Telecom Recovery Inc.
In a previous article, I highlighted an enterprise-based system by a company called Telecom Recovery Inc. that has many of the features that are desirable in setting up and maintaining 4Ci. Since I already covered this product, I won’t go into a lot of detail here, except to say that the Telecom Recovery product isn’t based on VoIP; rather, it uses tried-and-proven technology already in the Public Switched Telephone Network. This has pros and cons:
- The Telecom Recovery service is very reliable, since the processor in the hardware is taxed only to set up and tear down calls. By contrast, VoIP is processor-dependent, since it has to route packets and allow for other overhead. Often, a VoIP system will hit capacity with as few as 50 calls in progress, whereas time-division multiplexing (TDM) systems can go much higher. (This is a good question to ask potential vendors: How may simultaneous calls before the processor takes a powder?)
- On the pro side, VoIP is based on "distributed intelligence with nobody in charge" (like my office). Unlike TDM, messages inherently find their way through even the largest disruptions. After all, the military used IP technology first, envisioning all the primary toll centers in the U.S. in the upper atmosphere after a Soviet nuclear strike. VoIP was invented to find its way through whatever was left. Therefore, VoIP is very resilient in its own way.
I’m not saying that one technology or the other is better—it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Some vendors employ both technologies. I simply make these statements to give you some good questions to ask potential vendors when you evaluate these kinds of services.