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VoIP Lessons

Learn how to get around potential problems.

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This story appears in the January 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

VoIP is big news for growing businesses. The cost savings, convenience and features are well-known, but there are a few drawbacks that you should be aware of. The good news is that many of these issues can be dealt with through proper planning and implementation.

"The biggest downside is reliability. [VoIP] requires smart network design," says Robin Gareiss, principal research officer with Nemertes Research, a New York City tech research firm. Gareiss has been studying VoIP and listening to business concerns as the technology becomes mainstream. Businesses must have power over Ethernet capabilities and a large enough UPS to handle the combined data and voice network. If the power goes out and you don't have a proper UPS, your phones can go down. Fortunately, you can save by investing in one large UPS rather than in two smaller ones for voice and data.

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