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Objective measures - consulting for fixing a "broken" VoIP..

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Anonymous
February 21, 2005 6:27:27 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Hi, everyone,

I have a question related - mostly - to consulting services, and
possibility of matching requirements against some industry benchmarks, for
which I have no prior experience:

Problem: deployment of a Cisco Call Manager Express + Unity Express, in a
location with approximately (initially model 7912) thirty phones. Ever
since installation we have experienced problems which led to the
replacement of all phones (with new models - 7960s, then 7940s), routers
(1760 and 2600) with a 2821 and interfaces, lines with the provider, the
Unity hardware, etc.... - and still not working right.

Issue: due to lack of in-house espertise, we would like to bring in
outside consulting services (other than the ones which got us here, of
course).

Question: what kind of "verbiage" could one add to a contract, that would
tie the resolution of open problems ("hollow" echo noise, internally and
externally, low voice volume, failure of auto-attendant scripts, etc.) to
industry standards, or - differently asked - could someone point me to
OBJECTIVE measures that could be part of a contract, in regards to voice
"quality", level of performance, etc.?!?

TIA,
Papi
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 7:24:22 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Hi Papi,

Suggest you contact Jim Berbee ( who earned Cisco's 2003 U.S. Partner
of the Year Award ), let Jim know Brad Reese suggested you contact him:

http://www.berbee.com/aboutus/leadership/berbee/default...

Berbee's IP Telephony team:

A very skilled voice team, experienced in planning, designing and
implementing voice projects, evidenced by more than 40,000 phones and
3000 call center agents for multiple national sites across 200 clients.

Berbee's custom-developed IP Telephony applications, sales of which
have reached over 250,000 seats worldwide.

Deep expertise Cisco's IP Contact Center solutions.

A skilled operations team which supports our installed base of
customers.

http://www.berbee.com/partners/cisco/default.htm

Sincerely,

Brad Reese
BradReese.Com Cisco Repair Worldwide
United Kingdom: 44-20-70784294
U.S. Toll Free: 877-549-2680
International: 828-277-7272
Fax: 775-254-3558
Website: http://www.bradreese.com/cisco-big-iron-repair.htm
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 9:40:33 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

In article <pan.2005.02.21.21.27.26.329854@home.ro> papi
<papaia.a@home.ro> writes:

>Hi, everyone,

>I have a question related - mostly - to consulting services, and
>possibility of matching requirements against some industry benchmarks, for
>which I have no prior experience:

>Problem: deployment of a Cisco Call Manager Express + Unity Express, in a
>location with approximately (initially model 7912) thirty phones. Ever
>since installation we have experienced problems which led to the
>replacement of all phones (with new models - 7960s, then 7940s), routers
>(1760 and 2600) with a 2821 and interfaces, lines with the provider, the
>Unity hardware, etc.... - and still not working right.

>Issue: due to lack of in-house espertise, we would like to bring in
>outside consulting services (other than the ones which got us here, of
>course).

>Question: what kind of "verbiage" could one add to a contract, that would
>tie the resolution of open problems ("hollow" echo noise, internally and
>externally, low voice volume, failure of auto-attendant scripts, etc.) to
>industry standards, or - differently asked - could someone point me to
>OBJECTIVE measures that could be part of a contract, in regards to voice
>"quality", level of performance, etc.?!?

I hope you don't mind but I'm going to flag your post and save it in my
own archives to share with future "would-be" Cisco VOIP buyers.

Honestly, without being able to perform a site survey, it's going to be a
lot of guesswork and pure conjecture as to the root cause(s) of your
plight. Sounds like several problems at work here, all the work of or
rather result of poor engineering. Echo (hollow-sounding audio) is usually
indicative of a level problem and/or impedance mismatch where the call
transitions between the VOIP interface and the analog outside world. Turn
it down!!

If you're attempting to integrate your voice traffic into your existing
data network, you've generally got to use layer 2 Etherswitches that
perform VLan tagging and 802.1p/q quality of service. You create virtual
lans, effectively separating the voice and data traffic onto separate
VLans with the voice traffic having priority. If you have any VOIP phones
or VOIP circuits running through hubs, gather up all of the hubs and take
them over to your nearest readi-mix plant. I'm told these places use them
for driveway fill and wheel chocks for their concrete trucks. ;) 

Auto-attendant scripts failing sounds like a voicemail application
problem. There are only a few very good voice mail systems out there. All
the rest are wannabes. IMO Unity VM wouldn't make a pimple on a quality VM
system's backside.
Anonymous
February 22, 2005 8:08:03 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 15:27:27 -0600, papi wrote:

> Hi, everyone,
>
> I have a question related - mostly - to consulting services, and
> possibility of matching requirements against some industry benchmarks, for
> which I have no prior experience:

Does anybody actually know of any industry standards for VoIP quality,
measurable (and enforceable)?!? I was looking at:
http://voip-info.org/wiki-How+To+Debug+and+Troubleshoot...
but I could not find any one tool or methodology being clearly advertised
as acceptable for verification of proper implementations/deployments,
and/or numbers associated with "passing grades"...

