I went to my first VoIP meeting in (as far as I can remember) the summer of 1999. It was a pulver.com “Executive Retreat” located at the ETSI HQ in Sophia-Antipolis near Cannes in the South of France. It’s a tough life but someone has to live it.
Since then we have been through a couple of recessions and a long hard climb for VoIP technology to become accepted. I knew the day would come but VoIP is now so mainstream that businesses think nothing of installing “VoIP only” voice solutions with no legacy ISDN or analogue lines as backup.
They are doing this because of two things:
Firstly the cost of IP connectivity has plummeted and at the same time IT departments have realised that VoIP does = reliability, especially when it comes to DR scenarios.
Secondly the cost of implementing VoIP solutions versus TDM based trunks has come down so much that a business can see step functions in cost reductions that have been absent from the communications market for some years now.
For example one of our customers, the car manufacturer Honda, has been able to save 45% of the cost of its voice communications by moving over to SIP trunking instead of ISDN. Honda have resilient internet connectivity to support the VoIP network but still see the huge cost benefit.
It is also quite normal to see people installing PBX systems that dispense with any form of ISDN backup and that rely purely on broadband for their IP connection. I guess time has told us that these solutions “just work” and concerns over quality and reliability have been unfounded.
We still have a long way to go on the VoIP journey with technological developments such as High Definition (HD) voice and Fixed Mobile Convergence beginning to gain traction and whilst the future is exciting there is certainly a sense of satisfaction in seeing VoIP finally becoming the mainstream solution for voice communications.
For anyone interested I’ve penned a short Guide_to_migrating_to_sip . So much has been written on this subject that I’ve kept it short and hopefully to the point.
Also for anyone interested the header photo is by Nevit Dilmen taken from Wikipedia. You will easily guess the relevance – it adds a bit of colour (grey) to a subject that isn’t the sexiest going.