Empirix Conference Bridge Monitor Keeps Calls Clean

The solution verifies conference server availability, performance and participants’ voice quality and provides reliability management functions.

conference calls and network quality

Network performance visibility specialist Empirix is looking to help small businesses clean up their conference call quality with the launch of conference bridge monitoring application that duplicates customers’ experiences during conference calls, then using them as the key measurement of quality.

The solution verifies conference server availability, performance, uptime and participants’ voice quality and provides quality and reliability management functions such as alarming and notification for bridge application and voice quality issues during conference calls.

Using data collected through network probes, the Conference Bridge Monitoring Solution provides a drill down to help network operators pinpoint if a specific phone number, carrier, location or conference bridge server is having a problem.

Empirix CEO John D’Anna told eWEEK the target customer for this solution is hosted conference bridge vendors, service providers and large scale enterprises in banking, health care and other verticals.

"The small business space is addressed through ensuring service providers are able to maintain their high level service level agreements and service quality in the industry," he said. "Through hosted conference bridge vendors, and service providers adopting the Empirix solution, they will be able to ensure small business are getting quality, availability, and performance demanded in their SLAs."

The platform also offers real-time reporting for key performance indicators (KPIs) that provide business intelligence and decreased mean time to recognize problems and helping ensure that collaboration tools are performing as expected.

The KPIs include call pass\fail and length, hung call metrics, time-to-connect to conference, interactive voice response menu and system response times and participant voice latency and delay.

The solution, which can work as a stand-alone solution or integrate with existing network management infrastructures, also provides network operations staff with active, real-time performance alerts and passive monitoring of network data.

The heart of the solution’s capabilities is its voice-based testing model, which automatically sets up conference bridges of up to eight participants, dials into the conference and plays audio clips. It then captures the audio on the other side of the bridge and evaluates it for degradation using the industry-standard Perceptual Evaluation of Speech Quality (PESQ) algorithm.

Finally, dashboard alarms alert network management staff to irregularities with a KPI that may signal a quality problem if it arises.

Each customer implementation is based on that business' specific needs and tailored to their infrastructure, largely based on size and scope. Pricing is based on the number of bridges, bridge locations and caller locations, D'Anna noted.

"Today, conference calls are how business and collaboration get done. Business travel has decreased making conferencing the norm, and is an essential tool for conducting business," he said. "Additionally, network operations teams depend on conferencing as a way of troubleshooting network and communications issues inside a network. Without these critical services, teams are unable to resolve complex problems that require disparate resources to work together."