Overall, companies have been slow to transition from plain old telephone service (POTS) to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), despite the clear advantages provided with VoIP. From integration with other technology to cost savings and better quality of service, VoIP is a much better voice option. For many organizations, the key to getting over VoIP hesitation lies in yet another technology: software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN).
VoIP hesitation: Despite VoIP’s lower costs and better performance, businesses continue to hang on to older POTS technology. There are multiple reasons for this, and two are the most common:
- VoIP would cause changes in business processes that seem cumbersome. For instance, one of the benefits of POTS is the ability to have multiple lines, place calls on hold and use intercom features. While these features are also available for VoIP, they tend to involve utilizing more buttons and adding steps to the process. Businesses often resist technology investments that require them to add steps to their processes.
- Many businesses have a distrust of the call quality that comes with a switch to VoIP. They anticipate dropped packets and jitter from a network that’s not equipped to handle a VoIP solution, and they wonder how the system will deal with competing data transmission traffic, such as a conference call taking place while an employee on break is streaming Game of Thrones episodes.
Where SD-WAN comes in: SD-WAN utilizes a virtual overlay that allows network engineers to prioritize certain types of network traffic over others. This means that the sales team conference call always takes priority over a streaming video. SD-WAN provides a way for enterprises to access a variety of pathways for network traffic, including multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) and public internet to reduce any potential problems with dropped packets or other quality concerns.
It’s important that businesses upgrading to VoIP with SD-WAN choose their provider carefully. Many VoIP providers are offering SD-WAN because there is high demand for the technology, but they may not possess the depth of insight necessary to support the needs of an enterprise as they change their network approach. It’s critical to talk with a potential provider about how they’ve solved similar challenges in the past and determine whether they have built their SD-WAN solution or if they are simply a reseller of the technology.
To talk more about the benefits of transitioning to a VoIP communications solution with the support of SD-WAN, contact us at AMD Communications.