Guest post: Don’t get me started on VoIP

Today’s guest post is by Tony Tillyer who is a seasoned CTI professional and currently works at T-Mobile UK. Even if you’ve never met Tony, you probably recognize his name, especially if you’ve been dabbling in Genesys long enough. Tony is the author of several Genesys “Rough Guides” — semi-official documentation compiled by him with input from others based on hands-on experiences, an active forum moderator on the Genesys CTI User Forum, and one of the driving forces behind The Wire Magazine. It just happens that he’s in the middle of developing an article for The Wire which fits as a response to yesterday’s post, “Is VoIP a diversion?” Thanks for sharing and allowing us a preview, Tony!
<pVoIP is a natural progression in IT terms. IP serves web pages, video streams, voice streams and all manner of media — so why not apply it to replace telco (TDM)?  Well, if it is for business purposes and you’ve got a call centre to kit out, here’s a few thoughts:

VoIP/SIP does not have the service levels of TDM. TDM has an excellent track record since the majority of it is hard wired — and it’s been around for over a hundred years!  If you pick up your deskphone handset you expect the dial tone, every time — right?  What about if you switch on your PC, log in, plug in your headphones, open your softphone, log in…  do you have the same expectations…? Does it always work…?  I think that’s 1-0 for TDM… And, even when it works if you get the bandwidth, the priority (QoS) or configuration wrong, you can drop “packets” making it impossible to understand the caller — probably worse than not receiving the call in the first place!

If TDM is already there, it will always be there. What is the backup strategy for VoIP/SIP? If you have built VoIP/SIP where TDM previously existed, the chances are you left the TDM equpment in place, “just in case” eveything goes pear-shaped.  So — TDM is still there.

Out with the old, in with the new. If you are planning a new site, chances are you will go with VoIP/SIP, since it doesn’t have the price tag of TDM — no PBX, no ACD, no hard wires around the building, no turrets… and you would take the service level “hit” in your stride since you do not have a higher expectation of the service and you factor that in to your build.

VoIP/SIP is more versatile. Take Call Forwarding for example, using TDM it’s a standard affair: “Forward calls to xxxx…” With VoIP/SIP there are endless possibilities — working from home today? No problem — just log in at home…  On the move? No problem — just log in when you get there…  VoIP/SIP is “in the cloud” and is not tied down to a single location like TDM.

VoIP/SIP fits in seemlessly with the advances in other areas of telco technology. IVRs with Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) and Text-To-Speech (TTS), (V)XML, IP convergence — all of it requires a conversion from/to TDM — VoIP/SIP is there, already.

VoIP/SIP opens so many doors from a provider perspective. With the technology “in the cloud” the real estate resides elsewhere. You can tie in IVR, payment services, automated responses and all manner of things not possible with simple TDM — and all of it is off-site, being maintained by service professionals ready to provide an instant service to any customer.

The business impact of VoIP/SIP over TDM. If you have TDM and you want to rip it out, you are essentially removing the telco provider (switch, ACD, etc.) and replacing them with a single cable and an IT department.  That’s over a hundred years of experience being replaced by the new boys over in the IT section. Are you sure you want to do that?!

In essence then, if you have TDM, stick with it — no point in using it as a back-up for a new technology, because it will be (ultimately) more costly.  If you are planning a new site with the possibility to continually expand (and contract!) — why not use VoIP/SIP?


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