By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2004-07-12 Print this article Print

Developing An RFQ for Voice-Over-IP

When writing a request for quotation (RFQ) for a voice-over-IP system, information technology managers should focus on the costs associated with network remediation services. Also, most IP telephony rollouts happen in phases, usually starting with a small number of users at company headquarters and expanding to include users at branch offices. Be sure to identify and quantify the various phases of the IP implementation.

RFQ Outline: IP Telephony System

1. Describe the network infrastructure assessment processes and costs. Focus on network documentation review, network equipment and operating system configuration, logical architecture change implementation and future change management.

2. List the network equipment with which the IP system can interoperate. Include specific vendors whose products have been tested with the VoIP equipment and software.

3. Describe in detail the IP systems IP traffic analysis tools—in particular, those that measure traffic levels and service quality (including busy-hour call attempts, busy-hour call completions and calls per second).

4. Itemize the hardware chassis, cards, modules and other devices you need to support busy-hour call volumes. ("Our company places X number of simultaneous outbound calls during our busy-call hours and receives X number of simultaneous inbound calls during our busy-call hours.")

5. Itemize the software you need to support busy-hour call volumes, including licensing costs and annual maintenance fees for a three-year period. (Assume the same call-volume scenario described above.)

6. Describe the voice-mail system, including license costs per voice mailbox, integration with e-mail system(s) for unified messaging, and additional costs for integration kits or professional services.

7. List and detail any network services that must be implemented to support telephone handsets or any other component of the system, including Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, Domain Name System and FTP. Include the directory services with which the system can be integrated.

8. List and detail quality- of-service standards supported by the handsets, call processor, media gateways, network switches and other network equipment.

9. Describe security features of the handsets, call managers and other components, including features that will protect the system from any viruses and spam.

10. List and detail available IP handsets, including station features. Highlight equipment that uses the IEEE 802.3af power over Ethernet standard. It might also be a good idea to calculate the total cost of all the IP handsets youll need, both in your companys headquarters and in branch offices.

eWEEK Labs Senior Analyst Cameron Sturdevant can be reached at Cameron_Sturdevant@ziffdavis.com.

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant has been with the Labs since 1997, and before that paid his IT management dues at a software publishing firm working with several Fortune 100 companies. Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility, with a focus on Android in the enterprise. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his reviews and analysis are grounded in real-world concern. Cameron is a regular speaker at Ziff-Davis Enterprise online and face-to-face events. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at csturdevant@eweek.com.

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