Objective measures - consulting for fixing a "broken" VoIP deployment

Discussion in 'VOIP' started by papi, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. papi

    papi Guest

    Hi, everyone,

    I have a question related - mostly - to consulting services, and
    possibility of matching requirements against some industry benchmarks, for
    which I have no prior experience:

    Problem: deployment of a Cisco Call Manager Express + Unity Express, in a
    location with approximately (initially model 7912) thirty phones. Ever
    since installation we have experienced problems which led to the
    replacement of all phones (with new models - 7960s, then 7940s), routers
    (1760 and 2600) with a 2821 and interfaces, lines with the provider, the
    Unity hardware, etc.... - and still not working right.

    Issue: due to lack of in-house espertise, we would like to bring in
    outside consulting services (other than the ones which got us here, of
    course).

    Question: what kind of "verbiage" could one add to a contract, that would
    tie the resolution of open problems ("hollow" echo noise, internally and
    externally, low voice volume, failure of auto-attendant scripts, etc.) to
    industry standards, or - differently asked - could someone point me to
    OBJECTIVE measures that could be part of a contract, in regards to voice
    "quality", level of performance, etc.?!?

    TIA,
    Papi
    papi, Feb 21, 2005
    #1
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  2. papi

    BradReeseCom Guest

    Hi Papi,

    Suggest you contact Jim Berbee ( who earned Cisco's 2003 U.S. Partner
    of the Year Award ), let Jim know Brad Reese suggested you contact him:

    http://www.berbee.com/aboutus/leadership/berbee/default.htm

    Berbee's IP Telephony team:

    A very skilled voice team, experienced in planning, designing and
    implementing voice projects, evidenced by more than 40,000 phones and
    3000 call center agents for multiple national sites across 200 clients.

    Berbee's custom-developed IP Telephony applications, sales of which
    have reached over 250,000 seats worldwide.

    Deep expertise Cisco's IP Contact Center solutions.

    A skilled operations team which supports our installed base of
    customers.

    http://www.berbee.com/partners/cisco/default.htm

    Sincerely,

    Brad Reese
    BradReese.Com Cisco Repair Worldwide
    United Kingdom: 44-20-70784294
    U.S. Toll Free: 877-549-2680
    International: 828-277-7272
    Fax: 775-254-3558
    Website: http://www.bradreese.com/cisco-big-iron-repair.htm
    BradReeseCom, Feb 22, 2005
    #2
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  3. papi

    Mitel Lurker Guest

    In article <> papi
    <> writes:

    >Hi, everyone,


    >I have a question related - mostly - to consulting services, and
    >possibility of matching requirements against some industry benchmarks, for
    >which I have no prior experience:


    >Problem: deployment of a Cisco Call Manager Express + Unity Express, in a
    >location with approximately (initially model 7912) thirty phones. Ever
    >since installation we have experienced problems which led to the
    >replacement of all phones (with new models - 7960s, then 7940s), routers
    >(1760 and 2600) with a 2821 and interfaces, lines with the provider, the
    >Unity hardware, etc.... - and still not working right.


    >Issue: due to lack of in-house espertise, we would like to bring in
    >outside consulting services (other than the ones which got us here, of
    >course).


    >Question: what kind of "verbiage" could one add to a contract, that would
    >tie the resolution of open problems ("hollow" echo noise, internally and
    >externally, low voice volume, failure of auto-attendant scripts, etc.) to
    >industry standards, or - differently asked - could someone point me to
    >OBJECTIVE measures that could be part of a contract, in regards to voice
    >"quality", level of performance, etc.?!?


    I hope you don't mind but I'm going to flag your post and save it in my
    own archives to share with future "would-be" Cisco VOIP buyers.

    Honestly, without being able to perform a site survey, it's going to be a
    lot of guesswork and pure conjecture as to the root cause(s) of your
    plight. Sounds like several problems at work here, all the work of or
    rather result of poor engineering. Echo (hollow-sounding audio) is usually
    indicative of a level problem and/or impedance mismatch where the call
    transitions between the VOIP interface and the analog outside world. Turn
    it down!!

    If you're attempting to integrate your voice traffic into your existing
    data network, you've generally got to use layer 2 Etherswitches that
    perform VLan tagging and 802.1p/q quality of service. You create virtual
    lans, effectively separating the voice and data traffic onto separate
    VLans with the voice traffic having priority. If you have any VOIP phones
    or VOIP circuits running through hubs, gather up all of the hubs and take
    them over to your nearest readi-mix plant. I'm told these places use them
    for driveway fill and wheel chocks for their concrete trucks. ;)

    Auto-attendant scripts failing sounds like a voicemail application
    problem. There are only a few very good voice mail systems out there. All
    the rest are wannabes. IMO Unity VM wouldn't make a pimple on a quality VM
    system's backside.
    Mitel Lurker, Feb 22, 2005
    #3
  4. papi

    papi Guest

    Re: Objective measures - anybody?!?

