Preparing for Race Day: Skype for Business and Call Quality
March 29, 2017
Professional race car drivers know the benefits of track testing their cars before a race. During this pre-race activity, drivers to take their cars out on the track and determine what adjustments need to be made to the car to ensure peak performance for the race.
Skipping this step could result in losing the race because the car didn’t have its suspension adjusted to match the track or worse: result in a fiery crash because the tires didn’t have enough grip.
The same situation exists for Skype for Business deployments. Just because your infrastructure works well with a Cisco, Avaya, Mitel, or Shoretel phone system doesn’t mean it will work well for Skype for Business.
The Skype for Business codecs are different as are the network requirements to support them. This can catch a lot of UC teams off guard because they aren’t aware of how the codecs impact the network which can result in unanticipated network issues.
The best way to approach this is to execute some “test drives” of Skype for Business communications around your environment and measure the results. Being able to do this with actual calls doesn’t render the appropriate measurements needed to detect problems – for example, you’ll need to perform synthetic testing of calls in the environment to determine what happens when you have 25 calls using RTAudio flying from site to site at the same time.
Also, most organizations are not limiting their Skype for Business deployments to audio. If you are supporting audio, video, and screen sharing, additional testing must be done using the various supported codecs to ensure that you cover all of the features that your users would be using.
With each codec, you should focus on the standard Latency, Jitter, and Loss seen between endpoints. Equally important: measuring out-of-order reception and DSCP tag loss along the path.
To test all of this, use a solution that supports emulating all of the Skype for Business codecs: Silk, Siren, RTAudio, RTVideo, H.264, and at various bandwidth levels.
PathSolutions Call Simulator now supports all of the Skype for Business codecs, making for quick and easy test-drive calls around the environment without requiring hardware agents, or setting up remote agents on computers in remote offices. It’s also license-unlimited, so you have as many agents you need for testing and troubleshooting—whether its multiple remote offices or a large group of work-at-home users.