How Does UC Affect Your Network’s Performance?

Unified communications is a cornerstone of today’s business processes. UC technology – including messaging platforms, voice over IP telephony and video conferencing – can enable improved collaboration as well as boosted productivity across an organization.

However, these systems can also have a considerable impact on network performance due to  either their high bandwidth usage requirements or high sensitivity to latency. With an SD WAN solution in place, such as Talari’s Software Defined THINKING WAN, UC issues can be properly addressed, allowing the technology to become the valuable asset it was intended to be for the business.

UC use continues to rise
The use of UC has continued to rise in recent years, especially as more businesses adopt the technology or expand their utilization. Analysts at Grand View Research predict that by 2020, the global UC market will become a $75.81 billion a year industry.

“As companies continue to move away from PBX and increasingly gravitate toward UC systems, their networks are reflecting the change.”

Separate findings from Infonetics Research from May 2014 discovered that the UC market expanded by 27 percent last year.

“The enterprise telephony market continues to struggle as businesses hold off new PBX purchases and invest instead in unified communications applications,” said Diane Myers, Infonetics Research principal analyst of VoIP, UC and IMS.

As companies continue to move away from legacy PBX and increasingly gravitate toward UC systems, their networks are reflecting the change.

UC and bandwidth usage
As UC depends on the corporate network for connectivity, the technology could be putting considerable strain on bandwidth resources if not properly accounted for. Whereas other applications like email are less bandwidth-intensive and less sensitive to latency, users often don’t notice any lag. Real-time applications like voice and video conferencing, however, are another story. Latency can kill the user experience.

A typical video conferencing stream, for instance, could require as much as 16 Mbps of bandwidth, according to Telecom Reseller contributor Melinda Curran. If these resources are not consistently available, it could cause delay that considerably impacts the way users interact with the system. With significant latency, video conferencing participants could end up talking over one another, making the system far less productive than if it were to operate in real-time as it should.

“Generally, a small business managing a UC system will require at least 20 Mbps of bandwidth, though many larger enterprises could require as much as 100 Gbps,” Curran noted. “It is this real-time and interactive nature of UC that comes at a cost, making UC one of the largest contributors to office bandwidth creep.”

Latency isn’t the only issue that can affect UC operations and network performance. If data packets are lost during network transmission, VoIP and video conferencing calls can be dropped altogether, interrupting the flow of business and frustrating all parties.

Any latency in VoIP or video calls could negatively impact the way users interact with the technology.Any latency in VoIP or video calls could negatively impact the way users interact with the technology.

SD WAN: Addressing latency, jitter and packet loss
If issues associated with latency and packet loss persist, there’s a chance that the UC system – including VoIP and video conferencing in particular – could become nearly unusable for the organization. Thankfully, there are ways to address these problems through SD WAN technology.

Talari’s Software Defined THINKING WAN solution ensures that traffic connected with critical UC applications is prioritized, preventing problems like latency and packet loss from impacting system use. Talari technology helps establish an intelligent, responsive network that adapts to current conditions so that each packet takes the best possible path during transmission. The solution also measures packet loss, latency, jitter and overall availability throughout the network for each packet in real time.

With a Talari solution in place, bandwidth-intensive UC capabilities like VoIP and video conferencing always deliver at peak performance, guaranteeing that the network is meeting the SLAs of the business critical apps.

To find out more about how the Software Defined THINKING WAN solution can benefit your company’s UC technology, contact Talari to request a custom demo today or download this white paper on how to Take the Frustration Out of VoIP.

Categories: Application Performance/Application Quality, Software Defined WAN (SD-WAN)

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