Today, many businesses are still using Internet and phone systems that were ideal for their organization—a decade ago. Back then, when a company implemented Internet and a phone system, the primary technology was to install a T1 Transmission System for data and another T1 or primary rate interface (PRI) line for voice. Those options have improved dramatically.

Virtual Phone System
Many companies have the need for additional bandwidth and some have either upgraded their speeds with the same provider, or have brought in a replacement cable provider with greater data speed options. Nevertheless, there are still a large number of companies that have left their systems intact, but should probably take a second look.

Phone through your cable provider

Today, cable providers are offering PRI lines through their cable circuits and are able to do so for less than a dedicated line. Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Trunking is another offered method of delivering telephone services over a single data connection.

Janne Magnusson, vice president of product management for Ingate® Systems, describes at length in her white paper the benefits and best practices of SIP Trunking.

Virtual vs. dedicated connections

One alluring benefit of switching from a dedicated PRI to a virtual PRI or SIP Trunk is the reduced costs. It’s much cheaper to use a virtual connection than a dedicated one. Keep in mind however, when making the change to a virtual connection the quality of service (QOS) guarantee is removed. This is essentially the same dilemma that businesses face when switching from an expensive T1 or Ethernet Internet solution to an inexpensive cable connection. You receive the same or better performance at a much cheaper rate, however; there is no service level agreement (SLA) in terms of the connection.

Have you considered which connection option is right for your business? If your business has already made the switch to a cable Internet provider, the decision should be easier for you. If not, and your business requires a SLA contract, then you are probably not the best candidate for change at this time.

As you’re planning how technology is going to support your strategic goals and setting your budget for the next year, think about how your Internet costs are affecting your bottom line and helping you meet your goals.

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