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Strategies and solutions for successful VoIP deployments
Justify your network investment
Strategies and solutions for successful VoIP deployments
Justify your network investment
Voice over IP (VoIP) is the telephone system of the future. Problem is, VoIP is not yet widely deployed, so there are few skilled practitioners today. As you make your move to VoIP, how will you know how to make VoIP work and keep it working well? What changes will you need to make without disrupting your business? How can you show your return on this investment?
Many books contain technical details about VoIP, but few explain in plain language how to make it run successfully in an enterprise. Taking Charge of Your VoIP Project provides the detailed plans you need to be successful in your organization's deployment of VoIP. Through their years of work in the field, authors John Q. Walker and Jeffrey T. Hicks bring a project-oriented approach to VoIP, with much-needed clarity on getting VoIP to work well.
Taking Charge of Your VoIP Project starts with simple concepts, each chapter building on the knowledge from the last. Although not a technical manual, you learn about the standards, such as H.323, G.711, and Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP), and the implications they have on your VoIP system. Most importantly, you'll gain expert advice and a systematic guide on how to make VoIP work for your organization.
This volume is in the Network Business Series offered by Cisco Press. Books in this series provide IT executives, decision makers, and networking professionals with pertinent information on today's most important technologies and business strategies.
Why We Wrote This Book.
1. VoIP Basics.
In the Telephony Community. In the Data-Networking Community.
2. Building a Business Case for VoIP.
A VoIP Business Case. VoIP Benefits and Obstacles. Analyzing VoIP ROI. Getting a Good ROI.
3. Planning for VoIP.
Planning, Analysis, and Assessment. Evaluation and Purchase. Deployment, Tuning, and Testing.
4. Do It Yourself, or Outsource?
Why Outsource? Some Options for Outsourcing. Whether to Outsource-And to Whom? A Methodology for Approaching Outsourcing.
5. Quality of Service and Tuning.
Sharing a Network. QoS: What and Why. Network QoS Techniques. Tuning Choices. Configuration and Testing. QoS and Tuning Recommendations.
6. Ongoing VoIP Management.
Understanding VoIP Management. Managing Operations. Maintaining High Availability. Maintaining Call Quality. Accounting and Billing.
7. Establishing VoIP SLAs.
Determining What to Measure in a VoIP SLA. Implementing VoIP SLAs.
8. VoIP Security.
Network Security Is Tough! Three Stages in Managing Security. Problem Areas for VoIP Security. VoIP Security Recommendations. Chapter Summary. Conclusion. End Notes.
Posted January 27, 2005
John Walker and Jeffrey Hicks¿s 'Taking Charge of Your VoIP Project' (ISBN: 1587200929, Cisco Press) is an installment in Cisco¿s Network Business Series line of books and covers the topic of voice over IP (VoIP) from a business strategy perspective. This book¿s primary audience is meant to be at the managerial and above levels, although it does have value for senior technical staff, albeit from a different angle. Although the book does cover some technical aspects of VoIP, its main purpose is to guide the reader in understanding the steps from beginning to end on how to develop a business case all the way to deploying a successful and secure VoIP deployment. The book covers eight major areas: (1) VoIP Basics, (2)Building a Business Case for VoIP, (3) Planning for VoIP, (4) Do It Yourself or Outsource?, (5) Quality of Service & Tuning, (6) Ongoing VoIP Management, (7)Establishing VoIP SLAs, (8) VoIP Security. These eight categories can really be summed up into three major headings: VoIP Technology Summary, Business Justification, and Deployment Considerations. The ¿VoIP Basics¿ or technology summary provides the necessary background information on the PSTN and legacy PBX¿s in order to present the context for understanding how VoIP is a change in voice technology. This section is brief, and Walker and Hicks end with a general overview of data technology and how you converge old voice technology into it, discussing signaling, transport protocols, codecs, and the hardware necessary to make everything work. In terms of the business case for VoIP, the authors present three major cost savings opportunities: toll cost savings, simple network savings, and productivity savings. These areas are commonly talked about and should not be a surprise to the reader; the value here is that the book enables the reader to talk intelligently about the cost savings areas to a business audience. From here, Walker and Hicks cover how to project the ROI, how to make sure you have the data to back up your projections, and what associated costs should be considered before starting the project (e.g., is it cheaper to outsource?). Lastly, the authors spend time discussing both the pre and post implementation requirements and implications of running VoIP, spending less time on the technical details and more time on the big picture of implementing such a technology: Considering the quality requirements (i.e., QoS), integrating VoIP into a network management structure, establishing SLAs with the customer, and securing the technology. Overall, the book provides a good, but broad treatment of how to present a case for VoIP and then deploy it. The irony of the book is that the readers who can best utilize the information will probably be the ones that find the book a little boring. For example, experienced managers will take away the unique points of implementing VoIP and recognize how it can fit in a realistic way for their particular environment. To this audience, however, the pre-existing experience and knowledge may cause them to find the book too basic, although the lessons learned will most likely be valuable to them. To the less experienced readers, the book is a great starting point and will most likely engage them more, but without additional references or resources (e.g., basic project management skills, understanding business budgeting cycles, etc.), the information learned may be just enough to make them dangerous. 