Understanding Quality of Service (QoS) in VoIP Installations

QoS (Quality of Service) is a major issue in VOIP implementations. The issue is how to guarantee that packet traffic for voice or other real-time media will not be delayed or dropped due interference from other lower priority traffic.

Things to consider are:
: Delay for packet delivery
Jitter: Variations in delay of packet delivery
Packet loss: Too much traffic in the network causes the network to drop packets
Burstiness of Loss and Jitter: Loss and Discards (due to jitter) tend to occur in bursts

For an end user, large delays are burdensome and can cause a bad echo degrading the quality of a conversation. It’s hard to have a working conversation with too large delays in packet delivery. You keep interrupting each other. Jitter causes strange sound effects, but can be handled to some degree with “jitter buffers” in the software. Packet loss causes interrupts. Some degree of packet loss won’t be noticeable, but at some point, packet loss can & will negatively impact call quality.

VoIP Calls usually tolerate roundtrip voice delays of 250ms or more. ITU-T G.114 recommends a maximum of a 150ms (milliseconds) one-way latency. Since this includes the entire voice path, part of which may be on the public Internet, your own network should have transit latencies of considerably less than 150ms.

Jitter can be measured in several ways. There are jitter measurement calculations defined in:

IETF RFC 3550 RTP: A Transport Protocol for Real-Time Applications
IETF RFC 3611 RTP Control Protocol Extended Reports (RTCP XR)

Equipment and network vendors often don’t detail exactly how they are calculating the values they report for measured jitter. Most VOIP endpoint devices (e.g. VOIP phones and ATAs) have jitter buffers to compensate for network jitter.

Quoting from Cisco:
Jitter buffers (used to compensate for varying delay) further add to the end-to-end delay, and are usually only effective on delay variations less than 100ms. Jitter must therefore be minimized.
What’s an acceptable level of jitter in a network? 0.5ms – 2ms
Packet Loss
VOIP is not tolerant of packet loss. Even 1% packet loss can “significantly degrade” a VOIP call using a G.711 codec. Other codecs, using compression tolerate even less packet loss without significant degradation of call quality. The default G.729 codec requires packet loss far less than 1% to avoid audible errors. Ideally, there should be no packet loss for VoIP

AccessLine SIP – Business Quality VoIP By Design

 The ONLY SIP provider where the QoS starts BEFORE the install.

If you knew your network was not well suited for VoIP, would you install SIP Trunks on your network?

Of course not! But, how do you REALLY know if your network is ready for SIP/VoIP ? That’s where AccessLine comes in. When you purchase AccessLine SIP Trunking, QoS (quality of VoIP) testing is a requirement for installation.

With AccessLine SIP Trunking, all potential customers are required to run and PASS a multi-day VoIP Bandwidth Analytics Test to validate that the customer’s network can successfully run VoIP traffic at acceptable quality thresholds. The VoIP Test produces a complete “picture” of the customer’s network over a meaningful period of time, so you can head off issues BEFORE they become problems. This pre-installation testing ensures high call quality and ultimately high customer satisfaction. AccessLine is the only SIP Trunking provider who requires that a customer’s network passes the VoIP test in order to purchase SIP Trunking service.

Business Quality VoIP By Design

How It Works:
1. The VoIP Test application is loaded on a PC running on the same network that the VoIP traffic will ultimately use.
2. Once the VoIP test is initiated, AccessLine sends simulated VoIP traffic to the application, then measures the critical components:
• Connectivity- Loss of internet connectivity
• Jitter- Inconsistency in packet timing
• Packet Loss- Dropping of packets due to congestion
• Latency- Packets taking too long to arrive
3. The results are compiled in a multi-day graph that produces a visual reference of the customer’s network.
4. AccessLine technicians review the VoIP Test results and report their findings back to you.

Lower initial cost of ownership by 50% or more
Quality service that will exceed your expectations
Move, add, or expand your business with ease
Simplify vendor management
Built in business continuity disaster recovery features


IP Office Preferred Edition

For Optimal Responsiveness and Professionalism

IP Office Preferred Edition delivers intelligent communications capabilities that enable staff to collaborate easily and respond quickly to customers and colleagues. With Preferred Edition, businesses can use communications to establish a competitive edge;  through intelligent call routing, sophisticated messaging, call handling, & application integration.

IP Office Preferred Edition enhances all the capabilities of Essential Edition and much more.

