VoIP is a useful technology for universities and educational institutions; however, it requires careful planning.
VoIP is cost-efficient
VoIP has the ability to reduce long-distance phone bills by avoiding traditional telecom carriers. There is typically a saving of around 30 per cent on communication services, with technology titan Dell reporting savings of $39.5m (£28.2m) and a reduction in carbon pollution by utilising VoIP.
Some local telecom providers charge universities around £39,000 a month for basic dial tones across communication systems, excluding features such as voicemail that come at an additional cost. VoIP can cost as little as £4,000 a month for educational institutions and features a wide range of technology.
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VoIP uses IT network
Rather than using a traditional, ageing phone system and data network, VoIP utilises IT networks. This helps to reduce maintenance and infrastructure costs for communication technology on campus.
Instead of running separate phone and data networks, each using their own hardware and cabling systems, universities only need to maintain one IP network by using VoIP. This is particular important in higher education institutions where sophisticated networks for data are standard. Most learning, entertainment and teaching activities are driven from these networks; however, once these data infrastructures are in place, the requirements for voice compatibility are a comparably small investment.
VoIP is easily transportable
VoIP is additionally cost-efficient when it comes to moving, adding or changing phone connections as educators relocate to new offices across campus. Traditional hard-wired phone systems require telecom technicians to perform expensive work on site to relocate devices, costing up to £100 per job.
VoIP phone sets are far simpler to move, simply requiring the phone to be unplugged from the internet jack and reconnected to the jack in the new office. IP phones re-register automatically to the administrative server, making relocation straightforward and simple.
Training and transition
It is vital that staff are trained on how to use the new IP telephone equipment and adopt correct maintenance procedures. Once new training techniques are adopted, the cost of maintenance personnel for the system will reduce.
The transition to VoIP should begin gradually across campus to iron out any issues while the old PBX system runs in parallel.