Asking the Right Questions about QoS
When your IT department is selecting a Hosted VoIP provider, you’ll need to consider Quality of Service (QoS). Of course, you know that when we’re talking about Quality of Service, we mean prioritizing traffic on your network so you get the best voice or video quality.
Particularly in scenarios where bandwidth is limited, properly configured QoS is crucial for maximum call quality. Properly implemented, QoS can reduce congestion, latency, and packet loss—all which negatively impact call quality. So it’s in your best interest to evaluate if a Hosted VoIP provider will properly implement QoS, and to do that you need to ask the right questions.
QoS: It Takes Two
Your network plays an important role in QoS. If your network isn’t ready or efficient enough for Hosted VoIP, it wouldn’t matter how stellar a Hosted VoIP provider’s uptime is—your QoS will suffer. That’s why you need to ask providers about their QoS standards and your current network.
The idea that QoS takes two is important. Why? Because while most Hosted VoIP providers have the tools and resources to implement QoS, not all of them are proactive about using them.
In short: a Hosted VoIP provider may have the right tools and resources for implementing QoS, but they may put the QoS responsibility (and costs) on you. Don’t fall for it. You deserve better. There are Hosted VoIP providers out there that are more proactive about QoS, you just need ask the right questions to find them.
These three questions will help you determine if a provider’s QoS is “self-service” or “customer service.”
- Will you evaluate our company’s current network?
- How will you prepare our network for Hosted VoIP?
- After you’ve installed Hosted VoIP, how will you continue to ensure QoS?
Evaluating Your Network
“Will you evaluate our company’s current network?”
A lot of Hosted VoIP providers have network tests, but they’re positioned so customers have to run the test on their own. You deserve better service than this. You want a Hosted VoIP provider that will proactively test your current network for:
- Packet Loss
- SIP ALG
- SIP ports
- NAT settings
And it’s best if a provider tests your network before creating a quote. As you can imagine, if changes need to be made to your network, you’ll want those items reflected in the quote. (You don’t want any surprise charges!)
For example, before writing a quote, Jive’s field representatives and partners leverage a customized and thorough network test, Jive View. From the Jive View results, the representatives know if they’ll need a field engineer to help with the project.
Preparing your Network
“What will you do to prepare our company’s network for Hosted VoIP?”
If your network needs improvement, you’ll likely work with a field engineer. All Hosted VoIP providers have field engineers, but make sure their services are included in the cost. (Again, you don’t want any surprise charges!)
Field engineers should ensure that all aspects of your network are discovered and understood before deployment. Based off the network test that the provider runs, they can prescribe types of switches, routers, firewalls, etc. that are necessary get you up to Hosted VoIP standards.
We’re proud to say that Jive’s field engineers go above and beyond the field engineers of our competitors.
“Preparing a customer to change from a traditional telephony services to VoIP can be a daunting task, but Jive’s field engineering ensures the process is smooth and painless. Jive has dedicated field engineers who provide world-class service to our clients.”
—Sangar Saif, Jive Solutions Architect Manager
Sangar listed some of the ways Jive’s Field Engineering team provides a service superior to competing Hosted VoIP providers.
- For projects over 50 seats, Jive includes a dedicated field engineer during deployment.
- Jive offers onsite engineering options for all of our clients.
- Jive field engineers are especially equipped to understand VoIP environments, Jive’s platform and portal, and failover scenarios and designs.
“What will you do to maintain our company’s QoS standards?”
#1. Troubleshooting Tools
See what kinds of tools Hosted VoIP providers include to maintain QoS standards after deployment. For example, Jive’s network assessment tool, Jive View, continues to ensure QoS for our customers.
When problems arise, Jive View helps customers pinpoint exactly where those problems are, how to address them, and when you’re in the clear. (All before the problem even hits your company’s radar!) One of our customers explained how they’ve leveraged Jive View to improve their QoS.
“Our IT department can basically slap Jive View on any office device, and it helps us solve phase jitter, dropouts, or whatever the issue may be. Jive View made it easy to get a better voice quality experience for our 32 offices.”
—Robert Gibson, IT Manager Alta Planning + Design
Another solution is SD-WAN. Be aware that any QoS set up on a WAN connection must be configured by your internet service provider (ISP). This is why so many customers turn to their Hosted VoIP provider for SD-WAN: if you purchase your Hosted VoIP provider’s SD-WAN, the QoS will be applied across the WAN connection automatically. It saves you a step and money.
(If you need help selling SD-WAN to the higher-ups, peruse “4 Critical Reasons You Need SD-WAN” and “How to Explain SD-WAN to Executives.” We even have a SD-WAN slide deck you can download for your pitch).
Getting the QoS You Deserve
Your company deserves Hosted VoIP that meets QoS standards. And your company shouldn’t have to spend extra time and money to make that happen. Ensure that you’re selecting a Hosted VoIP provider that cares about your network. This is where Jive really shines.
“Jive is the only hosted provider out there who cares about your network. Our competitors send you a box with a phone in it and hope your network is VoIP-ready. At Jive, we know the customer experience starts with the right network. We offer every prospective customer the ability to simulate VoIP traffic on their network and resolve issues with network settings, infrastructure, and bandwidth before they ever buy a phone.”
—Meredith Bunker, Jive Director of Field and Channel Marketing
So ask the right QoS questions when you’re talking to Hosted VoIP providers. Because if you don’t, you’ll end up with poor QoS. For more resources to help you find the right Hosted VoIP provider for your business, download our free ebook, “The Hosted VoIP Buyer’s Guide — Mid-Market and Enterprise”