Scalable and Sophisticated Voicemail – Handle up to 40 simultaneous calls. Make the entire staff more productive and efficient. Broadcast a single voicemail to all employees, a specific department or just one team. Address messages by extension or name. Have voicemail messages “find” you and alert you to new messages.
Secure “Meet Me” Conferencing – The built-in 128-party conferencing capability makes it easy for all users to host their own personal password-protected conference bridge (up to 64-parties per conference) to securely collaborate with customers and colleagues. Its unique call capacity lets you host a multitude of calls simultaneously.
Automated Call Routing – With the ability to create an unlimited number of automated attendants (each with an unlimited number of levels), sophisticated call routing is now a reality for any size business. Customize attendants to handle calls by time of day, day of week or other variable. Program attendants to recognize callers and deliver personalized messages to them. Pre-record announcements (holiday greetings, promotions) and schedule them for future use.
Call Recording – Built-in recording of incoming or outgoing calls. Set the frequency of recorded calls (all calls or a percentage of calls). Record calls on demand with the push of a button. Recordings can be sent directly to voice/email mailboxes as a WAV file attachment for forwarding via email.

Investment Protection – Expandable as your business grows. Handles ten times more voice messaging capacity than Essential Edition to accommodate higher number of calls from customers and additional users
Empowerment of all users within or across the business…All users can spontaneously host their own personalized and secure conference calls.
Flexible management – Easily adapts to your changing business needs
Communications assurance – With the ability to easily record calls no one should ever miss important information from a meeting

System Requirements
• IP Office 500 system
• Ethernet attached PC running Windows Server 2003 (32-bit), Windows Small Business Server (32-bit and 64-bit), Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (32-bit and 64-bit), Windows Server 2008 R2
• Ethernet attached PC configured with Applications Server DVD (Windows Operating System not required)
• Voicemail synchronization in Email and Browser based access to voicemail works with any IMAP mail client (Outlook)
• IP Office 500 system has 128 party conference capacity, with up to 64 parties on a single call
• Requires as many digital trunks/channels as external participants. For example, 1 T1 allows 23/24 external parties, 1 E1 allows 30 parties, etc.

For complete and latest PC and Server specifications, refer to latest Avaya IP Office Technical Bulletin and Technical Tip documents. (or contact ECS)

Feature Detail
System Features
• Up to 40 concurrent calls for voice mail access
• Voice storage is dependent on PC hard drive size (1MB per minute)
• Unlimited multi-level intelligent automated attendants
• CLI/ANI number screening to personally answer and route known callers
• Time & date profiles to cater for public holidays and emergency closures
• In-Queue announcements can advise callers Estimated Time to Answer & Position In Queue
• Multiple language support
• Single, centralized voicemail solution when used with IP Office Multi-Site Option
• Distributed voicemail solution available when used in IP Office Multi-Site Option
• Message control: Save, Delete, Forward, Repeat, Rewind, Fast Forward, Skip Message, and Pause
• Message retrieval options of LIFO/FIFO playback (Last In/First Out or First In/First Out)
• Set message as Priority, to be played first
• Out-Calling notification of messages left in voice mail box

Conference Features
• Helpful voice prompts guides callers into the conference call
• Unique PIN codes ensures security for conference calls
• Conference entry/exit tones; single beep on entry, double beep on exit.
• Conference call recording
• Conference Call control (Available with Power User, Teleworker, & Office Worker solutions)
• ‘Conference Room’ automatically dials users and adds them if available (Requires Receptionist solution)

User features
• Record calls to mailbox
• Personal attendants
• Personalize greetings and pre-record extended greetings
• Send notification, Forward, and Copy voice messages to Email Inbox
• Browser based access to voice messages
• Message control from your PC (Available with Power User, Teleworker, and Office Worker solutions)

About Avaya
Avaya is a global provider of business collaboration and communications solutions, providing unified communications, contact centers, data solutions and related services to companies of all sizes around the world. For more information please visit www.avaya.com or www.GoECS.com

IP Office Essential Edition

For Essential Business Communications

The IP Office Essential Edition is the foundation upon which to build your IP Office solution. Providing the necessary mobility, call handling and routing functionality for IP Office, Essential Edition helps ensure small businesses have the communications tools they need to operate effectively and efficiently.

One number access, caller ID, dial-by-name, automated attendants, conferencing, voicemail, and more. Essential Edition provides the “must haves” small businesses need to enhance their communications with customers and colleagues and streamline their operations.

