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Why Get a Network Evaluation Before Switching to VoIP

Change is exciting, but trying out something for the first time comes with some amount of cold sweat. Let’s say you just heard of VoIP and already making plans to disband the services of your old traditional phones, to which we say, “Welcome!” However, we want to give you more than just words of goodwill – we’d like to draw your attention to something very important:  Network Performance.

To get things straight, it’s important to understand that cloud VoIP systems are generally network (and internet) dependent. In essence, its functionality is impacted by the quality of the network. The quality and reliability of VoIP phones is entirely hinged on how fast or slow your Internet connection is as well as other not-so-obvious factors.

VoIP call traffic survives on a very high-performing network and is more sensitive to normal network issues than other Internet applications. Enough packet loss and your call quality drops. Conversely, you will enjoy the best quality of calls when your internet connection is up north.

Getting Started with the Basics

Before setting up your VoIP system, it is paramount to know if your existing network infrastructure can support the network needs of VoIP. This will save you a lot of stress that comes with a lack of preparation. A simple yet effective way to forestall the hassles brought in by poor networks to VoIP is to evaluate one’s network before making the switch to the VoIP side of life.

The Big Question – How is a Network Evaluation Done?

First, you will need to carry out what is called a Pre-Deployment Network Assessment. This allows you to assess the existing capabilities of your network infrastructure. It will allow you to decide if there are any issues that would inhibit a VoIP deployment. Before purchasing any VoIP equipment or systems, it is very important to take this assessment. The assessment precedes any other assessment when it comes to network evaluation.

Generally, the assessment consists of assessing bandwidth utilization, jitter, throughput, and latency. Your Jaxcom sales engineer will coordinate the pre-deployment assessment with the onboarding team, which consists of sales, network, and VoIP engineers. The evaluation can be performed remotely in most cases, but there may be times when an on-site assessment may be required – especially if remote access proves to be troublesome.

Up next is the Post-Deployment Assessment. The goal here is to understand how VoIP has impacted the network after putting it into production. Normally, this assessment happens before you go live. The success of this step will help you avoid call quality issues and/or dropped calls and other configuration problems. We’ll cover more about this step in a future blog post.

Finally, Your VoIP Phone System is Live

After the network has gone through all of the phases of evaluation both pre-installation and post-installation, you are ready to operate as normal with a few enhancements from our feature set.

Does this mean you won’t encounter problems in the future? No. It is paramount to constantly evaluate your network. It is no news that frequent network assessments increase quality, employee satisfaction, and optimized infrastructure, as well as reduce the overall cost by catching issues before they become major problems.

If your company is considering VoIP or has already implemented it, it is important to deploy a network assessment tool to analyze and stay on top of your network.  This is one thing you should never skip and can make the world of difference down the line as the consequences could negatively impact your business.