Thx again,
papi
Anonymous
February 22, 2005 8:58:04 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 18:40:33 -0600, Mitel Lurker wrote:


> I hope you don't mind but I'm going to flag your post and save it in my
> own archives to share with future "would-be" Cisco VOIP buyers.
>
> Honestly, without being able to perform a site survey, it's going to be a
> lot of guesswork and pure conjecture as to the root cause(s) of your
> plight. Sounds like several problems at work here, all the work of or
> rather result of poor engineering. Echo (hollow-sounding audio) is usually
> indicative of a level problem and/or impedance mismatch where the call
> transitions between the VOIP interface and the analog outside world. Turn
> it down!!
>
> If you're attempting to integrate your voice traffic into your existing
> data network, you've generally got to use layer 2 Etherswitches that
> perform VLan tagging and 802.1p/q quality of service. You create virtual
> lans, effectively separating the voice and data traffic onto separate
> VLans with the voice traffic having priority. If you have any VOIP phones
> or VOIP circuits running through hubs, gather up all of the hubs and take
> them over to your nearest readi-mix plant. I'm told these places use them
> for driveway fill and wheel chocks for their concrete trucks. ;) 
>
> Auto-attendant scripts failing sounds like a voicemail application
> problem. There are only a few very good voice mail systems out there. All
> the rest are wannabes. IMO Unity VM wouldn't make a pimple on a quality VM
> system's backside.

Thank you for your reply and suggestions, but I am NOT looking into
"identifying" the problems, myself, anymore. We went through all of the
above during the initial deployment (we have everything "by the book",
from the physical layer, with cat 5e cabling, through to separate ports on
the switches, and VLANs for the phones, through to prioritization of
traffic, etc.), then went through various TACs (which actually led to
replacement of some of the equipment), etc., and the things still do not
work quite right.

What I need are some measurable parameters ("quantifiable") as a
reflection of VoIP performance ("quality"), and enforceable (or at least
acceptable) by industry standards, so that an outside expert could be held
responsible for achieving them. Tools for such will be a secondary -
obvious - need, of course.

Thx,
papi
February 22, 2005 10:59:42 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

"papi" <papaia.a@home.ro> wrote in message
news:421b1e2b$0$26596$9a6e19ea@news.newshosting.com...
> On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 18:40:33 -0600, Mitel Lurker wrote:
>
>
> > I hope you don't mind but I'm going to flag your post and save it in my
> > own archives to share with future "would-be" Cisco VOIP buyers.
> >
> > Honestly, without being able to perform a site survey, it's going to be
a
> > lot of guesswork and pure conjecture as to the root cause(s) of your
> > plight. Sounds like several problems at work here, all the work of or
> > rather result of poor engineering. Echo (hollow-sounding audio) is
usually
> > indicative of a level problem and/or impedance mismatch where the call
> > transitions between the VOIP interface and the analog outside world.
Turn
> > it down!!
> >
> > If you're attempting to integrate your voice traffic into your existing
> > data network, you've generally got to use layer 2 Etherswitches that
> > perform VLan tagging and 802.1p/q quality of service. You create virtual
> > lans, effectively separating the voice and data traffic onto separate
> > VLans with the voice traffic having priority. If you have any VOIP
phones
> > or VOIP circuits running through hubs, gather up all of the hubs and
take
> > them over to your nearest readi-mix plant. I'm told these places use
them
> > for driveway fill and wheel chocks for their concrete trucks. ;) 
> >
> > Auto-attendant scripts failing sounds like a voicemail application
> > problem. There are only a few very good voice mail systems out there.
All
> > the rest are wannabes. IMO Unity VM wouldn't make a pimple on a quality
VM
> > system's backside.
>
> Thank you for your reply and suggestions, but I am NOT looking into
> "identifying" the problems, myself, anymore. We went through all of the
> above during the initial deployment (we have everything "by the book",
> from the physical layer, with cat 5e cabling, through to separate ports on
> the switches, and VLANs for the phones, through to prioritization of
> traffic, etc.), then went through various TACs (which actually led to
> replacement of some of the equipment), etc., and the things still do not
> work quite right.
>
> What I need are some measurable parameters ("quantifiable") as a
> reflection of VoIP performance ("quality"), and enforceable (or at least
> acceptable) by industry standards, so that an outside expert could be held
> responsible for achieving them. Tools for such will be a secondary -
> obvious - need, of course.

since you have a cisco implementation - maybe you should use cisco specific
checks.

i would try using the cisco best practice guide for IP Telephony
implementations
http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/779/largeent/it/ese/sr...

there are a bunch of guides for different versions of Call Manager
>
> Thx,
> papi
>
--
Regards

Stephen Hope - return address needs fewer xxs
March 1, 2005 7:57:01 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

What you've seen in all these replies is that while there are so call
industry voice quality standards (not confined to VoIP) they are naturally
based on a users perception of what they hear.



You can put in a requirement that the results meet a particular score but
that's the same as saying "it's fixed when we think it is" and no reputable
company would agree to that (note: REPUTABLE). Add to this that whoever you
bring in knows they are working on someone else's screw-up and will want to
bill accordingly.



VoIP does work but needs to be properly engineered.



Personally I like a challenge and would work on fixing you problem just for
a reasonable hourly rate, as I'm sure many engineers would. But most of us
work for, or own, a company and that comes with a different way of doing
business. They are not going to want to be locked into a number based on
someone's perception of quality, especially if they don't know a lot about
you network and how it was put together.



If you want you could go with something like taking 1000 people off the
street have them use and rate the system on a scale of 1-10 for quality and
require a 90% score. Sounds ridiculous but if you want objective opinions
you have to go outside the company.



Good luck, I'm going to monitor this thread and would love to see what you
come up with. Feel free to email directly.


--
Randall Cohen
Sr. Systems Engineer
an alphabet soup of certifications
Email: rcohen_at_cominc_dot_net

The only thing I guaranty about my free advice is that it's mine and it's
free.
!