• One Number Access – Provide customers and others with just your office phone number and have all calls ring simultaneously on your mobile phone, eliminating missed calls when out of the office or away from your desk.

• Dial By Name/Extension – Callers can easily reach the person they want to connect with by simply typing the name or extension on the phone keypad.

• Voicemail – A range of choices that enable staff to stay connected regardless of where they are. Retrieve voicemail messages from the keypad on any telephone, through the context- sensitive display on an Avaya phone, or via email (voicemail messages show up just like an email).

• Automated-Attendants – Program up to 40 automated attendants (maximum 6 simultaneous calls) to handle almost any customer situation. Customize caller greetings so key clients receive a personal message and are routed directly to the most appropriate person or team.

• Efficient call handling – Through touch tone prompts, quickly route customers to the right department to save your time and theirs.
• Convenience – Enable callers to easily enter the name of the representative they seek for fast, personalized attention
• 24-hour access – Customized voicemail greetings for each member of your staff enables customers to feel connected even when you’re not there

Mobile Call Control 
One number access
• Simultaneous ringing of mobile device when calls arrive at IP Office desk phone

Remote Worker
Up to two people can work from anywhere with just an Internet connection and an Avaya 9600 series IP Phone

Maximum of 6 concurrent calls to voicemail (depends on licenses purchased)
• 15 hours voicemail storage (2 ports)
• 20 hours voicemail storage (4 ports)
• 25 hours voicemail storage (6 ports)
• 40 simple automated attendants
• Multiple language support
• Message control: Save, Delete, Forward, Repeat, Rewind, Fast Forward, and Skip Message
• All messages time & date stamped
• Break out to reception
• Voicemail to email presentation (copy or forward are standard) (synchronization is optional)
• Visual Voicemail (visual prompts on telephone set, rather than audio prompts)
• 128 party audio conference bridge, 64 in any one conference (NO Meet-Me Conference)

Top 10 Things to Consider For Mobile Video Collaboration Success

If you are considering mobile video collaboration, congratulations. Mobile video offers incredible opportunities to speed up business communications, offer new sales and service models and improve remote and mobile worker engagement. Your employees (and even your customers) most likely already have video-capable mobile devices (tablets, smart phones, laptops).

Now you can harness that communication potential to benefit your business. To assist you, take a look at this two-part guide that will help ensure you implement a well-thought-out, properly-sized and future-ready solution.

Part One: Understand your Requirements
As part of your mobile video solution you may need to upgrade your network. The key is to have a clear sense of what you want to accomplish and what it will take to get there before you dive in.

1. Objectives
What is your primary motivation for introducing video collaboration? Cost reductions? More effective remote-work arrangements? Eliminating or reducing travel requirements and the associated expenses? Productivity improvements? Deciding now what you want to achieve will inform many of your future buying decisions.

2. Define Success
What does a successful initiative look like for your business? For example, can you identify specific travel or training expense reductions you want to achieve? Can you define the employee productivity gains you hope to realize? Can you quantify expected improvements in sales or service? The more specific you can be, the easier it will be to demonstrate a clear return on investment (ROI).

3. Scale
How many video conferences need to take place at once? Do you need multi-party video or will simple point-to-point (two people at a time) be enough? Be prepared for employees to use it – a lot. At Avaya we discovered in rolling out our Radvision Scopia solution to 4,500 employees, that it quickly became a highly sought after—and highly productive—way to meet. You may choose to limit use initially but be ready for requests to scale up.

4. Mobility
What types of mobile video devices do you need to support? Do you want to be able to easily extend mobile video services to customers, students, patients and/or suppliers without the need to ask IT to issue a network license or provide access through the firewall?

5. Usage
Is the ability to speak face-to-face enough or do you need to be able to share presentations, spreadsheets and the like? How about legal compliance? Is there a need to record the sessions and archive them? If you are offering customer training or other services, keep in mind that High Definition (HD) video may become more important in the future.

6. Existing infrastructure
What network, communication, contact center and collaboration solutions do you currently have in place? Is it important for your mobile video solution to closely integrate with those systems? Can you add mobile video collaboration as a modular extension of your existing solution?

