Successful VoIP Starts with Visibility and the Right Infrastructure
September 30, 2013
By Mae Kowalke
, TMCnet Contributor
Voice-over-IP (VoIP) and unified communications (UC) are being adopted by businesses large and small, but getting the right infrastructure in place is crucial for making the technology actually work as advertised.
The advantages of VoIP are, at this point, well known: Calling is usually offered at a low monthly fee for unlimited calling, there is added flexibility and features, and it makes mobility easier. Unified communications expands VoIP to include chat, video conferencing, presence and collaboration.
But, upgrading a business to VoIP and UC can be a headache if the right infrastructure is in place. When Internet connectivity is impaired by inadequate infrastructure, productivity such as Web browsing and e-mail is hardly affected. But when there are bottlenecks with something like VoIP, call quality can deteriorate in a hurry and make calling almost unusable.
That’s because VoIP, which happens in real time, doesn’t have the tolerance for latency and bandwidth issues that e-mail and much of the other business productivity can accommodate. A bottleneck is immediately felt, and there’s nothing like having a couple of words drop out in the middle of an important sales pitch.
Being able to ensure that VoIP and UC function smoothly chiefly requires visibility into network operations. There are many areas where infrastructure can fail, so VoIP monitoring is essential to ensure reliability.
“The ability to see into the performance of the entire physical infrastructure as well as the applications which make up the converged network are crucial when managing IP voice quality,” Paul Wiggins, director of business development for Tone Software (News - Alert), told TMCnet earlier this year.
“A lot of times operational support teams have to try this or that and look and hunt in several different places in order to try to figure out what’s causing their problem, and that’s a huge burden on [them],” added Tracey Whitney, director of marketing for Tone. “It delays resolution of problems and creates service level issues. Sometimes, it ends up being that users have bad experiences because the operations and support team don’t have the ability to get in front of these problems as they’re developing because they just don’t have the analytics.”
This essential issue of visibility and efficient infrastructure is important but often overlooked by businesses, which is why Tone Software and TMCnet have an upcoming webinar on the topic. Titled “Taming the Collaboration Beast: 5 Key Strategies to Manage Lync Enabled UC Ecosystems,” the webinar will look at the critical steps necessary to ensure quality, performance, and availability of the voice and UC services for a business, along with how to equip and empower voice, IT, network, and UC teams to operate more effectively and cost efficiently to support Lync enabled UC ecosystems.
“To put it simply, what is at stake is the success of the business,” summarized Wiggins.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson