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VoIP and unified communications define the future

Chapter 6 of the book "VoIP and Unified Communications: Internet Telephony and the Future Voice Network" offers a history of VoIP and UC technologies.

Voice over IP has become an attractive communication option for enterprises, now that VoIP products and services have improved. But before adopting VoIP, enterprises must consider which of their communication technologies would benefit from VoIP implementation and examine the short- and long-term financial impact. Chapter 6, VoIP and Unified Communications Define the Future, from the book VoIP and Unified Communications: Internet Telephony and the Future Voice Network offers an analysis and history of UC technologies and services, such as call routing and video conferencing, and gives enterprises a better understanding of the impact VoIP adoption would have on these technologies and services. Download a full PDF of VoIP and Unified Communications Define the Future by clicking the button below or read an excerpt of Chapter 6 to get a feel for the book.

Chapter 6: VoIP and Unified Communications Define the Future

Knowing some history of telephony and understanding the new technologies should prepare you to face your specific business problems. The intent is to help evaluate, select and deploy future communications systems for at least the next decade.

Voice as before, with additions

The goal of UC is to improve communications, which means the mark of success will be increased usage per person. What new functions will a migration add? What effect will it have on network traffic? The direction is up, but where will you start?

Before that increase hits, you should calculate if the IP network is able to absorb voice and UC in addition to data. A PBX will provide some demand information; phone bills are another source.

When planning basic capacity, compare what you know to the assumptions that vendors make when recommending the size and number of servers. Some vendors openly state their basis for a calculation, for example, in terms of the number of emails, phone calls and IM messages each person makes in a day or hour. If you don't validate the assumptions against your own data, any prediction will be a wild guess and probably wrong.

The same applies to assumptions about costs when calculating a potential return on investment. More on that below.

RFC 5359, Session Initiation Protocol Service Examples, collects best practices for legacy services using SIP "methods" and protocols. Watch for similar documents to emerge in the future, not only from the IETF but also from vendors, associations and industry forums.

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Excerpted from VoIP and Unified Communications: Internet Telephony and the Future Voice Network, First Edition, by William A. Flanagan (ISBN: 9781118019214). Copyright ©2012, John Wiley & Sons Inc. All rights reserved.

VoIP and Unified Communications coverAbout this book: VoIP and Unified Communications: Internet Telephony and the Future Voice Network offers an assessment of the VoIP and UC products and services available to enterprises. The author provides an introduction to IP technology and covers topics including VoIP signaling and call processing, network management for VoIP and UC, and packet transmission and switching. The author discusses how VoIP and UC products and services function in the enterprise, as well as potential threats to UC services. The book also features cost analyses and payback calculations to help readers determine the short- and long-term cost of implementing VoIP and UC products and services.

About the author: William A. Flanagan is the president and founder of Flanagan Consulting. He is an expert in voice and data technologies, products, markets and customers with over three decades of telecommunications experience. He previously worked as a network architect for the USDA's Multiprotocol Label Switching backbone and designed a multicast IP network to connect hundreds of surveillance cameras. He holds a bachelor's degree in physics from DePaul University and completed graduate physics courses at the University of Pittsburgh.

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