Enterprise VoIP Networks Require Sophisticated Testing

Carl Weinschenk

There are few categorical truths in tech. One of them is that businesses will not buy into VoIP if the quality is worse than the circuit-switched platform that it seeks to replace.

That's the type of emerging market talk that testing and management vendors and service providers love to hear. This TMC Net story says that Nortel is offering a VoIP quality of service (QoS) outsourcing service called Proactive Voice Quality Management. The service, a spokesperson in the article says, is designed to help organizations field the quality, cost and service issues that a switch to VoIP entails.

The build it or buy it decision is familiar to IT decision-makers. In this case, organizations will have to tread very carefully, indeed. VoIP QoS is an extremely complex undertaking, since the underlying network was never intended to carry voice traffic. It's like retrofitting a blue highway to support rush-hour urban traffic.

IT departments also should remember that enterprise-grade VoIP will be more demanding than best-effort services that cater to consumers. The bottom line is that sophisticated test, measurement and management gear is necessary for VoIP to succeed.

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