Gen-i deploys NetIQ to manage VoIP service

Technology delivers service level agreement control

Service provider Gen-i has deployed technology from NetIQ to help it deliver quality voice over IP services to customers.

Steve McGinn, Gen-i’s service line manager of IP telephony and unified communications, says when the company was approached to manage the core data network for a bank with 300 branches throughout the ANZ region, it realised it needed to upgrade its reporting capabilities.

Gen-i’s previous infrastructure did not have the flexibility to ensure reliability and performance for the bank’s VoIP solution, covering 7500 phones, video and audio conferencing requirements as well as active directories. It turned to NetIQ to help it meet service level agreements (SLAs) it had with customers.

According to McGinn, it has increased Gen-i’s ability to meet SLA’s from 80% to 99% and at the same time reduced Gen-i’s reporting team from 10 people to three.

The technology also allows problems on the network to be identified and prioritied.

Gen-i now uses NetIQ’s systems to manage the SLAs for seven of its clients, but up to 16 clients use the service at different levels, he says. Some use it to manage particular aspects of their infrastructure, such as voice gateways or call managers.

McGinn says Gen-i has been involved with NetIQ for two-and-a-half years from pilot to rollout. It has been in production now for over a year.

He says customers look to outsource such services so they can keep their internal IT resources focused on IT. It also allows them to operationalise costs and boost flexibility, allowing them to change their environments quickly.

“Customers don’t want to build this in-house as it’s expensive,” he says. “Gen-i has put together a national capability to manage IP telephony.”

Todd Tucker, NetIQ’s director of strategic solutions, says IP telephony consists of some fairly complicated technology, and any disruptions to voice applications can have a great effect on the end-user.

“If you consider that implementing IP telephony means that voice becomes one of the most critical applications running on your network, it must be managed with a level of visibility that extends beyond VoIP and across the entire network,” he says.

“This reliance on a well-managed network — particularly over the WAN links — is driving the adoption of outsourced VoIP management.”

He says users are typically after services that offer SLAs based on many of the industry standards used to measure voice quality. These standard metrics include Mean Opinion Score (MOS), R value, and other network impairments like jitter, latency, delay and packet loss.

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