by Kimberly D
IS 130, TTh 9:30-10:45
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has the potential to be a beneficial tool for modern firms and businesses. Communicating across long distances can be made easier with the help of VoIP. Businesses can also save money in the long run by using this technology. Privacy is a concern with VoIP, but there are ways to protect networks from being hacked. To keep up with today’s fast paced and technology driven world, businesses should consider using VoIP.
VoIP technology can be applied in many different ways. According to Millard (2007), “VoIP technology takes analog audio signals like those transmitted by telephone and turns them into digital data that can be transmitted over a data network, including the internet.” There are three types of VoIP: IP phones, software VoIP, and integrated and mobile VoIP. IP phones are similar to traditional phones except they do not use copper wire. IP phones use broadband lines through a fiber optic, DSL, satellite or any other high-speed connection. Software VoIP is one of the most well-known forms of VoIP. This software includes tools such as Skype and its competitor Google Voice. Software VoIP enables people to have free online calling and videoconferencing. Integrated and mobile VoIP features are already built into devices. They are used in online worlds and networks such as World of Warcraft, Second Life, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Mobile VoIP is also used to provide free or inexpensive costs for calling or texting via smartphones.
Businesses can benefit from implementing VoIP technology in the workplace. Telecommuting and distance collaboration is one of the most beneficial uses of VoIP technology. Employees and teams that are geographically distanced from one another can communicate in a virtual setting while cutting traveling costs. Employees working from home can still interact with the company without having to go into work. Professional learning and developments costs can also be reduced with VoIP technology through webinars. Participants can communicate by voice or by text. This can increase the amount of involvement in webinars since texting gives participants another method of communication. Collaboration environments can be customized to suit the company’s needs and a number of users can interact simultaneously. According to Booth (2010), VoIP software is also utilized as a “cheap, low-hassle way to vet job candidates.” The software allows employers to interview prospective employees from any distance. It also gives employers a personal connection with the applicant.
There are some disadvantages to VoIP technology. Users may experience delays, echoes, and audio distortion. These problems are due to the speed and reliability of the network being used. Most of these issues will be remedied as the technology gradually improves. Privacy is also an issue with VoIP. Zetter (2005) states, “But because VOIP uses broadband networks to transmit calls, conversations are vulnerable to eavesdropping in the same way that e-mail and other internet traffic is open to snoops.” Some of the most common types of attacks on VoIP include denial of service (DoS), eavesdropping, masquerading, toll fraud, and spam over Internet telephony (SPIT). In order to protect against these attacks, users need to monitor the network on a regular basis, have proper authentication, use encryption, and set up a firewall. Phithakkitnukoon, Dantu, and Baatarjav (2008) state, “In addition, the Internet being an open network virtually eliminates geographic limitations for placing phone calls. However, as VoIP uses the existing IP network and thus inherits its vulnerabilities.” These vulnerabilities can be solved.
The benefits of VoIP technology far outweigh its weaknesses. As businesses expand, they will need VoIP to keep in contact with clients and employees. VoIP technology can help reduce long term costs. It has the potential to be a valuable tool for businesses. As Materna (2006) explains, “With careful planning and the right technologies in place, organizations will be able to take full advantage of the business benefits of VoIP while ensuring the quality, reliability, and security of voice services.” VoIP is already being used, and it is time that businesses took advantage of this technology.
Booth, C. (2010). Chapter 3: VoIP in Professional Communication, Collaboration, and Development. Library Technology Reports, 46(5), 20-24. Retrieved November 28, 2010, from Academic Search Premier database.
Materna, B. (2006). Proactive Security for VoIP Networks. Information Systems Security, 15(2), 16-21. Retrieved November 29, 2010, from Academic Search Premier database.
Millard, E. (2007). Going VoIP. University Business, 10(9), 55-59. Retrieved November 28, 2010, from Academic Search Premier database.
Phithakkitnukoon, S., Dantu, R., & Baatarjav, E. (2008). VoIP Security — Attacks and Solutions. Information Security Journal: A Global Perspective, 17(3), 114-123. Retrieved November 29, 2010, from Academic Search Premier database.
Skype Explained Visually. Retrieved November 29, 2010, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1mflr-kQlk
Zetter, K. (2005). Privacy Guru Locks Down VOIP. Retrieved November 29, 2010, from http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2005/07/68306/?currentPage=1