Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...



  • I am planning to present the case for switching from our PRI service to a voip solution and want to get the pros and cons together.

    From a cost perspective it's really a no brainer. I've pulled call logs and bills from the last several months and we should go from ~$750/mo to ~$200/mo. and this is the primary selling point.

    I created an account with voip.ms and have been routing our outbound LD calls that way for the last few weeks and we've not had any significant issues. I ran the test for one week without telling anyone and no one complained and then the last two weeks I announced we were doing it as a test and asked for folks to report if they had any issues and no one has said anything.

    I'm trying to come up with a list of other concerns that I may encounter so I can be ready for them. This is what I have come up with:

    • Provider stability : Is there any reason to be concerned over the stability of voip.ms or any of the other providers that get discussed frequently (Twilio, Flowroute, Skytel, Vitelity, others? ). Would they be considered big enough that even if they did run into financial issues that they would likely be taken over by someone with bigger pockets who could keep them running?

    • 911 : Plan to discuss with them info primarily from the voip.ms wiki here : https://wiki.voip.ms/article/E911

    • No internet - no phones : this is an issue in that we don't have redundancy on our network link, but there has not been any network outage since the fiber was installed at this particular site several years ago. Not sure what I can do on this short of say we could keep a POTS line or two for emergencies but that of course starts to eat into the cost savings some also.

    Are there other objections that anyone has heard when making this transition?



  • @BraswellJay said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    • No internet - no phones : this is an issue in that we don't have redundancy on our network link, but there has not been any network outage since the fiber was installed at this particular site several years ago. Not sure what I can do on this short of say we could keep a POTS line or two for emergencies but that of course starts to eat into the cost savings some also.

    Maybe you can setup a 4G link as redundancy instead. Voip traffic doesn't require that much bandwidth so even if you only get 2 Megabit/s or something it is still plenty.



  • @Pete-S said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    @BraswellJay said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    • No internet - no phones : this is an issue in that we don't have redundancy on our network link, but there has not been any network outage since the fiber was installed at this particular site several years ago. Not sure what I can do on this short of say we could keep a POTS line or two for emergencies but that of course starts to eat into the cost savings some also.

    Maybe you can setup a 4G link as redundancy instead. Voip traffic doesn't require that much bandwidth so even if you only get 2 Megabit/s or something it is still plenty.

    I would suggest against this - a lot of the 4G carriers do crazy things with NAT that SIP Trunks really really do not like. We run into CGN problems all the time:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrier-grade_NAT. It also can create issues with UDP Fragmentation.



    • Provider stability : Is there any reason to be concerned over the stability of voip.ms or any of the other providers that get discussed frequently (Twilio, Flowroute, Skytel, Vitelity, others? ). Would they be considered big enough that even if they did run into financial issues that they would likely be taken over by someone with bigger pockets who could keep them running?

    • 911 : Plan to discuss with them info primarily from the voip.ms wiki here : https://wiki.voip.ms/article/E911

    • No internet - no phones : this is an issue in that we don't have redundancy on our network link, but there has not been any network outage since the fiber was installed at this particular site several years ago. Not sure what I can do on this short of say we could keep a POTS line or two for emergencies but that of course starts to eat into the cost savings some also.

    Are there other objections that anyone has heard when making this transition?

    I'm obviously biased, but I can make some suggestions about this :).

    1. Stability - Most of the providers you listed have a good record of uptime. Most will likely be as good as or better than any TDM carrier that delivers you service over a PRI or Copper lines. This is especially true as many TDM carriers and Cable companies are already using SIP on the backend and just delivering you the last leg over TDM. For financial stability - there are laws around how utility companies have to go out of business gracefully. It would be a pain (you would have to port your numbers to a new provider in a hurry), but you have to be given notice by law.

    2. E911 is super important. You can read how we do it here. Just make sure whatever provider you use allows 933 for test 911 calls. That way you can test it once a year or so to make sure something weird didn't break.

    3. If you have fiber, you are probably fine. Some of the carriers you listed (including us) allow you to failover inbound calls to cell phones if your PBX goes offline.

    If you office views calls as super critical, I'd suggest setting up VoipSpear to measure the QOS of your call. If you do decide to give us a try, we offer that for free.

    I hope thats helpful 🙂



  • @BraswellJay said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    • No internet - no phones : this is an issue in that we don't have redundancy on our network link, but there has not been any network outage since the fiber was installed at this particular site several years ago. Not sure what I can do on this short of say we could keep a POTS line or two for emergencies but that of course starts to eat into the cost savings some also.

