InSpeed Helps IT Solution Provider Deliver Top-Notch Customer Service

How one company streamlined their home office communications

dowload a printable PDF of this article: Eliminate MPLS
Download this case study as a PDF

The IT skills gap is a big and growing problem that defies easy solutions. The evolution of the IT field is accelerating with new technologies emerging faster than ever before. 63 percent of companies today have remote workers and hiring managers predict that 38 percent of their full-time, permanent employees will work remotely in the next ten years. Organizations seeking to take advantage of those technologies are struggling to find workers who can support them. The result, according to a recent CompTIA report, is reduced productivity, lower sales and profitability, delays in bringing new products and services to market, and losing ground to competitors.

This has created both opportunities and challenges for IT solution providers. Organizations need help, and are more willing than ever to outsource IT support. However, solution providers face the same staffing challenges as other organizations, particularly when it comes to specialized IT skills.

Technology is helping to resolve some of the issues it has created. Near-ubiquitous Internet access means that IT support specialists can access systems remotely, from virtually anywhere. This enables solution providers to cast a wider net when it comes to hiring. They can focus on finding employees with the right skills, regardless of geography.

Professional-Quality Voice in the Home Office: IPC Case Study

[blockquote style=”background-color: #0077b3;” cite=”Mark Guyer
Senior Support Services Engineer
IPC Technologies” type=”left”]“After InSpeed was installed people told me that it sounded like I was in the next room instead of several states away.”[/blockquote]

IPC Technologies has leveraged this model to support its nationwide customer base. A Mitel Platinum-Certified Partner with expertise in phone systems, networks and more, IPC maintains a deep bench of experienced engineers and technicians. Most work from one of IPC’s Network Operations Centers, but some are located in remote offices or even work from home.

One particular support services engineer was living in the greater Kansas City area, far from any IPC branch. He set up an office in his apartment, using the phone and the Internet to support IPC’s customers. His Voice over IP (VoIP) phone tied directly into IPC’s headquarters in Richmond, Va. Customers had no way of knowing he was working remotely.

However, the consumer-grade Internet connection in the engineer’s apartment building was not up to the job. Every afternoon, as Internet traffic increased, the quality of his VoIP calls degraded significantly. Choppiness and robot voice made conversations difficult to understand—and created a poor customer experience for a company that specializes in phone systems.

IPC was familiar with InSpeed Quality Service (IQS) and its ability to optimize voice calls. The company decided to see if IQS could solve the engineer’s VoIP problems. IQS was designed to ensure high-quality business communications over any connection, every time. But could it optimize voice calls over a highly variable, poor-quality Internet service?

IPC shipped a preconfigured InSpeed appliance to the engineer, who set it up in a matter of minutes. All he had to do was plug in two cables and press the “on” button—the appliance automatically connected to the InSpeed cloud and began prioritizing voice, video conferencing and other interactive traffic. The engineer’s VoIP problems disappeared instantly, and other Internet applications performed better as well.

The InSpeed appliance and service are easy to use and manage, so the engineer can focus his efforts on supporting IPC’s customers.

Organizations facing shortages of skilled IT personnel need the ability to hire workers regardless of location. The InSpeed SD-WAN solution can ensure that these employees have high-quality voice calls so they can deliver top-notch support to their customers.

To find out if InSpeed is the right solution for your office space, contact one of our sales specialists.

 

How an Environmental Services Firm Fixed Their VoIP Problems (and Boosted Cloud Performance)

How one company fixed their sluggish Internet and dropped calls

How one company fixed their sluggish Internet and dropped calls

C&M Relied on the Cloud, but They Needed the Right Architecture

dowload a printable PDF of this article: Eliminate MPLS
Download this case study as a PDF

The cloud has become a core component of the IT environment, with organizations devoting ever-larger portions of their budgets to cloud solutions. That’s because the cloud delivers key business benefits, including the ability to preserve capital, reduce operational overhead, implement new services faster and scale on demand.

However, traditional WAN architectures are ill-suited to cloud computing. Private circuits, such as MPLS links, are expensive, slow to provision, inflexible and complex, offsetting much of the value of the cloud. They offer guaranteed bandwidth but it comes at substantial cost, and much of it is wasted due to the inefficiencies of routing cloud traffic over MPLS.

Broadband Internet makes more sense for cloud access—it’s a small fraction of the cost of MPLS and can generally be provisioned pretty quickly. The problem is that broadband doesn’t give you guaranteed bandwidth or performance. As cloud traffic increases, other applications are going to suffer.

If you rely on cloud applications for mission-critical business processes, this can be a real problem.

For Example: Monthly Payroll Triggered Dropped Calls and Sluggish Internet

logo of company with dropped calls during payrollC&M Industries, an environmental services firm based in Chesapeake, Va., found that its cloud-based accounting apps caused the WAN to slow to a crawl. The problem was especially acute twice a month, when the company ran payroll for its 250 employees.

This didn’t just impact the performance of the cloud software. C&M’s Voice over IP (VoIP) phone system took the biggest hit when WAN traffic spiked. Calls would become unintelligible and drop unexpectedly.
C&M had two problems. One was a lack of bandwidth. The cable broadband link connecting its headquarters to the Internet was just 15 Mbps x 5 Mbps—the fastest available in that part of town. A nearby branch office had a 30 Mbps x 10 Mbps connection, which was better but still not terribly fast.

The other problem was a lack of traffic shaping and prioritization for VoIP calls. The Internet provides only “best effort” delivery, so voice and video conferencing traffic has to wait in line with all of the other data. C&M looked at a private VPN solution, but it didn’t provide traffic shaping capabilities. The carrier couldn’t guarantee that call quality would improve, so C&M was reluctant to make the investment.

How C&M Fixed Their Dropped Calls During Payroll and Streamlined Their Cloud Apps

That’s when the company discovered the InSpeed software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) solution. InSpeed Quality Service (IQS) gives interactive traffic (UDP) priority over other Internet traffic (TCP) so that voice and video conferencing data goes first. It’s designed specifically to resolve the kinds of problems that plague VoIP calls when Internet traffic increases.

After installing IQS, C&M found that call quality improved immediately—even on the 15th and last of the month when the accounting department processed payroll. The company also noticed that its cloud applications and other Internet functions started performing better as well. That’s because IQS manages bandwidth both downstream and upstream, reducing WAN congestion for all applications.

As organizations increase their use of cloud applications, the right WAN architecture becomes critical. MPLS wasn’t designed for the cloud, and broadband Internet comes with tradeoffs in terms of performance and reliability. InSpeed gives you cloudlike agility and cost-efficiency while guaranteeing high-quality business communications over any WAN connection.

If you’re having problems similar to C&M, InSpeed can help.