3 Questions Featured

7:00pm EDT December 26, 2009

Monty Ferdowsi has more than two decades of experience in the telecommunications industry and has more than five years of experience as president of Broadcore, a nationwide provider of hosted unified communications services. He has worked with VoIP development for much of the last decade, both as a professional and as an educator.

Q. How might business owners and executives be able to benefit from installing a VoIP network?

One of the benefits of being able to have IP is geographic independence. The IP network allows you to take your phone to a larger network, perhaps over the Internet. The traditional network, the TDM (time-division multiplexing) network, isn’t as portable. You cannot easily take that out to a remote site; it isn’t transportable. The IP network gives you that transportability.

Q. How have you seen your customers take advantage of that portability?

Customers can take their phones outside of the managed network — they can, for example, take it home and hook it up to their cable modem or to their DSL — and that allows businesses to be very productive. They can take home a phone if they need to because of the flu virus or because of traffic. Maybe it would be a good idea to allow people to work from home for a short period of time.

Q. What are the security concerns and dangers of a VoIP network as compared to a traditional network?

Once your voice hits the public Internet, if somebody is sniffing the Internet, they can get not just your voice conversation but any information that you have on the Internet. So it’s not so much that somebody is entering your network — that’s what a firewall does, it keeps people out — but when you’re trying to communicate with the outside world, you’re actually sending packets out, and if somebody has the capability to come in and sniff it, your information is out there. For small and medium businesses, I don’t see how that can be an issue. But if you’re taking your phone over the public Internet, obviously, anything on it can be monitored.