    How are you handling this now on with your PRI? do you have a redundant PRI from a different carrier in case your main one goes down? or other POTS lines?

    IF not, this really isn't any different than that. Of course management might say - well, the PRI has never gone down, and I hear about internet outages all the time - it's up to you to tell them how many times TDM has gone down, and it's just another service like any other. There's nothing special about it.

    You could also always get another ISP in there, and failover to that if you really need that protection.



  • I have responses for all of this. but I have been driving and then in meetings.. I am busy playing catch up. I will try and answer later.

    But there is nothing else beyond cost.

    All your other points are just pieces of cost.



  • @JaredBusch said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    I have responses for all of this. but I have been driving and then in meetings.. I am busy playing catch up. I will try and answer later.

    But there is nothing else beyond cost.

    All your other points are just pieces of cost.

    That's all life is to JB - cost.. I'm sure he figured out some math before having his kids 😛



  • @Dashrender said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    @JaredBusch said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    I have responses for all of this. but I have been driving and then in meetings.. I am busy playing catch up. I will try and answer later.

    But there is nothing else beyond cost.

    All your other points are just pieces of cost.

    That's all life is to JB - cost.. I'm sure he figured out some math before having his kids 😛

    This is a business decision, hence cost.



  • @BraswellJay said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    Provider stability : Is there any reason to be concerned over the stability of voip.ms or any of the other providers that get discussed frequently (Twilio, Flowroute, Skytel, Vitelity, others? ). Would they be considered big enough that even if they did run into financial issues that they would likely be taken over by someone with bigger pockets who could keep them running?

    I don't think that this is any more of a concern than with the PRI carriers. Major players don't just go out of business, and when they do, it's as likely to be Verizon or Cox as anyone else. In reality, going out of business isn't the issue, but dropping a service. And a major carrier dropping a product or region is 100x more likely and common than a solid small player failing.



  • @BraswellJay said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    No internet - no phones : this is an issue in that we don't have redundancy on our network link, but there has not been any network outage since the fiber was installed at this particular site several years ago. Not sure what I can do on this short of say we could keep a POTS line or two for emergencies but that of course starts to eat into the cost savings some also.

    This is a 100% PRO, not a CON in any way. You have zero redundancy with a PRI. A PRI requires a data link the same as a SIP trunk (in fact, all modern PRIs are carried over a SIP trunk and they just don't tell you.) So any SIP risk is something you have already, plus the risk of conversion on top, plus all the risks of "PRI limitations" that the artificially add to make it look like they are giving you a PRI instead of SIP with PRI faked on top.

    SIP is easy to fail over when your Internet fails, PRI is impossible. So not only do you not have it today, but you potentially fix your biggest risk the instant you switch to SIP.



  • @Skyetel said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    I'm obviously biased, but I can make some suggestions about this :).

    1. Stability - Most of the providers you listed have a good record of uptime. Most will likely be as good as or better than any TDM carrier that delivers you service over a PRI or Copper lines. This is especially true as many TDM carriers and Cable companies are already using SIP on the backend and just delivering you the last leg over TDM. For financial stability - there are laws around how utility companies have to go out of business gracefully. It would be a pain (you would have to port your numbers to a new provider in a hurry), but you have to be given notice by law.

    2. E911 is super important. You can read how we do it here. Just make sure whatever provider you use allows 933 for test 911 calls. That way you can test it once a year or so to make sure something weird didn't break.

    3. If you have fiber, you are probably fine. Some of the carriers you listed (including us) allow you to failover inbound calls to cell phones if your PBX goes offline.

    If you office views calls as super critical, I'd suggest setting up VoipSpear to measure the QOS of your call. If you do decide to give us a try, we offer that for free.

    I hope thats helpful 🙂

    Thank you that is very helpful.



  • @Skyetel said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    If you have fiber, you are probably fine. Some of the carriers you listed (including us) allow you to failover inbound calls to cell phones if your PBX goes offline.

    And your PBX going offline isn't the same as your Internet going down. Your PBX should almost always be hosted externally and you can have failover PBXs and all kinds of things for protection if uptime matters.



  • @Dashrender said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    @BraswellJay said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    • No internet - no phones : this is an issue in that we don't have redundancy on our network link, but there has not been any network outage since the fiber was installed at this particular site several years ago. Not sure what I can do on this short of say we could keep a POTS line or two for emergencies but that of course starts to eat into the cost savings some also.

    How are you handling this now on with your PRI? do you have a redundant PRI from a different carrier in case your main one goes down? or other POTS lines?

