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7 Big IP Telephony and Unified Communications Questions: Answered

Tuesday 29 January 2019 IP TelephonyUnified Communications

Steve Ramballie's picture
By Steve Ramballie

With Google touting advances in voice services as the next big leap in technology, how do you invest in IP telephony and unified communications technology in your business? To help you make a start in this fascinating area, Steve Ramballie, our Senior Voice Engineer answers the 7 most frequently asked questions that he encounters from our clients.

 

QUESTION 1: DO YOU NEED TO GET OFF OF YOUR OLD LEGACY PBX SYSTEM AND ONTO A FUNCTIONALLY RICH IP TELPHONY SYSTEM?

The switch from your old legacy PBX to a new IP telephony system can be a complicated one.  The process should be well thought out and planned well in advance, so that the cutover is as seamless as possible with little to no interruption to your users.

Your Voice will now be running on your network.  With that in mind it is important to find a vendor that understands both the changes that need to be implemented on the network side as well as how to actually implement 'Voice' and the IP telephony infrastructure on that network.  Having one vendor that understands both networking and voice can facilitate a smooth transition.

Just because the audio on your company’s network sounds fine, does not mean that your network or Voice infrastructure is ready for video.  

QUESTION 2: NOW THAT I HAVE IP PHONES IN MY OFFICES, HOW CAN I TAKE ADVANTAGE OF VIDEO AS WELL?

Just because the audio on your company’s network sounds fine, does not mean that your network or your voice infrastructure is ready for video. Many customers go out and spend an exorbitant amount of money on the latest video equipment, applications, and endpoints, only to find out that not only is their video quality poor, but that it has also started to affect their original audio quality as well.

Your vendor should understand how to implement video solutions, whether that be Cisco, Avaya, etc. They should have the in depth knowledge to be able to implement and configure that video solution, taking into account, for example bandwidth and quality of service issues. But they should also understand how your entire network will be affected by now running video on it. 

With that in mind, the vendor should not only understand the voice and video solution, but it should also understand what changes need to be made to your network, to enable both voice and video to run properly across your company’s infrastructure.

QUESTION 3: SHOULD I SWITCH MY PRI CIRCUITS TO SIP TRUNKS (USING A SIP BASED CARRIER)?

Many companies are switching from their old digital ISDN PRI circuits to SIP trunking, for inbound and outbound PSTN traffic.  While SIP trunking can simplify future implementations, while also adding greater flexibility and lowering costs, there are also many potential pitfalls if the implementation is not done properly.

Your vendor should understand these potential issues and should be able to work with your SIP provider to sort out these problems before they arise.  Using a SIP based provider opens up security concerns that did not exist with your old PRIs.  The vendor should understand how to stop hackers from hair-pinning International calls through your network and understand how to stop DOS attacks or other security concerns.  Your vendor should also be able to setup session border controllers (SBCs) to alleviate some of these security concerns.

In other words, as your voice requirements now open up your network even more to the outside world, there is an even greater need for your vendor to understand both the voice side and the networking side to keep your network secure during the PRI to SIP Trunk, transition.

QUESTION 4: WHAT IF I NEED TO INTEGRATE MY IP TELEPHONY SYSTEM WITH MY TRADER VOICE SYSTEM?

Many companies demand that their trader voice systems are up and running at all times. It is a key customer interaction that can involve transactions with very large sums of money. Therefore, the trader voice system must be solid.

But for many companies, the trader voice system and the IP telephony system are intertwined.  Incoming and outgoing client PSTN calls go through the IP telephony system, so the integration between the trader voice and the IP telephony system must be implemented and supported properly.

To make this happen, your vendor should have the skills to implement and support your network, your IP telephony system, and your trader voice system.  skills in all three, will make your IP telephony integration with your trader voice system seamless and easier to support.

Voice Analytics solutions can be very useful… if they work properly! Many Voice Analytics vendors are trying to market their solution as the best in the market. They may even show you demos with pre-canned Voice conversations that are now being "analysed”

QUESTION 5: DOES THE COMPANY THAT YOU HAVE JUST ACQUIRED HAVE A DIFFERENT PHONE SYSTEM?

You’ve acquire another company and you need to get their offices onto your phone system. Now what? Whether the acquired company has a different kind of IP PBX or a Legacy PBX, getting all of their users onto your phone system can be tricky. Even if they have exactly the same IP PBX on exactly the same version, their different dial plan, their different phone usage or even something as simple as their different phone models can cause headaches.

Your vendor should have the technical skills to get these new users onto your existing phone system.  But they should also have the interpersonal skills needed to meet with the new users to empathize and understand what they are going through as they transition from what they used to know, to your existing phone system. 

There will be complaints, but in the end the new users will need to come around to your corporate standards. Your vendor should be able and willing to travel to sites to gather and understand the new users’ current and future requirements. They should be able to audit what existing equipment will and will not work in your current environment. They then should be able to bulk move the new users seamlessly over to your current phone system.

QUESTION 6: SHOULD I BE INVESTING IN VOICE ANALYTICS?

Voice Analytics solutions can be very useful……if they work properly.  Many Voice Analytics vendors are trying to market their solution as the best in the market.   They may even show you demos with pre-canned Voice conversations that are now being “analysed”. 

Part of the problem though is that the Voice being analysed by your Voice Analytics solution is highly dependent on the quality of the Voice on your network or the Voice segments from your voice recording system.  With this in mind, it is important that your recording system has been properly integrated with your IP telephony system and that your network is set up properly for good voice quality.

Your voice vendor should be able to work with the Voice Analytics vendor to determine whether the problem is due to voice/network quality issues or simply due to the limitations of the Voice Analytics product.

QUESTION 7: DOES VOICE BIOMETRICS WORK FOR IDENTITY AND VERIFICATION (ID&V)?

The short answer is yes. CACI – Network Services has delivered a successful Voice Biometrics solution at major bank.

The ID&V process can always be a challenge for customers. Remembering PINs and passwords can be a nuisance, but they can also be a security issue, as fraudsters can gain access to or guess your PIN or password. To counter this, companies will sometimes add another layer of questions to the ID&V process, which can make the process cumbersome and time consuming.

Voice biometrics solutions use an initial voice conversation to create a customer’s “Voiceprint”. This voiceprint is then used to check against subsequent calls from that same customer and the result/score can be integrated into any CRM system.

The solution that we delivered resulted in increased customer satisfaction, which delighted the bank's stakeholders.

NEED HELP? TALK TO OUR VOICE SERVICES EXPERTS.

If you’re planning your own voice project – or if you’re just starting out and looking for more detailed answers to some of the questions covered in this blog – talk to us.
CACI - Network Services has a wealth of experience helping companies of all sizes understand and implement voice recognition services.

To find out how we can help you do the same, talk to us by calling +44 (0)20 762 6000 or visit our Unified Communications page today.

 

 

With Google touting advances in voice services as the next big leap in technology, how do you invest in IP telephony and unified communications technology in your business? To help you make a start in this fascinating area, Steve Ramballie, our Senior Voice Engineer answers the 7 most frequently asked questions that he encounters from our clients.

7 Big IP Telephony and Unified Communications Questions: Answered

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