In general, it's pretty safe to say that the massive explosion of the Internet was a bit of a surprise. Likewise, VoIP bubbled up from beneath and, for the most part, wasn't planned for in any methodical way.
Essentially, engineers figured out that it was possible to use IP for voice communications and, in short order, hobbyists and poor folks far from home starting using it. Entrepreneurs went to town and, in short order, a new and dynamic platform was thriving.
That's all good. Rather, it's mostly good. The fly in the ointment is that many of the applications didn't (and often still don't) work perfectly because the networks that they are on weren't built for them. The challenge of ramping up VoIP networks put the industry into full scramble mode, mostly in issues connected with quality of service (QoS) and security.
The VoIP News piece takes a look at a new service from Keynote Systems, which is in the business of measuring call quality. The company is bringing to the enterprise sector a system that it already offers to service providers.
In the provider sector, Keynote's service uses a deceptively simple and in many ways amusing approach: The company rents apartments and orders VoIP service from local providers. It then automatically sends data to Keynote for analysis. In this way, real-world quality -- not some laboratory approximation -- is measured and, presumably, the firm's clients can address problems. The enterprise version of the product, VoIP Perspective 2.0, uses the same approach on branch offices. Apartments are still in the mix, since a key goal of the new service is to monitor the quality of calls emanating from contact centers.
Lack of quality is a very real problem for VoIP that pops up all too often during conversations with contact centers. The bottom line is that VoIP will not move beyond secondary status if it doesn't find a way to match the quality of the public switched telephone network (PSTN). It's good to see products come to market that can help level the playing field.