Reality Check: How Hard Are IP Phones, Really?
Case Study: With Internet Protocol telephone systems, network managers need new tools to make sure calls go throughand don't sound like gibberish.Fidelity Investments, the Boston-based financial services firm, uses voice-over-IP technology in most of its international offices to save on long-distance charges to other Fidelity locations. To date, its put IP-based phones on the desks of about 10% of its 30,000 employees. Mike Brady, Fidelitys senior vice president of telecommunications, leads a team that runs the voice networks and ensures calls meets the companys quality standards. Its a tough job, not least of which is because hes usually thousands of miles away from the people who need his help.
But the trickiest part, Brady says, stems from the fact that data networks were not intended to carry voice. Theyre resilient for data: IP networks automatically reroute transmissions if one network segment fails. The trouble is, that trait can absolutely murder phone calls, because increasing the time it takes for the data that comprises a voice call to reach its destinationby even a quarter of a secondcan turn a conversation into gibberish.