    On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 15:27:27 -0600, papi wrote:

    > Hi, everyone,
    >
    > I have a question related - mostly - to consulting services, and
    > possibility of matching requirements against some industry benchmarks, for
    > which I have no prior experience:


    Does anybody actually know of any industry standards for VoIP quality,
    measurable (and enforceable)?!? I was looking at:
    http://voip-info.org/wiki-How To Debug and Troubleshoot VOIP
    but I could not find any one tool or methodology being clearly advertised
    as acceptable for verification of proper implementations/deployments,
    and/or numbers associated with "passing grades"...

    Thx again,
    papi
    papi, Feb 22, 2005
    #4
  5. papi

    papi Guest

    On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 18:40:33 -0600, Mitel Lurker wrote:


    > I hope you don't mind but I'm going to flag your post and save it in my
    > own archives to share with future "would-be" Cisco VOIP buyers.
    >
    > Honestly, without being able to perform a site survey, it's going to be a
    > lot of guesswork and pure conjecture as to the root cause(s) of your
    > plight. Sounds like several problems at work here, all the work of or
    > rather result of poor engineering. Echo (hollow-sounding audio) is usually
    > indicative of a level problem and/or impedance mismatch where the call
    > transitions between the VOIP interface and the analog outside world. Turn
    > it down!!
    >
    > If you're attempting to integrate your voice traffic into your existing
    > data network, you've generally got to use layer 2 Etherswitches that
    > perform VLan tagging and 802.1p/q quality of service. You create virtual
    > lans, effectively separating the voice and data traffic onto separate
    > VLans with the voice traffic having priority. If you have any VOIP phones
    > or VOIP circuits running through hubs, gather up all of the hubs and take
    > them over to your nearest readi-mix plant. I'm told these places use them
    > for driveway fill and wheel chocks for their concrete trucks. ;)
    >
    > Auto-attendant scripts failing sounds like a voicemail application
    > problem. There are only a few very good voice mail systems out there. All
    > the rest are wannabes. IMO Unity VM wouldn't make a pimple on a quality VM
    > system's backside.


    Thank you for your reply and suggestions, but I am NOT looking into
    "identifying" the problems, myself, anymore. We went through all of the
    above during the initial deployment (we have everything "by the book",
    from the physical layer, with cat 5e cabling, through to separate ports on
    the switches, and VLANs for the phones, through to prioritization of
    traffic, etc.), then went through various TACs (which actually led to
    replacement of some of the equipment), etc., and the things still do not
    work quite right.

    What I need are some measurable parameters ("quantifiable") as a
    reflection of VoIP performance ("quality"), and enforceable (or at least
    acceptable) by industry standards, so that an outside expert could be held
    responsible for achieving them. Tools for such will be a secondary -
    obvious - need, of course.

    Thx,
    papi
    papi, Feb 22, 2005
    #5
  6. papi

    stephen Guest

    "papi" <> wrote in message
    news:421b1e2b$0$26596$...
    > On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 18:40:33 -0600, Mitel Lurker wrote:
    >
    >
    > > I hope you don't mind but I'm going to flag your post and save it in my
    > > own archives to share with future "would-be" Cisco VOIP buyers.
    > >
    > > Honestly, without being able to perform a site survey, it's going to be

    a
    > > lot of guesswork and pure conjecture as to the root cause(s) of your
    > > plight. Sounds like several problems at work here, all the work of or
    > > rather result of poor engineering. Echo (hollow-sounding audio) is

    usually
    > > indicative of a level problem and/or impedance mismatch where the call
    > > transitions between the VOIP interface and the analog outside world.

    Turn
    > > it down!!
    > >
    > > If you're attempting to integrate your voice traffic into your existing
    > > data network, you've generally got to use layer 2 Etherswitches that
    > > perform VLan tagging and 802.1p/q quality of service. You create virtual
    > > lans, effectively separating the voice and data traffic onto separate
    > > VLans with the voice traffic having priority. If you have any VOIP

    phones
    > > or VOIP circuits running through hubs, gather up all of the hubs and

    take
    > > them over to your nearest readi-mix plant. I'm told these places use

    them
    > > for driveway fill and wheel chocks for their concrete trucks. ;)
    > >
    > > Auto-attendant scripts failing sounds like a voicemail application
    > > problem. There are only a few very good voice mail systems out there.

