When deploying voice services, be it VoIP or SIP, the first time or tenth time, there will be questions raised about your network. Knowing how your network performance can impact your voice services puts you ahead of the curve when it comes to deploying voice.
It is as simple as like for like. If your network performs poorly, your voice service will perform poorly. But, as you will know, managing a network is not simple. When real-time changes need to be made and you’re fighting tickets from users, the last thing you want to do is look up which element of your network could be causing the reported issue.
Preparing a voice implementation has changed from a complex to a simple process over the years. Thanks to cloud based portals and rapid provisioning, configuration and administration is easy. But, if your network is not ready to implement voice, or network issues arise post implementation, you need to know how to handle them.
So, let’s break it down.
If you’re new to voice services, you need to empower your team to be able to troubleshoot voice queries. If there is a common problem, you need to be able to locate and remedy within your network. Ultimately, you need to understand the importance of network performance when deploying voice services.
If you already run voice services, and perhaps you didn’t factor in network performance beforehand, you will need to know how to improve VoIP quality. And you’ll likely want to do that without changing providers and equipment.
So, read on through our network performance blog posts to ready or remedy your voice concerns.
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Selecting a new provider is a minefield. With the hosted telephony market full of specialist providers for different verticals, niche focus areas and integrations, it can seem like repetition sifting through all the telephony providers.
When shortlisting, we highly recommend consider a WAN company for your hosted telephony. There are lots of reasons why this is beneficial to both SMB and enterprise customers. We have broken them down into 5 key areas.
When implementing a hosted voice solution, it’s easy to get carried away with new phones and features. Often, the importance of network performance gets lost in the confusion and excitement.
Ultimately, your hosted voice deployment will only perform as well as your network. Therefore, maximising your network performance is crucial.
If you do not prioritise voice over other business applications or segment enough bandwidth for your hosted voice service, you will likely experience problems like packet loss, jitter and latency. These symptoms lead to poor user experience.
User experience is always key to voice solutions, but there is no time more important than day one. First impressions last with technology. In order to drive adoption, your network must be readied for the introduction of hosted voice.
Outside of configuration, the equipment you use on your network should be fully audited. If you haven’t run voice over your network before, your routers and firewalls could restrict certain functionality or not be fit for purpose at all. A modern, voice enabled router should be the core component of every voice solution.
There are six main areas that are associated with causing quality issues in VoIP deployments. Surprisingly, most are related to your network configuration.
For IT teams that have already implemented VoIP, improving quality is a major concern. Usually, the remedy resides in your network. Making a simple change to your network setup can resolve most VoIP quality issues.
If the quality has dipped following the addition of new users, you could be lacking bandwidth. Allowing additional dedicated bandwidth for voice traffic frees up capacity for more calls at the same time.
As applications and devices put a strain networks, levels of jitter and latency can have a knock on effect on VoIP services. Maintaining regular and optimised levels of both are important when running VoIP over a network that supports other business applications.
Outside of your network, VoIP quality could be caused by VoIP equipment. Wear and tear is a symptom on any equipment. If handsets or headsets are old or mistreated, the root cause of the quality issues could lie with the endpoint.
Rather than reporting every issue to the support desk, sometimes it’s easier to troubleshoot your VoIP issues in-house. If you know what the common causes of VoIP issues are, you can help your users first-time. We’ve suggested some steps to consider when troubleshooting VoIP that will come in handy for a variety of reported problems.
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(Simon is an experienced CIO who has been involved in consulting and designing many of the networks that we have provided for customers over the years. He has extremely broad experience of the issues that medium sized businesses and small enterprises have and will be able to provide real insight into opportunities for your situation.)