'Taking Charge of Your VoIP Project' is a great resource for its intended audience of decision makers and project managers. It is not necessarily meant for the technical person doing the implementing, although the information is beneficial as it ties the technical to the practical.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 23, 2004
I recently read the book titled ¿Taking Charge Of Your VoIP Project¿ by John Q. Walker and Jeffrey T. Hicks. ISBN: 1587200929. The title is a great reference for understanding VoIP technology and helps identify the many aspects that one must consider for a successful deployment of Voice over IP. Reading this book ahead of time will empower the reader with the lingo, technology and solutions to be effective when leading a team. The book starts out by giving the reader an understanding of the basic technology concepts surrounding traditional voice networks, or Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN) and then goes right into the basic technologies that allow Voice over IP (Data) to be a viable alternative to the traditional phone networks. Chapter 2, Building a Business Case for VoIP, gives the reader good information to ponder over and helps identify purpose for building a case for a VoIP solution. The next chapter, ¿Planning for VoIP¿ is one of the larger chapters and for good reason. After all, anyone in business knows that planning determines whether the project will go smoothly with little surprise or whether it¿s a disaster. In this chapter you¿ll learn about reliability, call quality assessment, and over all VoIP readiness assessment, among other things. Another great chapter is Chapter 5, ¿Quality of Service and Tuning¿. Probably one of the biggest challenges that an organization will face. QoS is challenging due to the complexity of a true end-to-end QoS solution in an already complex data network. Accomplishing QoS requires in-depth knowledge of the existing data network. Furthermore, the communication to others on the team of what it¿s going to take to get the network ¿up to snuff¿ to support VoIP will be a task in and of it self. It makes ATM technology look quite attractive. The chapter has quite a bit of detail; however the authors don¿t drop the reader over the deep end of the technologies. I would recommend this book to those that are anticipating implementing Voice over IP in their network, those that are in the process of piloting Voice over IP or even those that are in the midst of a VoIP implementation would benefit from this title. The book is best suited for Project Managers, management, telecommunication and Data networking personnel. Really and truly, most anyone would benefit from reading this title. It covers such a broad range of information that having a well educated project team is going to ensure that the project goes smoothly and all things are considered. This book does an excellent job of presenting all of the issues that personnel involved in a Voice over IP project should be aware of to ensure success. It gives the reader a great appreciation for the complexities and helps a great deal with ironing out a good sound strategy. This book has several figures, tables and diagrams. Like the old saying goes, 'A picture is worth a thousand words'. This statement holds true in the title. Like I always say, pictures are good. The book covers everything you'd think about and everything you wouldn't think about. Coming from the data side of a VoIP solution, I thought I had enough figured out to make a VoIP project a success. This titled made me think about issues that I would have otherwise over looked. Especially issues relating to traditional telecommunications. Don¿t start you project without this book. It may end up costing you more than this book in mistakes if you don¿t.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 20, 2004
Excellent book if you are looking for 'in-depth' crash course in to VoIP. The amazing part was vendor neutral tone. Even though it came out of Cisco Press, it hardly preached any specific vendor. It was mostly focused on the fundamentals. However the book lacks a decent index section. Hardly any important words are mentioned.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 1, 2004
