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IP-PBX Telephony Systems FAQ

Vertical's IP-PBX business phone systems are designed to meet the voice and data convergence requirements necessary to run your business. With its superior voice quality, Vertical IP-PBXs can help your employees connect regardless of where they are physically located. Using Vertical's Voice-over-IP (VoIP) solutions can keep your employees connected with your customers and each other. Below are some frequently asked questions about IP-PBX, Voice-over-IP, VoIP, and IP telephony.

1. What is an IP-PBX?
2. What is IP telephony?
3. What is Voice-over-IP?
4. What is Vertical's approach to IP telelphony?
5. Where do pure IP telephony solutions fit best?
6. What are the advantages of an IP-PBX system?
7. How do IP-PBXs work with other applications, including legacy applications?
8. What makes an IP-PBX an applications platform?
9. Can I use an IP-PBX system if I want to keep my existing analog and digital handsets?
10. What if I want to adopt IP at our own pace instead of radically redoing our entire infrastructure?

What is an IP-PBX?

An IP-PBX is a customer premises business phone system that manages telephones throughout the enterprise and acts as a gateway to both voice and data networks. An IP-PBX allows you to place calls using a network instead of standard telephone infrastructure. Telephones can be connected to the IP-PBX via the network and calls can be routed via the network instead of the standard public switched telephone network.

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What is IP telephony?

IP Telephony or Internet Protocol Telephony is the transmission of voice signals over the Internet, wide area network (WAN), or local area network (LAN). IP Telephony uses voice-over-IP to break down voice transmissions into packets of data and transmitting them across a network.

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What is Voice-over-IP?

Voice-over-Internet-Protocol or Voice-over-IP or VoIP allows one to send a voice transmission via a network instead of the standard telephone infrastructure. Calls can be routed via the Internet, wide area network (WAN), or local area network (LAN).

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What is Vertical's approach to IP telelphony?

Vertical has an evolutionary approach to IP versus a revolutionary approach. We provide a migration strategy that allows our customers to implement both traditional voice and new IP-based services. Other vendors require their customers to move immediately to a pure IP infrastructure for both voice and data. This is a much riskier and more expensive approach and usually means that organizations must upgrade their entire network infrastructure and retrain personnel on operational functions. Vertical has taken a different approach that allows its customers to migrate to IP when they are ready, and focus on the applications they need today. This approach provides better reliability while still taking advantage of new technology. The system combines the full support of an IP-PBX with application capabilities. By combining applications within the voice platform, companies can more easily affect and manage customer interactions, as well as understand customer calling patterns through network-wide reporting. Example application modules include: call routing and queuing; directed marketing messages; store service response; interactive voice response (IVR); connections to backend databases, and enterprise applications.

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Where do pure IP telephony solutions fit best?

Greenfield environments are more optimal for pure IP solutions because the newly installed LAN/WAN infrastructure can be initially designed with voice-grade Quality of Service (QoS) and a single cabling system can be installed for all communications needs. Pure IP solutions are not cost optimized for deployment in many environments though, as these solutions usually require gateways, additional servers, and careful network engineering to ensure proper operation, adding substantial cost to the overall solution.

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What are the advantages of an IP-PBX system?

Multiple Branch Offices
With VoIP, expanding your business phone system to multiple branch office sites is easy. Integrated IP Gateways allow you to traffic calls between offices over the Internet and save on long distance charges. Dialing branch offices is as easy as calling an extension down the hall. Make certain that your IP-PBX has an administration tool that simplifies the process of configuring IP gateways between remote systems.

Toll Bypass
IP-PBXs enable businesses to reduce the cost of long distance calling by routing calls inexpensively over IP networks. If you have overseas facilities, using an IP-PBX could reduce your business's costs significantly.

Remote Office
Even if your business has a single remote office, an IP-PBX can give you the flexibility to pick an affordable solution. Purchasing a solution that allows for a small or large number of IP trunks might be right for you.

Work From Home
Vertical's sophisticated IP-PBX software extends easily and seamlessly to your telecommuters, contractors, and consultants and makes them part of the corporate phone system.

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How do IP-PBXs work with other applications, including legacy applications?

The Vertical platform can host both custom and third-party applications, managed locally or remotely. Vertical also provides a simple, script-based development environment for custom applications to address specific customer needs. The Vertical solution can also be tightly integrated into backend applications and databases enabling companies the ability to provide new customer-facing applications like inventory look-up. Other vendors require additional servers (dedicated for some applications), again adding to the cost of the solution.

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What makes an IP-PBX an applications platform?

The platform should be fully application-ready, with the processing power and memory to support third-party applications. The system should be standards-based and use standard application programming interfaces like VoiceXML and TAPI.

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Can I use an IP-PBX system if I want to keep my existing analog and digital handsets?

Support of legacy and analog and digital handsets should be a top requirement for most IP-PBX installations. Why throw away your existing phones and wiring, when the right IP-PBX solution can work with legacy handsets as well as IP?

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What if I want to adopt IP at our own pace instead of radically redoing our entire infrastructure?

The emergence of voice-over-IP networks presents today's business manager with a tough choice when making a long-term phone system purchase decision. Maybe you're not ready to standardize on a one-wire network requiring an expensive network upgrade. Perhaps you have no need for multiple branch communications, but want to plan for your future expansion. How do you leave your options open? The right IP-PBX should offer a practical solution, providing the flexibility to use your phone system as a traditional PBX, IP-PBX, or a combination of both - the choice (and timing) should be completely up to you.

Contact us today to learn how a Vertical solution can enhance your business.