Tag Archives: Internet

Voice in the Cloud

What do you have when you integrate business class IP phones, a PC interface with advanced PBX management functions plus a wide array of user features, high definition voice, as well as local and long distance service, all provided from the cloud on a unified platform?…InfoTalk Pro.

InfoTalk Pro, the latest product of InfoStructure, represents a new era of IP cloud communications, where voice and data are uniquely unified on the desktop to provide a powerful communications application. With extensive telephony functions accessible through your browser interface, you can now simply point-and-click your way to making new calls, accessing your call history, dialing an employee’s extension, managing your user features, originating a conference call, administering new phone numbers, receiving calls, and much more. All of the functionality is “hosted” in the InfoStructure network, relieving you of the standard PBX maintenance responsibility and associated costs. And because InfoTalk Pro is provided as a managed service, not a phone system, you don’t incur the huge capital cost in purchasing a traditional PBX system!

In addition to cost savings, InfoTalk Pro translates into many other benefits:

 Flexibility – real time moves, ads & changes
 Productivity – ease and speed of use
 Scalability – grows with your business
 Mobility – usable via the Internet anywhere on the planet
 Reliability – maintained by InfoStructure 7 X 24 for you
 Controllability – user and management system controls

To receive a quote for your business on InfoTalk Pro, give us a call at 541-842-8214 or visit our website section on Unified Communications.

The Weak Link

Sophisticated IP cloud app’s work only as good as the network supporting them. The greater the reliability on cloud services, the more attention your network connection should receive.

Hosted VoIP is an excellent example. By hosted VoIP, we’re referring to an IP-cloud phone service where PBX functionality resides on an application server maintained by your service provider and is usually sold on a per-user-seat basis. Typically, with hosted phone applications, your provider also bundles the network call paths over which VoIP is carried. With the refinement of VoIP core-network technology over the past decade by the likes of Cisco, Argent, BroadSoft and Sonus,  the quality of VoIP has increased substantially. For that matter, the core of major IP networks, wherein transport, signaling and hosted functions  are provided, now operates at  levels of performance  comparable to traditional TDM networks. So why is VoIP still perceived to be inferior to traditional TDM services?

One major issue with hosted VoIP is often in the local network transport   – the Internet broadband connection –  and it’s usually the easiest part of the problem to solve. The problem may be as simple as insufficient bandwidth on your connection. With voice and data converged over the same facility, it stands to reason that your bandwidth, once used just for Internet data transport, must be increased to accommodate your hosted voice traffic. Yet, even if the bandwidth is sized correctly, there will be occasion when prioritizing voice packets will be necessary when they compete with your data packets for the same broadband pipe. A split second delay in a data download is usually more tolerable (and less noticed) than a disconnected phone call, which could occur with hosted VoIP with the exact same packet delay. Packet prioritization is usually accomplished by your LAN router.

In addition to pipe size and packet priority, the type of Internet broadband that you use will also affect your hosted VoIP quality. DSL, for example, is the most popular type of high speed Internet used by small businesses. DSL, however, is supported by a contention-based network. That means your packets, prioritized and sent successfully from you LAN over your DSL connection, still have to “contend” for transport onto the Internet once they reach the other side of the local DSL facility. If the DSL aggregation point (DSLAM) is experiencing a high load of your provider’s traffic, your packets will be delayed, and your hosted VoIP call degraded. It’s often that simple.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Your network connection may be it!