    All
    > > the rest are wannabes. IMO Unity VM wouldn't make a pimple on a quality

    VM
    > > system's backside.

    >
    > Thank you for your reply and suggestions, but I am NOT looking into
    > "identifying" the problems, myself, anymore. We went through all of the
    > above during the initial deployment (we have everything "by the book",
    > from the physical layer, with cat 5e cabling, through to separate ports on
    > the switches, and VLANs for the phones, through to prioritization of
    > traffic, etc.), then went through various TACs (which actually led to
    > replacement of some of the equipment), etc., and the things still do not
    > work quite right.
    >
    > What I need are some measurable parameters ("quantifiable") as a
    > reflection of VoIP performance ("quality"), and enforceable (or at least
    > acceptable) by industry standards, so that an outside expert could be held
    > responsible for achieving them. Tools for such will be a secondary -
    > obvious - need, of course.


    since you have a cisco implementation - maybe you should use cisco specific
    checks.

    i would try using the cisco best practice guide for IP Telephony
    implementations
    http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/779/largeent/it/ese/srnd.html

    there are a bunch of guides for different versions of Call Manager
    >
    > Thx,
    > papi
    >

    --
    Regards

    Stephen Hope - return address needs fewer xxs
    stephen, Feb 22, 2005
    #6
  7. papi wrote:
    > Question: what kind of "verbiage" could one add to a contract, that would
    > tie the resolution of open problems ("hollow" echo noise, internally and
    > externally, low voice volume, failure of auto-attendant scripts, etc.) to
    > industry standards, or - differently asked - could someone point me to
    > OBJECTIVE measures that could be part of a contract, in regards to voice
    > "quality", level of performance, etc.?!?


    Hi papi,

    this is a problem IMHO in VoIP. The only real measurements that one can
    take are MOS tests. There is some effort in the monitoring world to
    quantify MOS, if measured by machines MOS is suddenly called PESQ.

    I would suggest that you define a MOS or PESQ value that should be
    achived on the network as this is the only important thing for you as an
    end-user. The rest, things like jitter, delay and packet-loss are
    important to quality, but should be 'invisible' to you as a user.

    Perhaps you can find some ideas on:
    http://www.ct-labs.com/askdrct.htm

    Specifically the 'Measuring VoIP Voice Quality' sections are a good read.

    Regards,
    Arnold.
    Arnold Ligtvoet, Feb 22, 2005
    #7
  8. Re: Objective measures - anybody?!?

    papi wrote:
    > On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 15:27:27 -0600, papi wrote:
    > Does anybody actually know of any industry standards for VoIP quality,
    > measurable (and enforceable)?!? I was looking at:
    > http://voip-info.org/wiki-How To Debug and Troubleshoot VOIP
    > but I could not find any one tool or methodology being clearly advertised
    > as acceptable for verification of proper implementations/deployments,
    > and/or numbers associated with "passing grades"...


    Would this perhaps do the trick:
    http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/iosswrel/ps5207/products_feature_guide09186a008020a3c9.html

    Arnold.
    Arnold Ligtvoet, Feb 22, 2005
    #8
  9. papi

    RC Guest

    Re: Objective measures - anybody?!?

    What you've seen in all these replies is that while there are so call
    industry voice quality standards (not confined to VoIP) they are naturally
    based on a users perception of what they hear.



    You can put in a requirement that the results meet a particular score but
    that's the same as saying "it's fixed when we think it is" and no reputable
    company would agree to that (note: REPUTABLE). Add to this that whoever you
    bring in knows they are working on someone else's screw-up and will want to
    bill accordingly.



    VoIP does work but needs to be properly engineered.



    Personally I like a challenge and would work on fixing you problem just for
    a reasonable hourly rate, as I'm sure many engineers would. But most of us
    work for, or own, a company and that comes with a different way of doing
    business. They are not going to want to be locked into a number based on
    someone's perception of quality, especially if they don't know a lot about
    you network and how it was put together.



    If you want you could go with something like taking 1000 people off the
    street have them use and rate the system on a scale of 1-10 for quality and
    require a 90% score. Sounds ridiculous but if you want objective opinions
    you have to go outside the company.



    Good luck, I'm going to monitor this thread and would love to see what you
    come up with. Feel free to email directly.


    --
    Randall Cohen
    Sr. Systems Engineer
    an alphabet soup of certifications
    Email: rcohen_at_cominc_dot_net

    The only thing I guaranty about my free advice is that it's mine and it's
    free.
    RC, Mar 1, 2005
    #9
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