Not that long ago, your enterprise WAN traffic primarily flowed from your business’ branches to…
How SD-WAN Helps Deliver a Robust UCaaS User Experience
Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) is quickly catching on among companies of every size. Research shows that the market is expected to expand from $17.35 billion last year to $28.69 billion by 2021, thanks to factors including growing enterprise trends toward mobility and bring-your-own-device, as well as increasing demand by small and midsize businesses (SMB).
Total cost of ownership, scalability, application interoperability, and business continuity and disaster recovery advantages also make unified communications service models attractive to organizations.
Still, there’s a possibility that businesses may not fully reap the convenience, collaboration and productivity advantages that they expect when their employees have anywhere, anytime, any device access to voice, instant messaging, screen sharing, presence, and web and video conferencing services. The risk grows if UCaaS applications are operating over a far-flung, traditional wide area network (WAN). Traditional WANs may not be up to delivering the growing load of real-time, bandwidth-intensive voice and video sessions, putting quality of service in jeopardy.
Traditional WANs are especially challenged in situations where changes in network traffic raise the bar on bandwidth usage and endpoint application requirements, such as when phone calls turn into video conferences.
There’s also the trend of companies integrating their contact center operations with UCaaS to take advantage of new capabilities, such as providing remote agents with real-time access to distributed subject-matter experts to quickly resolve customer issues. That, however, adds another dimension of network load to the already challenging premise of maintaining reliability and service levels as data demands grow beyond supporting high-quality voice calls to also encompass chat, IM, social media and email interactions between customers and agents often situated in different geographies.
Adapting the WAN to a New World of Unified Communications
How can an organization ensure superior QoE (quality of experience) for this new world of communications?
For many businesses, the answer is to make sure that UCaaS services are underpinned by a failsafe software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solution that provides added network reliability and non-stop application uptime, even in the face of network problems. Interactive or real-time UC applications such as videoconferencing, with their sensitivity to high latency or packet loss, can leverage SD-WAN technology to gain access to all available bandwidth and use any transport method. Network impairments such as high jitter, congestion or link failure, won’t impede the ability to work on videoconferencing and other UCaaS activities without interruption.
Similarly, when it comes to evolving contact centers, SD-WAN is poised to perfectly suit new functions that better support agent productivity. That’s made clear by policies and capabilities that determine the most effective way to route traffic to remote locations and more effectively manage WAN capacity, reliability and performance in real-time.
The ability to constantly measure the factors that may impact quality and intelligently adapt instantly to changing network conditions adds up to a resilient, reliable and failsafe edge network for an organization’s entire UC services portfolio.
Ride SD-WAN Way to Smart UCaaS
To deliver employees, partners and customers the stable and collaborative experiences they require for UCaaS and contact center operations, enterprises should look to SD-WAN solutions with some key capabilities. These include:
- The ability to prioritize traffic during risk to congestion, ensuring that critical traffic, whether it be voice or video, receives priority across the network;
- Bandwidth reservation and reliable QoS to allow even best-effort broadband networks to deliver high quality and reliable performance; and
- Aggregation of all WAN-link bandwidth to improve the performance of every bandwidth-intensive application.
Those capabilities are key to Talari’s Failsafe SD-WAN, and they’re being employed by companies like Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, LLP, a law firm with eight offices in Arizona, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Taft legal teams collaborate using IP voice and videoconferencing as they define case strategies and prepare oral arguments. Dropped calls, poor performance and outright downtime can’t be tolerated as lawyers and associates write contracts, handle settlements and other activities.
“I bought Talari to make the network more reliable,” says John Carroll, director of technology solutions at Taft. “It did exactly what it promised.”
Talari is also one of the only SD-WAN solutions to be consistently deployed in large metro Emergency-911 contact centers whereby high call volumes and triage QoE on the fly are essential delivery assurances. Now with a mandate for NG911, emergency contact centers must also be able to handle multiple protocols in terms of interactive network traffic, in addition to VoIP or SIP for voice.
“Currently, the number of technologies that provide this necessary reliability (such as Multiprotocol Label Switching – MPLS) is limited, and the technology providers that offer them know that and charge accordingly,” according to a testimonial posted by Motorola Solutions in a recent blog. “We want to make ultra-reliable, but affordable, network communications in NG9-1-1 an everyday reality across the USA, and we’ve found another company that shares that passion — Talari Networks.”
Learn how an SD-WAN can help you reap all of the collaboration and productivity benefits of UCaaS. Read the whitepaper on Talari Failsafe Software Defined WANs.