– Criss Scruggs, a senior manager of product marketing at NetIQ (www.netiq.com)

Conduct a proper network assessment
Conducting a comprehensive (and relatively inexpensive) network assessment will provide the necessary information to avoid both under-engineering and over-engineering the network to meet your specific needs. You need to make sure your network can adequately support VoIP, and assessing it prior to deployment is key to helping you save money in the long run. You will not only reduce the risk of overspending on equipment, but have access to the data you need to properly plan your deployment. By assessing your network, you reduce the risks associated with poor quality post deployment and therefore the likelihood of spending money on services to diagnose and potentially reconfigure the system.