With Labor Day quickly approaching, I thought it was appropriate to associate this month’s post with a theme about “working”.
So I revived a popular post that we published last year, and updated it with some newfound knowledge.
But it’s actually about not working.
No, this message isn’t about taking a vacation either. It speaks to a problem that usually rears its ugly head at the worst time, and causes a lot of grief – for you and us.
So this is more of a “preventative” public service announcement that bears repeating.
DISCLAIMER: Please don’t take this at face value and misunderstand the actual point. We are not trying to circumvent the accountability we have for managing your phone system and its overall performance. We take full responsibility as your phone system vendor and support provider to make sure that your system is operating at peak performance. And if something is affecting it, we will quickly resolve the issue. Usually by actively engaging a third party that could be at fault.
You have to realize, there are at least 5 or more vendors involved in completing a phone call. And if one falls down, the call is affected.
So what am I talking about here?
It’s a statement that’s not exactly grammatically correct, but it rhymes. So we go with it.
And it’s spot on as it relates to voice over IP.
Because it’s 100% accurate.
And here it is… When it don’t work, it’s the network!
Now let’s dig into it to understand the real meaning and how it can apply to you.
VoIP is essentially data. It’s a packet-based, real-time protocol. A technology that requires a connection to the Internet, and is reliant on the successful and timely delivery of data packets (which are responsible for transporting voice conversations).
Unlike data (which can be re-transmitted), if voice packets aren’t successfully delivered (aka packet loss), or are delayed (aka latency), then audio suffers in the form of poor voice quality.
This could mean choppy audio, or conversations that fade in and out. It could also result in one-way audio (or no audio) which really sucks for everyone involved.
This is why the phrase was coined…
“When it don’t work, it’s the network!” ~ Jeff Haas
This statement is NOT intended to point fingers and blame someone else. It’s simply meant to bring awareness to a frustrating problem that can waste a lot of time. So that we can help you resolve it if it happens, as quickly as possible.
VoIP is commonly promoted by novices and big box companies as “plug ‘n play”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. VoIP is NOT plug ‘n play, unless you’re only talking about a half-dozen phones or a remote user working from home.
And even then, there’s no guarantee.
Without proper design and setup, your VoIP deployment will quickly become “plug ‘n pray”…
And that’s not a good strategy for your business. It’s also phone malpractice for anyone that promotes or recommends this approach without a VoIP assessment.
These errant audio conditions are typically elusive and intermittent. And can be caused by a long list of variables including:
- Firewall settings
- Firmware versions in your switches and routers
- “Best-effort” cable broadband services
- An out of box default configuration
- A one wire daisy-chain to the desktop (without proper VLAN tagging)
- Or even just a device on the network that impacts ports or packets
And sometimes they’ll rear their ugly head out of nowhere, after years of good quality service.
So this “awareness” to thwart a potential problem serves as a reference point, which allows us to collaborate with our clients and their IT team. With the ultimate goal of quickly identifying the cause so we can efficiently eliminate these annoying and debilitating issues.
If your company has experienced intermittent or chronic voice quality issues, or you would like to learn how to prevent this from derailing an upcoming VoIP deployment, then contact the VoIP specialists at IDeACOM. We have the experience, the resources and the expertise to help your company with a successful, hassle-free implementation.