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Vonage Here is an article from From "Contact Center Today" Seven Steps to VoIP Heaven Seven

Here is an article from From "Contact Center Today"
Seven Steps to Voip Heaven

Seven Steps to Voip Heaven March 16, 2005 1:40PM

It is important not to treat Voip as just another technology upgrade for the specialists to worry about. The Voip revolution should encompass the whole organization.

The traditional view of VoIPRelevant Products/Services from Avaya is that it is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, as a "disruptive" technology, it constitutes a major threat to incumbent fixed-line telcos; on the other, it creates business opportunities for new entrants.

Take ISPs. For them, Voip clearly represents a vehicle that will allow them to enter a new market territory. Unlike basic Internet access services, which often are offered on flat-rate basis, voice is - potentially - a significant new revenue stream.

By contrast, traditional fixed-line telcos have seen, during the last decade, the cannibalization of their business by wireless Latest News about wireless operators. Voip now appears to be the next major threat to their business.

That said, Voip could turn out to be an opportunity for even the traditional telcos. Technological convergence of voice and data onto one platform is fuelling customer expectation and demand for converged services; that suggest that service providers cannot maintain their business by offering standalone voice and internet access services.

However, the major challenge for service providers is to constantly maintain an attractive service portfolio consisting of a mix of voice and data services with high quality and availability. This article outlines seven critical steps in building a successful VoIP-based business.

Each step is inspired by experience and practices from mobile network operators where the push toward good voice service quality is a constant battle and where, at the same time, major parts of future revenue growth is expected to come from other related services using the latest 2.5/3G technology.

Step 1: Integrated Customer-Service-Network

Any successful business builds on an integrated understanding of: customer needs and behavior; product usage and attractiveness; and utilization and status of internal production resources. Voip service providers can gain significant competitive advantage by gathering an integrated customer-service-network view. A clear understanding of the linkages between these three aspects will allow the service provider to optimize the internal operation, network resources and the service portfolio to meet the customers' demand.

Reliable access to data and performance metrics, combined with powerful tools that make the information available to different parts of the service provider's organization, is the cornerstone to build this integrated business view that is central for the overall business success.

Step 2: Attention on Perceived Voice Quality

The only way to gain a detailed knowledge about the correlation between voice service quality and network behavior is to constantly track both network and service behavior. The fluctuating behavior over time of IP networks means that nothing less than continuous monitoring and analysis of voice service metrics and network performance metrics can ensure a full understanding of the network's ability to deliver a toll level of service quality.

Voice quality monitoring addresses parameters such as: listening quality (that is, speech clarity in one direction); side tone quality (that is, the ability of the terminal equipment to give a suitable side tone without echo); and conversational quality (that is, how well duplex interaction between the parties works). The overall voice quality is the sum of the above.

These parameters are quantified using mean opinion scores (MOS), originally by using a number of test persons or using automated test procedures delivering a high degree of accuracy independent of language, age and gender. MOS scores range from 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent) with "toll quality" PSTN telephonyRelevant Products/Services from Avaya lying in the range of 4.0 to 4.5 and GSM telephony under good conditions around 3.6.

MOS can now be obtained nonobtrusively for every call in a network. Applications facilitating an overlaying of this information on the whole network and using it together with other key metrics under the next step give the network operator the necessary visibility to manage the Voip network.

Step 3: New IP Performance Metrics

The circuit-switched world is already familiar with service-centric metrics based on signaling analysis. The most important metrics are call set-up time (CST), network efficiency ratio (NER) and successful call completion ratio (SCCR). NER, CST and SCCR are widely used in service level agreements because they provide a good reflection of user perception.

The system monitoring the network - and which also generates and stores these performance metrics - must be flexible enough to provide a complete view of the whole network or for any desired sub-network. It must also be possible to view the performance metrics per customer or customer group - that is, SLA reporting. These signaling-based metrics combined with perceived voice quality (MOS) will serve well as the key performance metrics both for SLAs as well as for network monitoring and dimensioning in Voip networks.

Step 4: Integrated Monitoring

The newer generations of SIP terminals include native support for reporting of signaling and Voip metrics (including CST, CSR and MOS) and errors to the service provider (RTCP-RFC.3611). This allows the service provider to complement the monitoring of the core network with information automatically uploaded from the end-user terminals.

Thus, a system capable of automatically correlating the end-terminal data with relevant network data can immediately report any equipment failure or drop in service quality to service provider. The passive monitoring of the end-user terminals can successfully be complemented by active test solutions that continuously validate the service quality and availability based on predefined service scenarios.

Step 5: Active Use of Internal/External SLAs

No chain is stronger than the weakest link. This means that customer perceived service quality is dependent on the performance of all network segments in the service providers' network and interconnect partners. Constant monitoring of QoS and network performance is not only vital to follow up on SLAs, but standardized performance and SLA reports will be the foundation for service providers to determine new internal service goals and to negotiate favorable agreements with interconnect partners.

Step 6: Differentiate Your Service Offering

To combat falling ARPU and achieve competitive advantages, service providers should explore new integrated voice and data services. Unified messaging services and various types ofinstant messaging Latest News about instant messaging are just two service examples of converged services that have reached wide adoption. Further, penetration by these services combined with the introduction of new services will ensure highcustomer satisfaction Latest News about customer satisfaction.

The introduction of new services also poses new challenges. Over time users become dependent of particular services, and users expect services to work every time and everywhere. The diversity in the service offering unfortunately implies diversity in platforms and solutions. This leads to complex architectures as both direct and indirect service dependences. It is therefore essential to be able to monitor the service behavior and utilization efficiently, and, if required, troubleshoot sessions across different technology domains.

Step 7: Automate Fraud and Spam Detection

A network-wide monitoring system providing a continuous stream of data in real time can provide all the information required to detect unwanted behaviors. "Fingerprinting" the network by checking network load, authentication profiles and the type of traffic distribution profile over a 24-hour period provides a big picture of normal network behavior.

Unwanted behaviors, such as spam and fraud, then can be detected by monitoring network behavior in relation to the normal "fingerprint." An automated system for detection and alarming in case of deviating traffic patterns can very well prove to be on of the best investments a network operator can make.

A New Mindset Is Required

It is important not to treat Voip as just another technology upgrade for the specialists to worry about. The Voip revolution should encompass the whole organization within the network operator or ISP.

Use valuable experience from mobile network operators where measures have been defined and organizations have been shaped to manage and prosper in an environment where the voice service quality is the basis for customer satisfaction but where most of the ARPU growths come from new associated services.

A new mindset should be built on easy-to-understand and verifiable service quality metrics creating an awareness of "how we are doing" throughout the organization. The organizational structure should be geared towards a constant proactive monitoring of these key metrics and use this knowledge on all levels from network engineering, planning and marketing to customer service in its strive for Voip excellence

Read The Full Thread:

Seven Steps to VoIP Heaven

Funny you mention that site. They had nice things to say about this forum in this
Yep, thanks for taking the time Dan to make this a meaningful place. I know it has
No Problem. <commercial> Don't forget to support the sites sponsors

seattlezoid posted "Here is an article from From "Contact Center Today" Seven Steps to VoIP Heaven Seven" on 03/16/2005

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