Telecom Tips

VOIP Quality Monitoring 101

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Proactively monitoring every VoIP call allows the telecom manager to solve customer call service problems with more efficiency and improve high-end service selling capabilities. Using a vendor-neutral third-party voice quality monitoring tool provides insight into where issues are occurring

Voice Quality Culprits 

A quality issue for a given endpoint could be a PC issue, a data network issue, a voice routing issue, a Windows server oriented problem, or an IP phone system configuration issue. Finger-pointing, both internally and among vendors involved, can often happen when it comes to tracking down problems with a Unified Communications (UC) system. 

Often it is difficult to determine the cause when users experience voice issues. Issues could be the result of: 

  • Hardware device failure 

  • Cable connection problems 

  • T1 Circuit issues 

  • Voice traffic traveling over the public internet 

  • Bandwidth limits exceeded 

  • Carrier related errors 

The best way to determine what is causing the issue is to use a vendor-neutral voice quality monitoring tool. The tool can pinpoint where the problems are occurring and can offer steps to remedy the issue.  

If you are business is having voice quality problems with your VoIP please give us a shout and we can help diagnose the problem and fix it.

Need a Vanity Toll Free Number for Your Business?

A toll free number can be handy for your customers especially if it's an easy to remember vanity number.

When I set up Caisson years ago, I wanted a vanity toll free.  I used TollFreeNumbers.com a try and they helped me secure (844)CAISSON for a nominal fee.  

They make toll free number vanity registration a breeze and they are professional to work with.

If your business needs to secure a new Toll Free Number or would like to get a Vanity Toll Free Number I recommend giving TollFreeNumbers.com a try. 

Use discount code CAISSON during the checkout process and get 15% off!

Understanding business Ethernet services from Comcast Business

This is a cool whitepaper explaining business Ethernet service from ComcastBusiness.

Click the Read More link below to view the water paper.

A highlight from the paper:

"One of the most appealing aspects of Ethernet services is that it uses the same fundamental Ethernet LAN technologies familiar to IT personnel. Businesses can leverage this to have a common pool of resources to manage both their LANs and WANs."

Caisson is an authorized agent of ComcastBusiness. That means we're certified to sell its services at the same price as its inside sales team. Call us today to qualify your business location for business Ethernet services. Direct at (206) 420-0140.

Dedicated Internet Monitoring - Now Free with Integra DIA Services

Starting on October 1st, Integra will be integrating bandwidth reporting tools into their IntegraCare online customer portal.

The Network Utilization Monitoring tool will be available with any and all Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) circuits such as; T1, Bonded T1, EoTDM, EoC, and EoF services.

Integra's DIA services start as low as $399 for 10Mb Business Connect Bundle that includes 6 voice channels, 2000 min of LD, web hosting, email, conference calling and 8 Static IPs.

"Fax Never Busy" feature is dead, R.I.P. What to do now.

For small businesses that rely on faxes, one of my favorite features has always been Fax Never Busy. Unfortunately, as with many legacy features these days, Fax Never Busy is going away.

Business phone and Internet provider, Integra Telecom was one of the last carriers to offer this feature. It just notified me today that Fax Never Busy is no longer available. Part of its move to modernize its platforms.

Fax Never Busy was a function of the old Octel Voicemail platform. A few years ago, Intregra moved from a traditional voicemail platform to a new soft switch voicemail platform. Still, it kept the old platform up and working. Until now. 

Here are two alternatives: 

We can place a Call Forward Busy feature on your POTS line. This will make is so that when the line is busy/being used additional in-bound calls will be forwarded to a virtual fax number that will receive and store the fax as a PDF in the cloud. Email notification is an option on this, so customers can receive faxes as PDFs attached to emails right away. You can receive and print the PDFs you are sent.

The inconvenience of this is that there's a storage capacity limit, so you'll have to go in and clear out old PDFs every so often.

Alternatively, you can get a secondary fax line (and machine).

As with all telecom, these alternatives are customizable. Which of these you go with, if either, depends on your unique business needs.

For example, I am working with a customer right now who does not want his faxes to go to email. He wants them to come off a fax machine. So we are working to determine how many lines (and machines) he needs.

Let me know if you have any questions about what's right for your business. I can give you pricing on a variety of configurations. My direct line is (206) 420-0140.

Definitely Know What's In Your SLA. Here's CenturyLink's.

When ordering Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) from any business phone and Internet provider it's important to familiarize yourself with the Service Level Agreement (SLA) backing the services you're considering.

Here is CenturyLink's Internet Port SLA, for those of you considering CenturyLink.

Specifically, here's what a SLA gives business customers:

  • Guaranteed uptime
  • Guaranteed speed
  • Guaranteed trouble resolution

No SLA from your provider? Then they give what's called a "best effort" agreement. No guarantees. That's why at Caisson, we strongly recommend services that come with SLAs.

If you would like to discuss SLA's or Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), please give me a call direct at (206) 420-0140 or contact us.

About Brian Wade

Brian Wade is founder and president of telecom brokerage, Caisson Technologies. He has worked in telecom for 15 years with experience as a customer care representative, service provisioner and sales representative. He launched Caisson in 2005. He writes about telecom products, promotions and industry trends on his blog.

About Caisson

Caisson Technologies is a northwest-based telecommunications consulting company. We sell the business phone and Internet services of over 40 telecom providers, including CenturyLink. We're the better way to buy because we work with the service providers so you don't have to. We're here longterm, so you always know who to call. And we save you money, typically 20 - 30%. Plus, our consulting is free. Here's how.

We're easy to reach at (206) 420-0140.

Fiber service is likely available at your location already

I was reminded again this week just how available Enterprise Fiber is to businesses in the urban core. It's very available.

This is due in part to cellular service providers, who had to build Fiber to provider 4G service to customers months or years ago. Cellular towers have had to go from T1s to Fiber as their data needs have grown. To do this, they've contracted with telecom providers, like Integra Telecom and tw telecom to get that Fiber built ASAP. Business customers that need fast Internet can tap into this network and get Fiber service to their business locations.

I'm working with a number of organizations on Fiber solutions at the moment, including one where we are splicing into a cellular provider's existing Fiber build. That's what made me think to send this tip to you. 

Want to know if your business's new or existing location qualifies for Fiber service? I can answer that for you. Just give me a ring direct at (206) 420-0140. Or, to learn more about my company visit: Caisson Technologies.

To Cancel Service, Cancel Your Contract's Auto Renew

If you want to cancel your business phone or internet service, make sure you contact your telecom provider's customer care department early and often to notify them that you do not want your contract to auto renewed.  For documentation, get confirmation of that request in written or email format. Need help? Call us.

Confirm Your Contract Activation Date With Your Provider

When it comes to the term of your contract, telecom service providers go by service activation date, also known as contract execution date. They do not go by signature dates, contrary to what you might think. Always check with your provider's customer care department to get the contract start date that they have on record before considering changes to your business telecom products and services. Or call us. We'll help.