Part Two: Selecting a Mobile Video Solution That’s Right For Your Business
Once you have a good idea of what you want to accomplish, you can evaluate mobile video solutions to find the one that meets your needs. Here are some important considerations:

7. Bandwidth requirements.
This really can’t be overstated: video takes a lot of bandwidth. Two solutions may appear similar in price, but if one requires you to double the size of your network to support video traffic, it’s probably not the best choice. Video solutions vary dramatically in how well they manage bandwidth requirements. Look for video solutions that support strong compression standards like H.264 High Profile. Also keep in mind that a smartphone screen requires a lot less data than an HD room system monitor. Some video solutions send the same amount of data regardless of the device used to display the video. Others are able to detect endpoints (device types) and send only the data needed for that device.

8. Network considerations
Mobile workers and your customers will typically connect over non-managed networks. A few video solutions, such as Radvision Scopia, can adjust for network conditions on the fly, dropping video quality temporarily in favor of completing the transmission and then returning to full quality when conditions improve. Other solutions may simply freeze when network conditions deteriorate, or may decrease video quality for the entire session.

9. Ease of use
Mobile video can have an enormous impact on productivity… if it gets used. Avaya IP Office customers, for instance, can make use of a built-in video softphone (included in the Power User and Teleworker applications), or can easily integrate a Scopia solution. It simply becomes an extension of the system your employees are already comfortable using. Also, pay attention to usability issues like one-click access and simple conference scheduling and control features.

10. Licensing and Firewall Issues
If you need to be able to regularly extend mobile video to new users, it’s important to have a licensing system that supports any user up to a given number, rather than named users. Also, consider firewall traversal issues. A few solutions, like Scopia, have firewall traversal built into the Multipoint Conferencing Unit (MCU). Most, however, require you to purchase and manage a separate server. This needs to be factored into the solution’s total cost.

Next Step:
Avaya has mobile video solutions to fit every business need and budget. Once you have a solid understanding of your requirements, talk to your Avaya Authorized Partner (ECS) about the right mobile video solution for your business.

0-100GB in 50 microns

There’s a new standard coming for datacenter fiber backbones.  IEEE 802.3 is moving short-reach fiber optic backbones within the data center beyond 10 GB toward 40GB & 100 GB.

You might think, “glass is glass,” and that light goes in one end and comes out the other.  But, not all glass is created equal. OM1 or 62.5 micron fiber was the traditional or legacy standard for a multimodal fiber.  Then came the OM2 or 50 micron fiber which has a smaller core but actually allows for a greater throughput over greater distances.  OM3 and OM4 are 50 micron on a “turbo charger”, a laser optimized turbo charger.

To achieve 40GB support, data would operate on eight pairs of multimode OM3 or OM4 fiber optic strands.

Likewise, to achieve 100GB support, data would operate on ten pairs of multimode OM3 or OM4 fiber optic strands.

This means eight and ten lanes of 10GB support in each OM3 & OM4 direction respectively.

OM3 and OM4 are laser optimized fiber optic strands that are capable of high bandwidth at 850nm.  OM3 is rated for up to 100 meters (328’) and OM4 is rated for up to 150 meters (492’), compared to the old 62.5 micron legacy fiber at 33 meters (108’).  The new standard would bring the single mode

This is not a suggestion to gut your old fiber and install all new.  These are just some considerations to think about.  Especially when designing a datacenter, for future proofing.  It is recommended to consider, at the very least, laser optimized 50 micron.  Besides, the legacy fiber you might find at a higher price than a 50 micron solution.  And, don’t be afraid to put in extra strands, even if right now 10GB sounds like plenty.

(Article by Charles Bressler – ECS Account Manager)

AccessLine Protection of Customers Personal Information Summary

AccessLine Protection of Customers Personal Information (CPI) Summary
AccessLine places the highest priority on protecting Customer Personal Information. AccessLine has developed and maintains a set of processes and procedures to secure and control customer’s personal information (CPI) which includes:
● Subscriber name
● All credit card information (number, expiration date and billing address)
● Address
● Phone number
● Email address
● IP address
● Call history
● Fax and voicemail

NOTE: It is AccessLine’s policy to NOT collect or have access to customers’ social security number, driver license number or other information not listed above.

AccessLine’s controls have been designed to comply with Federal, State and Industry regulations. These regulations include (but are not limited to):
● Sarbanes-Oxley IT,
● Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard,
● FCC Customers Proprietary network Information (CPNI),
● Massachusetts Regulation 201 CMR 17.00 (Personal Information Data Security)

Regarding HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) requirements, AccessLine is not a “Covered Entity” or “Business Associate” as defined by the HIPAA regulations; therefore HIPAA requirements do not apply to AccessLine’s network. AccessLine simply provides a connection for you to transfer voice and data communications. It is your responsibility, however, to ensure that the applications used and the methods in which you transfer information over AccessLine’s connection are done in compliance with the HIPAA requirements. If you use AccessLine’s fax or voicemail service, you could & should incorporate their service into your privacy and security plan for HIPAA and be compliant. AccessLine simply provides a service or tool that can be used (securely) to meet Personal Information Security Regulations like Massachusetts Regulation 201 CMR 17.00 or HIPAA.

