Technology is advancing quickly. Keeping up with innovation means your business must take steps to understand how a specific technology works and if or how that technology can benefit your company’s operations. These factors are equally as consistent within the communication industry. With business being more global than ever and digital becoming more and more prevalent across all sectors, an advanced, dependable communication structure must be put in place.
Incorporating a dependable structure may be your goal, or you may possibly believe you already have a suitable structure in place. The only way to know for sure is by conducting a full network assessment. This is the most comprehensive way of detailing the capabilities of your current network and what specifically needs to be added to have a productive network moving forward.
Breaking Down a Thorough Network Assessment
The logical question after understanding the need for a network assessment is what goes into it. And while it must be noted that network assessments will differ depending on the company conducting it, we’ll discuss some of the main features that Unity Connected Solutions feels is essential when conducting our assessments.
A physical inventory of all the equipment being used is a good place to start. This includes all the model names and current version of code, along with any configurations. How all of this equipment is set up together with the network, including overall design, is another detail that needs analysis.
With all new installations catering to IP telephony technology, it becomes necessary to determine whether the current network you have in place can be configured to handle software like IP telephony or VoIP. This is done over multiple days of measuring packet loss, jitter, and delay on a per-minute basis, and some determining tests can even be run prior to a formal network assessment.
Once it is determined that your network is ready for an IP system, we can move on to configuring your network so it is fully optimized. For instance, an assessment may determine how much and what type of traffic is running through your current network. We may find there is no problem with the bandwidth, but that employees are using too much of that bandwidth on non-business applications such as YouTube or Facebook. This is crucial, as some networks cannot distinguish voice traffic from Internet traffic. As voice traffic is sensitive to delays and the amount of bandwidth available, it can be severely limiting to your communication depending on the number of employees and devices you have sharing a single network.
While we mentioned that network assessments can vary by company, Unity Connected has the advantage of approaching an assessment from the perspective of actually selling IP telephony and video conferencing software. This gives us a particular insight not understood by the large majority of companies performing network assessments. We will be able to more accurately determine how your current network will respond to IP telephony and whether upgrades will be needed to further support solutions like QoS or PoE.
None of this is possible until you, as a business owner, take the proactive approach of conducting a network assessment. It shouldn’t be viewed as an optional strategy but more like an essential tool to operating your communication infrastructure on a high level. For more information on the services that Unity Connected Solutions offers, please visit the company web site.