Following a month of installation problems Hadley Industries has become one of the first companies in the UK to install an integrated voice over IP (VoIP) network.
Despite the teething difficulties Phil Hadley, managing director of the steel manufacturer, expects the technology to save his company money: "With VoIP, if we need more bandwidth we just buy an extra 64Kbps block allowing more than enough data capacity. We also save by not having to lease lines any more. Setup may cost slightly more, but you get much more for your money."
But during the month long installation the company's network ran smoothly for just one week.
Hadley said the problems were finally solved after trying many different network configurations.
"The network was installed but arriving at the final configuration cost time and money. For three weeks we could get either voice or data moving but not both, and we were getting busy tones before even dialling. We had to switch off the voice traffic and go back to using standard lines, which cost more money," he said.
Hadley added that although such teething difficulties should not put companies off moving to VoIP, Hadley Industries may only use the technology temporarily.
"We have used two digital switches for some time and plan to go completely digital," he said.
The company selected integrator Bailey Telecom and Cisco switches for the contract, worth £70,000, to link its three sites in Birmingham. The integrated system replaced two leased copper lines for voice and a Kilostream link for data.
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