AccessLine’s processes to secure and control their customers’ personal information include the following:
● Documented employee policy that clearly identifies illegal use of CPI is a crime and cause for termination.
● Limiting access of CPI to small set of authorized employees.
● All access to CPI information requires login and password authorization.
● Review of all employees who have CPI access on a monthly basis.
● No storing of CPI in unsecure system, including but not limited to e-mail, web server logs, paper or notepads and unsecure computers or laptops.
● CPI information is never allowed to leave the facilities, except via secure courier to offsite storage.
● All CPI information is located on secure network server that is isolated from public network.
● Standard network architecture and security is employed to prevent access to internal network, including but not limited to firewalls, DMZ and security patch maintenance.
● Quarterly audit of network security by third party (PCI authorized) vendor.
● Transmitting of CPI to third party vendors is via secure private network.

AccessLine’s commitment to Customer Personal Information security is one of their highest priorities.


AccessLine Fax Service Security

AccessLine’s Fax Service security represents a step forward from industry standard faxing.

Standard fax machines print out documents upon receipt. The printouts are unprotected by Personal Identifying Numbers (PIN), and, if the fax machine is in a public office space, the information printed is at risk. By contrast, using AccessLine Fax Service, NO document is accessible without PINs and can be accessed via secure web access. AccessLine’s Customer Personal Information (CPI) Data Security Policies and Procedures ensure the information contained within the fax while stored in AccessLine’s systems is secure. See AccessLine’s Protection of Customers Personal Information Summary for details.

Proper safeguarding of PINs, customer-based fax printing processes and comprehensive CPI data security procedures are the responsibility of the service customer.


AccessLine SIP Trunking Remote Market Number

A Branch Office Anywhere In The Country For Only 50¢

Remote Market Numbers (sometimes referred to as “Foreign Exchange” numbers) let companies purchase a phone number specific to any chosen area, regardless of their current location, giving them a local presence in a market that might be across the city, across the state, or across the nation. It’s a terrific way to establish a local presence without the costs of setting up an office, commuting, or staffing. Why spend thousands of dollars establishing a branch office out of state ?

Get Remote Market Numbers For Just Pennies Apiece!
Unlike many competitors, AccessLine offers FREE installation of this feature, as well as a low monthly fee of only 50¢! Look at what some of their competitors are charging!

Qwest: Install = $41.00, Monthly = $16.00
Vonage: Install = $9.99, Monthly = $4.99
VoicePulse: Install = $7.99, Monthly = $4.99
AccessLine: Install = $0.00, Monthly = $0.50

Establish A Local Presence In Any Remote Market
Using a Remote Market Number can help expose new and untapped markets. It helps you expand your customer base to those who may be wary of doing business with an out-of state company, and also helps you reach out to customers wary of doing business with a company that only uses an 800 number. Many businesses are realizing the potential in establishing a local presence in a remote market. Businesses with a local presence often find opportunities to establish themselves as market insiders, which in turn helps them make valuable new sales connections and pick up on important changes in the local marketplace.


CCTV – Not a New Reality Show

Efficient Communication Solutions has just completed a security camera project for a local Seattle television station.  ECS assisted in expanding their current camera surveillance system which consisted of cable installation, termination, camera mounting and view adjustments.  The television station has an existing closed circuit system that did not cover all sensitive areas they wanted monitored by surveillance, including entrances, walkways, and even public locations, like reception areas.

ECS added eight camera locations including installation work on the roof, through central core areas and in the entry/reception areas.  Much of the work was done using scissor lifts, extension ladders and was done both indoors and outside.  With the new cameras, the facilities team can have instant views of all areas covered by the cameras.

The television station will be using the cameras in conjunction with and as a supplement to their access control and alarm systems for building security.  While interesting, and a must see for the station’s facility team, I don’t expect to see any of the footage on air for a new reality television show.

ECS designs, installs, and/or services Analog, IP, & Hybrid Camera Solutions for customers large and small.  Call today to discuss your surveillance needs.

(Article by Charles Bressler – ECS Account Manager)