SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Eric Krapf
Eric Krapf is General Manager and Program Co-Chair for Enterprise Connect, the leading conference/exhibition and online events brand in the...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Eric Krapf | February 09, 2010 |

 
   

Keeping Up with Voice Quality

Keeping Up with Voice Quality A moving target just keeps moving faster.

A moving target just keeps moving faster.

I had a briefing yesterday with Empirix, which just announced OneSight Voice Quality Assurance, its newest product for measuring voice quality. It's a pretty slick-looking system, but in some ways it also shows just how much of a moving target voice quality monitoring and assurance is.The OneSight VQA works by putting probes on the network which place test calls, which are monitored and recorded by the OneSight server, which can provide metrics such as MOS score as well as the underlying network measurements such as jitter, delay, dropped packets, etc.

That's great, but it also points up the challenge that vendors like Empirix--and, of course, network managers--face. A voice quality monitoring system of necessity can only give you this kind of detailed information for infrastructure that's under the enterprise's control, and the major trend in enterprise communications is that end users increasingly aren't making traditional phone-to-phone calls.

Empirix is better positioned than many, because one of their key markets is the contact center, which tends to employ agents who work directly on the enterprise network (unless they're home-based agents using Internet VPN connectivity).

The challenge has nothing to do with these monitoring tools and everything to do with the shift toward mobility and (to a lesser extent) softphones. Enterprise communications platform vendors are racing to incorporate mobility into their call control models--an important move for enterprise cost control and asset management. But you almost have to wonder what the point of quality monitoring on the enterprise IP network is, if the call is going to hairpin out onto the cellular network, where poor voice quality is the rule rather than the exception.

Likewise softphones--to the extent that our anecdotal experiences at VoiceCon are an indication, enterprise managers are extremely pessimistic about the softphone user experience. Softphones themselves are affected by what's going on with the user's PC--OS issues, what other applications are in use, etc.--plus, one of the main points of using softphones is that they're portable with the user's laptop, making it likely that the softphone will often be connecting via the Internet, another unmanaged network whose quality the enterprise can't control.

Empirix is expecting to address at least this last issue of softphones, within their contact center customer base. Bob Hockman, director of product marketing,and Walter Kenrich, director of product management, told me that the company plans a summer release of a tighter integration of the OneSight with a "virtual agent" function that would monitor not only voice quality of the softphone, but also the CTI data that's coming to the agent desktop. Empirix will integrate with Avaya, Cisco and Genesys desktops.

Voice quality monitoring on IP networks has always been a moving target, but it keeps moving faster. Empirix has carved out a market with the contact center that both requires high quality voice and uses the infrastructure in a way that makes quality monitoring a reasonable proposition. But within the general population of users, the trend is toward connectivity over networks you can't monitor, let alone manage.A moving target just keeps moving faster.





COMMENTS



July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.