the integration of the IP PBX with the existing network. IP telephony, and especially SIP, is not truly standardized, and interoperability issues persist. Not just interop between IP and TDM networks, but also IP-to-IP. Progress is being made on this front, particularly via the SIP Forum's SIPconnect initiative, but IP telephony deployments typically face challenges when integrating with network elements such as gateways, firewalls and routers.

Another potential issue is the readiness of the network itself for IP telephony. These migration scenarios involve some degree of network convergence, where some or all of the voice traffic will now ride over the data network. Older data networks may not have enough capacity to add telephony, and may not be optimized to ensure that voice can be prioritized over data. There are actually a host of issues around network readiness for IP telephony, such as security and QoS, and the challenges become even greater if the migration includes adding video at some point.

Finally, there could also be a number of challenges related to the service provider, especially if the enterprise is switching to a new carrier. In that scenario, there is the basic issue of number portability to ensure that the existing phone numbers and extensions remain in place. Also, since IP telephony often involves network convergence, the enterprise will likely need to re-negotiate their carrier plan. This could impact pricing contracts, line leasing terms and SLAs, to name a few items.

This was last published in May 2009

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