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Tag Archives: VoIP

Intermittent VoIP Issues Are a Big Deal to Customers

If during a VoIP call between two of your employees, the quality of the call begins to erode and jitter becomes a nuisance, your workers may simply shrug it off and wait until the problem passes. Even if a VoIP communication is dropped completely, the two employees are likely simply to reconnect and continue the conversation as if nothing much had happened.

Workers who spend five days a week together and have personal relationships with each other aren’t likely to get bent out of shape because of intermittent call difficulties. Customers, however, are a different story.

What effect do you think it would have on your relationship with a customer if after taking the time to reach out to your organization, his or her call was dropped 75 percent of the way through the interaction with one of your customer service agents? Probably the customer’s frustration in the face of having to call again—starting at the bottom of the queue—would prevent a callback from taking place and the customer’s issue from ever being resolved satisfactorily.

Your problems may actually go deeper than that, however, as recent research from New Voice Media found that 58 percent of Americans would never use a company again after a single negative customer experience.

So, how do you ensure top-notch call VoIP quality that helps keep your customers loyal? A network monitoring solution that includes tools for VoIP monitoring and analysis is a perfect place to start. Such a product can drill down specifically on VoIP calls to determine what may be causing intermittent issues and how different kinds of traffic are impacting each other. With this information, engineers can solve problems quickly as they pop up and make adjustments to avoid similar difficulties in the future.

So, put yourself in your customers’ shoes—what kind of call experiences are they getting? From there, you can decide your next course of action.

Security Series Part 5: Are you Monitoring Your Employees Too?

Network security is everyone’s responsibility.

Many organizations task specific departments with implementing and monitoring security protocols. Much of the time, these efforts are focused on customer interactions, being that any compromising of client data (especially during the sales and service process) makes for terrible publicity and is the quickest way to ruin a customer relationship.

However, with the mobility and frenetic pace of today’s marketplace, it is just as important to develop and implement comprehensive internal security protocols and solutions.

An area of company communications that is especially vulnerable is WLAN. Because it uses radio transmissions, these exchanges are inherently more difficult to secure than wired LANs and are more prone to being intercepted. So, a key for modern businesses is ensuring that all employees are following security protocols to the letter. That’s what makes solutions like WildPackets’ OmniPeek so powerful and appealing.

OmniPeek is a wireless network analyzer and software console that offers an intuitive, easy-to-use graphical interface that allows rapid data analysis and troubleshooting on enterprise networks.  

A few of the key features include:

  • Deep packet inspection
  • Comprehensive 802.11 analysis, including 802.11ac
  • Complete VoIP monitoring and analysis
  • Application performance monitoring

For a quick look at OmniPeek in use, view the video below

With so many tools in one affordable offering, a wireless network analyzer like OmniPeek allows businesses to keep an eye on their security at all times. For that kind of feature richness and peace of mind, many business owners would pay a small fortune. But that’s arguably OmniPeek’s best attribute: you get all of these game-changing features for an affordable price.

Are Your Users Complaining? Pinpoint the Reason with OmniPeek

Try as you might, making users happy with network performance is a difficult task. Sometimes problems arise with applications and sometimes with the network itself. Either way, it is your job to make the end user experience the best that it can be.

Luckily, if you are using OmniPeek, problems of any type, whether application or network, or common or rare, can be easily remedied. Let’s take a look at some common user experience issues and how OmniPeek can help to identify the root cause and guide you towards a permanent solution.

Network Downtime
Fortunately unplanned network downtime is a pretty rare occurrence nowadays, but if it does occur the response must be instantaneous. With OmniPeek you can immediately assess the scope of the outage, from a few specific users to an entire subnet. If distributed, 24×7 analysis is in place, you can rewind the network to see exactly what was going on when the outage occurred, providing the best clues possible for determining the root cause, which in this case is probably equipment failure somewhere in the network path of the effected users.

Not Enough Bandwidth? Find the Hog
Bandwidth issues typically arise not because of a lack of bandwidth, but because a user or users are consuming an abnormally high amount of bandwidth. This is becoming more common with the wide availability of video streaming sources, particularly those that are not work related. The Compass dashboard in OmniPeek is an easy way to isolate bandwidth hogs, allowing you to identify not only the user but the type of traffic, providing the ammunition you need to ensure that network traffic is strictly business related.

VoIP Quality Issues
VoIP is the most commonly used real-time protocol on corporate networks. Given its real-time nature, it is extremely sensitive to network problems like too much latency, dropped packets, and jitter, much more so than “regular” network traffic. For real-time data to be useful, it must arrive in order, and within a few hundred milliseconds of being sent, otherwise it is no longer “real-time” and doesn’t fit into the overall conversational flow. Problems with real-time data will continue to grow as more corporate video is transmitted over IP networks, and as more wireless networks are used for the last 100m of data delivery (voice over Wi-Fi, or VoFi).

From a network perspective, VoIP, VoFi, or video over IP are just data on the network. In order to identify problems with real-time traffic, you first need to isolate the traffic, while still seeing it in the context of the overall network. To do this, you can use the Voice and Video dashboard in OmniPeek to see how real-time traffic is coexisting with the rest of the network. Then, the Calls and Media views will allow you to see a more detailed analysis of the packet-by-packet performance of the real-time flow, including detailed analytical metrics and a bounce diagram so you can pinpoint exactly where the problem is, and compare it with network activity to correlate real-time transport problems with overall network usage.

If you are experiencing another kind of reoccurring issue on your network, please leave us a comment and we’ll address best practices for remedying this issue.