Infovista Identifies Key Trends Driving Enterprise VOIP Deployments

IT Organisations Want Visibility, Performance Management, Access to Data and Greater Control..

.Paris, France and Herndon, VA (United States), April 12 2006As Voice over IP (VoIP) deployments move from pilot stages and small-scale projects towards company-wide initiatives, InfoVista (NASDAQ: IVTA; Euronext IFV – FR0004031649), the leading service-centric performance management software company, has identified three key trends that are driving mainstream VoIP adoption in the enterprise: A service-centric performance management strategy, tailored reporting for distinctly different enterprise users, and a real-time, granular snapshot of the user experience. According to a new report by Juniper Research, the market for VoIP business services is set to reach $18 billion by 2010. In a separate report by Integrated Research, based on a survey of 1,232 executives worldwide, 78 per cent of large companies say they are deploying IP telephony, largely to enhance communications with IP applications and services such as video conferencing. With business critical applications like voice and video now running on IP networks, guaranteeing uptime, performance and service levels is vital. While the excitement and promise of VoIP is real, organisations have been cautious in their deployments due to a lack of end-to-end visibility into network performance, and the inability to manage the call quality and reliability that users have come to expect from traditional public switched telephone networks (PSTN).

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Robust performance management tools will allow enterprise IT departments to aggregate data and use it for baselining, trending, capacity planning and Quality of Service (QoS) monitoring; enable reporting from the service and device levels so that IT organisations can correlate business metrics to IT performance; and provide faster problem resolution."Enterprise users need the right tools to manage the performance of IP networks in order to undertake enterprise-wide VoIP deployments with confidence," said George Hamilton, director of Enterprise Computing and Networking at Yankee Group. "The next generation of performance management vendors will measure operational benefits from the customer’s point of view, using metrics like increased uptime, cost savings and time-to-value. InfoVista has leveraged its history working with large IP networks to develop a strong solution for managing VoIP in the enterprise. Its product delivers the visibility and data that enable IT organisations to assure application performance and quality of end-user experience.

; InfoVista has identified the following three key trends that will drive enterprise VoIP deployments and give IT organisations the confidence to spearhead company-wide IP initiatives: A Service-Centric Performance Management StrategyDue to its cross-silo nature and the fact that data, voice and video are converging onto one network, enterprise IP telephony is complex to deploy and significantly impacts IT resources across the enterprise. Often these factors work against an organisation’s ability to deliver high-quality IP telephony services and a superior experience to users, particularly as deployments mature through the production stage. By establishing a committed QoS strategy IT organisations can differentiate between types of traffic, prioritise the traffic based on business goals and service level requirements and minimise congestion. This service-centric approach to performance management allows organisations to manage IP telephony as a service by monitoring application, system and network infrastructure components for reliability, performance and capacity. This uses the quality of the end-user experience as the objective measurement of service quality, enabling IT managers to meet increasingly stringent SLAs and deliver differentiated service offerings.

Tailored Reporting for Distinctly Different Enterprise UsersIT organisations must be a tightly run ship, with all parties being informed and accountable, particularly as unproven IP-based projects are adopted and implemented. Today, all members of IT see the same data and reports without any distinction between who needs to know what, and they are demanding tailored information, greater intelligence and more value in reporting. The next phase of IP network management will provide the three key users within an IT organisation – the CIO, the operation director and the administrator – with dashboards and reports that will deliver real-time information they need to do their jobs. · CIO: The CIO needs a big picture view for their most critical issues – customer experience, overall network performance and infrastructure investment. They need to keep tabs on their largest customers and be alerted to degradations in their experience. The CIO also wants a holistic, service quality snapshot at that moment and over time, as well as a view into the reliability of the service, how widely it is being used throughout the organisation and the pace of adoption.

This information lets the CIO determine ongoing infrastructure investment and what the ROI has been for business users, helping him prove that his investment was sound.· Operation Director: In addition to having access to the CIO-level view, the operation director needs access to more granular reporting. They must identify services, resources and users at risk now and in the future, as well as gather information about abnormal usage. The operation director needs a daily report to gauge if the network is operating at proper levels of performance, which users are experemcing low service performance and if the infrastructure is VoIP ready today, and over time. This information allows them to accurately determine if, and where, additional resources need to be deployed.

· Administrator: The administrator is the troubleshooter that is relying on real-time reports and manages the network by exception. They are looking at the dashboard, quickly locating the problem and addressing service quality degradation. While also keeping abreast of what the operation director and CIO see, the administrator needs a tool that can directly map services and resources, and identify the source of performance degradation that is affecting a particular service for faster problem resolution. Real-Time, Granular Snapshot of User ExperienceCore quality measurements, such as the ability to track packet loss, jitter, and latency, are critical for measuring the actual end-user experience. Most solutions available today give enterprises the capability to measure end-to-end core quality but aggregate the data, limiting that measurement to one assessment per conversation.

This provides a general sense of overall quality but may not be reflective of the real user perspective. Most performance hiccups happen intermittently and the challenge for IT is to spot those instances, obtain a clear quality assessment of the user experience, and address degradations before end-users feel the impact. In addition to aggregated data, IT organisations need a granular account of the network behavior that lets them know whether or not demanding SLAs are being met. This approach allows IT managers to think on a global scale but also retain the granularity of information that allows them to pinpoint problems at the service level, truly measuring – and not approximating – end-user experience. "The challenge with managing IP applications in the enterprise is two-fold," said Bruno Zerbib, director of product management, network solutions for InfoVista. "First there is the complexity of the applications themselves because they are cross-silo and span applications, system components and core network resources.

Second, IP telephony has evolved into a business-critical application and with this comes the urgent need to guarantee quality and service levels, make greater investments into infrastructure and then be able to justify that investment. By providing IT organisations with proactive management tools, detailed data and cross-enterprise visibility, InfoVista gives them the tools they need to make IP telephony deployments successful and lucrative."