VoIP technology has improved and evolved over the years from low quality and low reliability to something that’s become a standard. For the technology department alignment of VoIP is closer to support and businesses have many concerns and voice reliability and quality are the top of the list. If technology departments do not take the right steps to ensure that the right network infrastructure is in place and the proper amount of bandwidth is available, the VoIP (Voice over IP) quality and reliability will likely suffer.
Even the right tools sometimes are not quite enough. Network monitoring devices need to be installed in order to help maintain quality and reliability. These network monitoring devices can control and operate a number of things including:
The VoIP devices act as routers for quality of service. They can shape the traffic on an IP network and even optimize voice quality. Most of the quality issues are due to IP traffic patterns that are not directed properly. For example, if someone is watching a video online, the voice on the phone may sound like a robot. A network monitoring system can solve that problem.
Routers with VoIP specifications such as EdgeMarc can support records known as DNS-SRV. These records store paths to gateways for automated fail-over scenarios. If the network data has any issues or an outage of some kind, the edge device will look for alternative paths within the network in order to maintain the service for the VoIP traffic.
The phone system, sometimes called a PBX system, is running an application over the server, much like any program. It can be hacked or damaged in any number of ways. Companies need to make sure that first and foremost, they change the passwords on a regular basis and use hard to crack letters and numbers. In order for the network to have even better security, VoIP edge devices can be utilized. These devices give the system an added layer of protection by acting as an application layer getaway to keep the PBX on a private IP. They can also open and close ports that may be needed for extra volumes of voice traffic. Nothing will be left open when it is not needed and in use. The overall PBX system and the network as a whole are less likely to be hacked with this measure of security.
The support is usually very good, but voice specific data can help to provide real quality of voice traffic within the network. This device along with traffic data will allow support teams to diagnose problems faster and fix them more efficiently.
When it comes to using VoIP, many companies boil things down to costs, this is where the alignment of business and technology comes to play. Understanding the customer needs and then the business will ensure proper alignment of technology to business goals. It’s important to note that some of the network monitoring devices that go along with VoIP can be costly, but there are others that are not that expensive. In the end, VoIP will only work as well as the technology that surround it.
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David G. Peterson is a business consultant and author of Handling the Remedy. He has extensive international experience managing projects and operations for large financial institutions. He has worked in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia skillfully managing business and technical requirements, core systems enhancement and support, merger and acquisition integration's, business process reengineering, off-shoring and outsourcing.