Having been the primary person in charge of implementing all of our company¿s VoIP and IP Telephony projects, I was more than interested in Cisco Press¿ Taking Charge of Your VoIP Project (ISBN 1587200929). This book, by John Walker and Jeffery Hicks, does an excellent job providing a good overview of most of the issues that one encounters in a VoIP project. The book is broken up into eight chapters, with topics ranging from VoIP Basics, Planning for VoIP, QoS, and Security. Each chapter averages between 20 and 40 pages. The authors use a style, which will for the most part, not scare away the non-technical among us. Two chapters are slightly more technical than the rest, but this is probably out of necessity. The book is around 270 pages, which I was able to read through in about four hours with a moderate amount of distraction from the TV and kids. As the back cover states, the book is written in plain language and each chapter builds upon the next. You learn about the standards and protocols involved with VoIP, how they interact, and also the hardware and software needed for a successful project. The authors do a great job explaining the budgeting and planning process. I particularly appreciate that this book does a good job presenting the facts and not just serving as a marketing mouth piece for Cisco. In the future, I plan on providing a copy of this book to other members of my team who frequently are involved with the sales process so that they have a good working knowledge of the technology. Furthermore the book will serve as an excellent reference for our pre-sales and project management folks in helping communicating the project progression and planning steps needed. Lastly, I plan on getting a few copies into the hands of key people at sites that are even remotely considering a VoIP project. I feel that this book alone, in the right hands, could close the gap of understanding and provide at least a couple of sales. I wholeheartedly recommend this to sales people, project managers, CEOs, CIOs and anyone else that doesn¿t have the time or necessarily the desire to wade through the technical manuals that is needed to talk intelligently or understand VoIP. I think the time spent reading this book will be well worth it for anyone who works their way through it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 23, 2004
I currently work at a Global communications company that is on the cutting edge of worldwide VoIP communications. We are a VoIP provider to several of the Fortune 1000 company¿s. I am a Data Network Administrator with a background in in voice communications. I also assist in the Internal VoIP projects for the 6 sites I am in charge of. Having said this I have to say that this is one of the best technical reference books I have read concerning the components and software involved in VoIP. John Walker and Jeffery Hicks more than provide entry-level information regarding several very important aspects of VoIP Implementation. It is easy to see that both have a great deal of knowledge not only regarding VoIP but communications in general. It was very refreshing to see that two data guys would know so much about voice and the PSTN. I found that the majority of recommended/more information references that are listed at the end of the chapters are either on my desk or on my wish list. This is an excellent bridge for both data and voice technicians. This book is divided into eight extremely easy to follow well-organized chapters that are written in plain language. While I have read a lot of other technical manuals out of necessity I admit this one I read out of a desire to learn more. This book did not feel like a technical manual. While technical aspects are very well covered this book is less dry than most I have read. Chapter One Voice basics is a great introduction to either the Data or Telephony networking communities. Regardless of which community you come from you will be engaged. This was a great easy way to start this book. The concepts are built upon from here. Chapter Two Building a Business Case for VoIP does a fantastic job of outlining the advantages and disadvantages to deploying VoIP. This chapter also covers ROI and other business obstacles that may effect your deployment. I have never personally had to fiure an ROI so I was not informed as to everything involved with processing the information and this book defiantly helped me in that aspect. Chapter Three Planning for VoIP excellent outline of what needs to be considered before implementation is almost a checklist of what you need to consider and what research needs to be done to your network before you begin. Chapter Four Do It Yourself, or Outsource is a little more business oriented than other chapters but if you are the decision maker this is an excellent source of questions you need to ask yourself or the provider you chose. Chapter Five Quality of Service and Tuning is a great introduction to several key concepts. Several important protocols and queueing techniques are covered with enough detail to get you more involved in performance tuning of your network. This book does an excellent job of introducing MPLS and RSVP. This is a great primer and will lead to a desire to read additional books on these concepts as well as the RFCs listed. Chapter Six Ongoing VoIP Management highlights several tasks that you might want to ensure that your staff can perform/be trained to perform during and after the deployment project. This chapter has several key performance measuring concepts that must be considered. This is one of the more technical chapters but maintains a decent level readability. Chapter Seven Establishing VoIP SLAs is a step-by-step approach to establishing service levels. The metrics involved in service levels are covered in detail after reading this you will be able to negotiate with your provider or will be able to defend your networks reliability as we all know it is always the network is to slow. Chapter Eight VoIP Security is veritable list of security concerns as well as concepts for tightening a VoIP network. These techniques are not completely new and can to a certain extent be applied to your data network. Even if you are not currently considering VoIP this is a must read. All in all this is an excelleWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.