Stories from the Field: Voice and Video Calls in the Time of COVID-19

How SD-WAN has helped organizations transform their communication strategies

Due to the stay-at-home and social distancing measures that have been implemented in many places around the United States, organizations and companies have needed different ways to connect with their customers, partners, and vendors in this new norm. 

Many of their plans have revolved around a new or increased usage of VoIP and UCaaS, with solutions such as Zoom and GoToMeeting. With this usage comes the need to address common issues related to these internet-reliant systems: calls that drop or that sound choppy or robotic, and outages or lag that affects the performance of their video conferences, screen shares in collaboration apps, or video meetings. 

Here are some examples of organizations we’ve worked with recently to address performance problems they were facing with their VoIP and UCaaS solutions and learn why they chose SD-WAN, specifically Bigleaf’s, to help them solve them:

Worry-Free Video Conferencing for Church Services

In the previous “norm,” many churches and places of worship mainly interacted with their members during in-person services. With the recent inability to gather in person, some turned to broadcasting their service over video conferencing technology, like Zoom. But with that, they needed to be sure that their internet was uninterrupted so that their Zoom calls streamed seamlessly. This was especially important as they wouldn’t have time to deal with technical issues during the length of their service and most wouldn’t have on-site technical support staff to resolve any problems in real-time.

Bigleaf has been able to provide a straightforward solution for these customers that doesn’t require technical know-how for installation or on-site support. With our owned and operated Cloud Access Network that is fully redundant and peers directly with apps, like Zoom, our church customers can also have faith that their internet connection and service to their congregation would run uninterrupted and without issue.

Reliable Voice and Video Calls for Medical Offices 

To continue offering general health care while trying to account for extraordinary safety measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19, many medical offices had to redesign how they served their patients. Much of this change revolved around their phone and video call capabilities. In addition to relying on their phone systems to manage patient appointments, prescriptions, and general consultation, some medical offices started to use their phones for curbside check-in. This is where patients call from their cars to let the office know they have arrived. In turn, the office calls back to let them know they can enter the office to see their doctor. Some medical offices also introduced telemedicine services via video calls. 

One customer we worked with needed to upgrade their system to accommodate all of their desired changes. They were running an old T-1 PRI line, which kept going down…to the tune of 3x a day over a 15-month period, with one period that lasted 3 entire days. As you can imagine, that was entirely unacceptable. All of this downtime resulted in lost appointments and frustrated patients, in addition to the possibility that they weren’t able to provide critical care to a patient in need. This old system was also unable to support the changes this medical office needed to run the new patient communication model they needed to implement.

So, in addition to switching over to a fiber line, this medical office also implemented Bigleaf. Because VoIP and UCaaS are performance-sensitive cloud applications, adding Bigleaf alongside the fiber line was necessary to provide the stability they needed for all of their new voice and video reliant systems and processes. Like the church above, they didn’t have on-site tech staff but they needed assurance that their systems would work. In addition to ensuring the performance of their phone and video call lines, they were also planning on switching to a cloud-based electronic medical record (EMR) system in the near term that would also require worry-free internet. For them, Bigleaf provided the performance they needed now, plus the room for them to grow their digital infrastructure. 

Protecting Quality of Service for Business-Critical Applications 

Other organizations and companies are also relying more heavily on video conferencing technology and voice calls to interact with their colleagues and customers who they aren’t currently meeting in person. 

A technology development company we work with employs this working model, to the extent that they are building out new office space with several “Zoom Rooms,” which will also help their teams maintain healthy physical distancing when they need to go into the office. Little more needs to be said that video calls and conferences are critical to this company’s operations. However, this company also has several developers on staff, who like to have YouTube videos and other bandwidth-intensive apps running constantly while they work. 

Since VoIP and UCaaS traffic are very sensitive to internet performance, this customer needed a way to ensure the reliability and quality of their video conferences. Bigleaf’s Dynamic QoS and owned and operated Cloud Access Network work together to provide the reliability and performance the ad tech company needed.  

These features allow Bigleaf’s SD-WAN to detect and respond to change in the available circuit throughput, when sensitive traffic can be affected, and prioritizes BOTH inbound and outbound VoIP and UCaaS traffic over bulk data (ex. YouTube data traffic). Our Dynamic QoS detects the bandwidth bottleneck in the path to and from the customer’s site and adapts QoS to ensure traffic isn’t buffered in QoS-unaware ISP routers. 

Better VoIP and UCaaS with Bigleaf 

Just like so many of us, all of these companies are facing the challenges of these times and having to pivot and adjust to then new norm we’re living in. For them, reliable VoIP and video calls are critical to their livelihood and success, and along with that, they need reliable internet…which they are relying on Bigleaf to help them achieve.  

If you’d like to learn more on how Bigleaf can improve the performance of your own VoIP and UCaaS systems, watch this on-demand webinar, Fix Bad Video and VoIP Calls for Good. 

Comments are closed.