VoIP solution centre answers users' questions

A new VoIP performance management solution centre helps IT professionals to answer VoIP network questions

In one of the latest efforts to disentangle the confusion about VoIP solutions , Fluke Networks has launched a VoIP Performance Management Solution Centre.

VoIP continues to attract a lot of attention, but VoIP deployments and widespread use have slowed, according to a recent study by Forrester Research.

"Enterprises are aggressively moving forward with experiments and limited deployments," Forrester indicated. "More customers are evaluating these technologies or conducting initial rollouts than ever before; only their complete deployments are stalled."

 Offering nine technical documents that cover VoIP management and its basic concepts, the Solution Center helps explain to potential VoIP users why voice over IP is not just another application. The Solution Center's documents cover topics ranging from "VoIP performance management in the converged network" to "VoIP basics for IT technicians."

"Voice is a different entity," said Mary Gary, Web editor for Fluke Networks. "What we want visitors to carry away from the VoIP Performance Management Solutions Center is that there are lots of solutions."

Fluke Networks has found that customers are actively using its Solution Center to learn more about how to manage VoIP in a converged network environment, specifically a VoIP and ATM converged network.

For one visitor, Fluke Networks' Solution Center provided insight into locating network problems as they crop up.

"One of the hidden problems with VoIP is that when you put voice on your data network, there's the problem that if you get a virus on your data network, if it's not totally secure, your phone system is just as subject to the issues affecting your data network," said Lance Stovall, COO of iElement Inc., a company with eight offices across the country providing telecommunications services for small and midsized businesses.

Stovall and his team at iElement were happy to find information on the VoIP Solution Center that helped them better understand how IT services were being affected by VoIP on their LAN. Their favorite aspect of the Solution Center is that so much of the information that has been helpful to them is located in one spot.

Centered mostly around case studies, product information and technical documentation, the VoIP Solution Center also provides users with virtual product demonstrations and a knowledge base of customer-related solutions.

The VoIP Performance Management Solution Center was a tool Jeremy Carter found almost by accident. Assistant director of IT for Bartholomew County in Indiana, Carter was looking for new network testing tools not long after taking the position with the county, and while searching for these tools, he stumbled upon the Solution Center.

For Carter, this proved to be a stroke of luck, as the existing VoIP system at Bartholomew County had some lingering problems left over from implementation. As the county wants to eventually expand its VoIP network to the local hospital and increase usage of its current videoconferencing capabilities, Carter needed to be sure the existing VoIP network was 100% up to date.

Using the information he found on Fluke's Solution Center enabled Carter to ensure that the VoIP system was running at the levels required.

"The information on the Web site allowed us to compare the options and decide what we would need to help ensure the quality and uptime of our network," he said.

Relying on the philosophy that IT professionals are searching for more than a sales pitch when they look at various VoIP solutions, Fluke Networks has found that the addition of the VoIP Performance Management Solution Center to its Web site has brought about an increase in the number of multiple downloads that visitors are performing.

"VoIP covers several areas, including data, voice and IP groups," said Matt Gowarty, solution marketing manager for Fluke Networks. "The VoIP performance management Solution Center is not a configuration tool. But it will provide information that answers users' questions and encourages them to think through the whole portfolio of VoIP."

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