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Corporate users still tentative about voice data systems.

Despite the significant cost savings associated with consolidated voice-data systems, today's corporate users remain tentative about merging these technologies. While the enhanced capability of a consolidated local area and wide area network is striking, the reliability of a voiceover internet protocol (VOIP) system, which converts voice or PBX signals to data carried over a local area network (LAN), remains questionable to many. This is simply short-sighted.

Although the development of this innovative technology continues to evolve at an accelerated rate, new and retrofitted buildings continue to be rewired for voice and data as separate entities. However, in the near future, the demand for VOIP technology will peak substantially.

Evidence of this can be found at companies like Nortel Networks, a once-traditional manufacturer of voice equipment, which recently acquired 3Com Corporation, a provider of networking products and solutions, with the objective of refining VOIP.

Together, these companies are developing highly-reliable VOIP systems that easily rival today's isolated voice and data boxes. By converging these technologies into one central box and cable, VOIP offers expansion of communications with new services and applications, a reduction of costs through simplification and an increase in productivity as well as customer service.

Ideally-suited for emerging and established businesses of all sizes with single or multi-site locations, VOIP enables users to experience an unsurpassed level of adaptability and flexibility. The most obvious benefit is that a company with a T1 line for its data network would see no additional costs involved for telephone calls. For example, all telephone calls between a company headquartered in Manhattan which has a dedicated T1 line with a satellite office across the river in New Jersey, are included in the T1 service with no additional cost, as compared to having to pay a long distance rate. When combining the long-term cost savings with comparable installation costs, VOIP will surely thrive.

However, the telecommunications industry must be prepared to install, upgrade and maintain these streamlined systems. Although VOIP systems are already being installed in a wide range of settings, including commercial real estate, colleges and universities, and government agencies, many large contractors are underestimating the need to remain at the forefront of training. In contrast, smaller contractors are seeking their niche as VOIP specialists and obtaining certification in a wide range of voice and data systems.

For example, at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 164, our training center has been designated as a Cisco Systems Networking Academy where members attend a complete four-semester training program addressing the principles and practice of designing, building and maintaining networks.

Utilizing web technologies, the academy offers industry career certifications including the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP). Local 164 is also in discussions with other voice, data and VOIP manufacturers to provide exclusive instruction in these high-tech systems so that we may be able to effectively respond to the inevitable need for this sophisticated technology.

Industry experts and IBEW Local 164 are confident that VOIP will prevail as the technology of choice in the not-too-distant future.

And when it does, businesses, organizations, contractors and technicians alike will come to fully appreciate the benefits of a robust, single VOW solution.
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Title Annotation:voiceover Interner protocol expected in increase in popularity
Author:Misciagna, Keith
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 21, 2001
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