The nicest thing anyone would say about me when I was a Purchasing Agent is that he is a tough one, all business. I had one caveat all my suppliers had to follow “Make me look good”. That meant after your company was selected as a supplier the less I heard about your company from those in the field the better I looked, and every new supplier was crystal clear on that message.
Purchasing telecommunications equipment was much easier then than it is now. When TDM PBX’s ruled the marketplace they controlled development and troubleshooting on everything from the handset to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). The same thing could be said about the Carriers, they controlled everything from the CO to the PBX. If a voice quality issue was discovered a single vendor meeting between the PBX representatives and Carrier would eliminate almost any issue. Not so today.
IP PBX Manufacture’s and VoIP Dial Tone suppliers have a third, fourth and even fifth party to contend with and all these players have a very important part in ensuring voice quality. If even one player drops the preverbal ball, poor voice quality results. The companies involved today that were not involved 10 years ago are the customers LAN (Network Data Switches), WAN (Routers and WAN Accelerators) and Firewall (VPN etc). These products are manufactured by hundreds of companies and the combination of these various pieces of equipment are infinite. Now throw in a carrier that is unwilling to go the extra mile in selecting the proper codec or fine tuning their network equipment to eliminate voice quality issues and you have a real problems in the making.
What is the answer? Decision Makers: Involve your Telephony equipment supplier when purchasing any data network hardware or Carrier Services. They have become the de facto experts on setting up LAN’s and WAN’s due to the unforgiving nature of VoIP traffic. They will not only look out for your interests today, but make sure you are considering the future benefits and potential savings into your selection process. We are here to “Make you look good”.