Solve your VoIP problems with Bigleaf SD-WANAs companies ditch their landline phones for VoIP, it’s usually not long before the random VoIP call problems begin and their IT/Ops teams find themselves getting “the complaints.”

You know the ones:

“I was in the middle of a negotiation and the call dropped!”

“It was horrible, we all sounded like we were eating bees!”

“We never used to have these problems with our old system!”

Like a good team player, you call the VoIP provider and they tell you it’s a problem with your ISP. So you call your ISP and… you guessed it… they suggest you call your VoIP provider. It’s not that they’re trying to be unhelpful. The reality is, neither of them has the visibility they need to diagnose the issue. Which leaves you right where you started, dealing with a lot of frustrated users.

At Bigleaf, we work with hundreds of companies having those exact problems. In this post, we’ll walk through some of the most common VoIP call problems. You’ll learn:

  • How to diagnose the VoIP call issues
  • What’s causing them
  • How to fix them forever

What your users are hearing

VoIP calls generally suffer from one of four VoIP call problems:

Dropped calls are just what they sound like. Line goes dead, and usually, one person keeps on talking for 5 minutes not knowing that the other caller isn’t on the line.

Choppy calls are when whole or partial words get cut off mid-sentence. The call sounds rough and uneven. This makes conversation difficult and can be a real pain on sensitive or contentious calls.

Robotic calls are when the person’s voice sound’s glitchy, digital and lacks a natural human quality. This makes it hard to understand what’s being said and, on a personal note, sounds really unpleasant.

Laggy calls are when there is a long delay from the sender to the receiver, making it seem like the receiver is taking a long time to respond. This usually ends with both parties talking over each other.

The problem isn’t your VoIP system, it’s your internet

Believe it or not, your internet connection, even the really fancy one that you pay a fortune for, is consistently down or slow. The average broadband internet connection is down for 3.5 hours every month and is plagued by random issues like packet loss, jitter and lag. Any of those could cause VoIP call quality issues.

Most companies don’t realize this because traditional internet applications are designed to handle internet blips and drops gracefully. Broadband connections are like roads that are full of potholes, speed bumps and cracks. Conventional applications like websites and file downloads are like Cadillacs that glide over those imperfections to the point where you may not even know they exist. VoIP and UCaaS, on the other hand, are like Ferraris. They operate at the edge of performance and even a little bump can show up as a call quality issue.

In other words, you’re having VoIP call problems because broadband internet connections like cable and DSL aren’t able to handle the performance needs of VoIP on their own. So, about fix?

The solution is SD-WAN, but which one?

To make VoIP work flawlessly, you need a layer of intelligence that can automatically detect those pesky internet outages and make real-time adjustments to ensure that they don’t affect your calls.

The good news is that a new technology called SD-WAN is here to help. SD-WAN uses software to control traffic over one or more internet connections, prioritizing and routing your important traffic and even failing over to a second circuit if one goes down. It’s a great place to start in getting your internet VoIP-ready. So, you can go buy an SD-WAN solution today and have perfect calls tomorrow, right? Well, that’s the bad news…

There are a growing number of SD-WAN vendors to choose from. Most are designed for site-to-site networking, making it difficult to determine which one will work best to fix all your VoIP issues. Here are a few questions you can ask to make sure you’re choosing the right SD-WAN for your VoIP system:

Can the SD-WAN detect changes in your internet connection performance in real-time?
This is critical because the quality and throughput of your internet connection are continually changing. Without real-time detection and adaptation during an ongoing call, it’s nearly impossible to guarantee VoIP performance.

Does the SD-WAN automatically adjust QoS policies to changes in your internet connection conditions in real-time?
Without this capability, you’ll have to set your SD-WAN QoS to a static speed and policy. If it’s set for your peak internet speed, your VoIP calls will suffer when performance drops. If you set it for the low end of your internet performance, other traffic will be blocked even when there’s plenty of bandwidth to handle it.

Will the SD-WAN provide failover and optimization for any VoIP provider without manual configuration or policies?
If not, you may end up with an expensive and potentially risky installation that fail at the last minute.

Will your non-VoIP traffic get the same core benefits as your VoIP traffic?
If your users get a great VoIP experience but a poor experience with other key applications, they’ll end up frustrated and upset. Consistency is key.

We designed Bigleaf’s cloud-first SD-WAN specifically for the needs of cloud-based technologies like VoIP. We can address all of those issues and end your VoIP call problems for good. What’s more, you’ll get those same benefits for all of your cloud-based applications (Office 365, CRM, ERP, etc.) as well as the visibility you need to right-size your connections. Our technology plugs right into your existing firewalls and doesn’t require any changes to your security that could open you up to data breaches and compliance issues.

End your VoIP call problems within a week

If you’re ready to put an end to your VoIP call woes, there’s no reason to wait.

Bigleaf can typically deploy routers to any number of locations within days. So request a quote today, and you’ll be up and running with enterprise-grade connections over broadband internet within a week. No more dropped calls. No more choppy calls. No more complaints.

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