    IF not, this really isn't any different than that. Of course management might say - well, the PRI has never gone down, and I hear about internet outages all the time - it's up to you to tell them how many times TDM has gone down, and it's just another service like any other. There's nothing special about it.

    That's a great point and I hadn't really thought about it from that perspective. I think there is just a bias to feel that the phone network is somehow more stable or resilient when the reality is that it's not offering anything special in that regard.

    You could also always get another ISP in there, and failover to that if you really need that protection.

    I think as @Skyetel mentioned above, the ability to failover to a cell or other number if necessary is probably all that we need, at least that is how I think I will present it.



  • Honestly, this is just one of things (to steal a Nike phrase) "Just Do It".
    The SIP vs PRI (insert your fav term) debate, that ship sailed a long time ago...



  • @FATeknollogee said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    Honestly, this is just one of things (to steal a Nike phrase) "Just Do It".
    The SIP vs PRI (insert your fav term) debate, that ship sailed a long time ago...

    Yea - SIP Trunking has everything that PRIs do now and more. I'd put us up against any PRI each day of the week.



  • @FATeknollogee said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    Honestly, this is just one of things (to steal a Nike phrase) "Just Do It".
    The SIP vs PRI (insert your fav term) debate, that ship sailed a long time ago...

    I agree we're way behind on this and I suspect the cost savings alone will be enough to convince them to approve the move. I just want to try and anticipate though in case they do raise any other issues



  • @BraswellJay said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    That's a great point and I hadn't really thought about it from that perspective. I think there is just a bias to feel that the phone network is somehow more stable or resilient when the reality is that it's not offering anything special in that regard.

    The Internet was created specifically to address the fragility of the phone network. That bias isn't just emotional, but the emotions are creating an opposite effect.

    One that on top of being backwards, is extra false because the phone networks "always" run on top of the Internet anyway these days. So it is trivial to prove any reaction in the manner to be totally backwards and to use that emotional reaction as a requirement for VoIP.



  • @BraswellJay said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    I think as @Skyetel mentioned above, the ability to failover to a cell or other number if necessary is probably all that we need, at least that is how I think I will present it.

    That's actually an extreme level of failure. SIP will provide you so much more robust failure protection long before getting to that point. Really, SIP and SIP based telephony designs are so much more reliable than the old PRI style designs that it is awkward to compare them. We could spend a lot of time just talking about all of the ways you are totally at risk today with nothing but prayer keeping things working, and how a modern system will protect against failure at one point after another in the setup.



  • @Skyetel said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    @Pete-S said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    @BraswellJay said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    • No internet - no phones : this is an issue in that we don't have redundancy on our network link, but there has not been any network outage since the fiber was installed at this particular site several years ago. Not sure what I can do on this short of say we could keep a POTS line or two for emergencies but that of course starts to eat into the cost savings some also.

    Maybe you can setup a 4G link as redundancy instead. Voip traffic doesn't require that much bandwidth so even if you only get 2 Megabit/s or something it is still plenty.

    I would suggest against this - a lot of the 4G carriers do crazy things with NAT that SIP Trunks really really do not like. We run into CGN problems all the time:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrier-grade_NAT. It also can create issues with UDP Fragmentation.

    But if you are using a hosted PBX is that really an issue?



  • Same here... When our PRI fails (ATT MIS circuit with a DS1 card in a cisco router) the folks at my job don't understand why the phones don't fail over to the backup ISP. Can't convince them to switch though....



  • @Pete-S said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    @Skyetel said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    @Pete-S said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    @BraswellJay said in Discussing with management switching to VOIP ...:

    • No internet - no phones : this is an issue in that we don't have redundancy on our network link, but there has not been any network outage since the fiber was installed at this particular site several years ago. Not sure what I can do on this short of say we could keep a POTS line or two for emergencies but that of course starts to eat into the cost savings some also.

    Maybe you can setup a 4G link as redundancy instead. Voip traffic doesn't require that much bandwidth so even if you only get 2 Megabit/s or something it is still plenty.

    I would suggest against this - a lot of the 4G carriers do crazy things with NAT that SIP Trunks really really do not like. We run into CGN problems all the time:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrier-grade_NAT. It also can create issues with UDP Fragmentation.

    But if you are using a hosted PBX is that really an issue?

    You can mitigate it somewhat, but yea, its still an issue. The best way to get around it with a hosted PBX is to use a VPN between the phone and the PBX. That will bypass most of the NAT issues and keep the phones routing the way they should. You can still get dropped calls though.


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