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Real-Time Services Putting Real Pressure on CIOs

Real-time services like voice, video, streaming, and IM are moving into the cloud, following the trend behind other business applications like email and CRM. The difference is that real-time services place different demands on the network -- and many organizations aren't equipped to handle them, either from a bandwidth or IT resource perspective. This is particularly true of small and medium-sized businesses, where the most common outcome is service disruption.

Consider this scenario: a small company shares an office building's backbone network with nine other similar businesses. As two employees stream World Cup soccer at their desks, sales is video conferencing with an important client in the boardroom. The CEO, in the branch office for the day, starts an important investor call and persistent delay and echo cuts the call short. For the CIO called to account, pinpointing the problem and, more importantly, fixing it so this scenario won't be a repeat occurrence can be difficult.

How can the CIO relieve the pressure created by these competing real-time services? There's growing recognition that the answer lies in solutions that don't treat these services like any other part of the IT infrastructure. The network performance toolkit needs a solution that understands the unique demands that real-time services place on networks.



How can you be sure your organization is well prepared to handle real-time services?

Know Before You Deploy
You wouldn't invest in a state-of-the-art gaming system without knowing you had access to a WiFi network that could handle it, so why would you leave your services deployment to chance? Web-based network pre-assessment tests your network's fitness specifically for a voice or video deployment. Knowing how the network will perform before deployment eliminates a host of performance headaches, but for an accurate performance picture you need a tool, such as our UCScore, that's specialized in handling real-time services.

Identify Small Problems Before They Grow
Once you've deployed real-time services like voice and video, you need to monitor their performance proactively to pick up on problems while they're still small and fixable. Synthetic call testing is one great example of this. Agent-based network testing places synthetic calls between locations or to the cloud, and by scheduling these regularly, you'll be constantly monitoring the performance of your real-time UC service. You'll have early warning before a problem impacts the business.

Balance, Prioritize, and Optimize Real-Time Traffic
Software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) technology is among the most valuable tools in your network performance swiss army knife. When it comes to real-time communications, SD-WAN technology really shines, allowing you to prevent the kinds of problems that create downtime and performance degradation. SD-WAN allows you to set policies across your network that prioritize applications -- for example, voice services over YouTube streaming. With this set, SD-WAN technology springs into action when these services are running concurrently, routing the traffic to the appropriate network resource. It also delivers dynamic failover -- ensuring this happens on the fly. SD-WAN solutions like the one delivered by Elfiq Networks ensures your real-time services just work -- it's that simple.

Today's CIO knows that it's no longer enough to point fingers and troubleshoot through multiple platforms and providers to figure out what went wrong. When it comes to managing real-time services on networks, CIOs need solutions that are up to the job. By using the right tools, CIOs can set the network up for success, and know that when problems do come up, they'll have the data, proof, and answers they need to resolve them quickly.

To learn more about optimizing performance for real-time communications services, click here.