Detecting potential issues in VoIP and unified communications systems before they impact business operations is crucial and is the main goal of Clarus Systems’ offerings. The company sat down with TMCnet Managing Editor Juliana Kenny at ITEXPO West 2011 in Austin, TX, to discuss testing, monitoring and management solutions and their movement to the cloud.
Clarus works in the enterprise VoIP unified communications space, according to John McCaffrey, VP of sales and professional services. He said Clarus solutions offer testing, monitoring and management of those systems, including automated testing and performance and configuration management.
“Basically, we’re trying to constantly detect whether there’s any issues with the system and get those issues fixed before they impact the end users,” said McCaffrey. He said the major play to move voice and unified communications into the cloud presents its own set of challenges.
“How do you trust that the cloud is going to be able to deliver a critical, real-time service like voice and have the metrics and quality that you’ve come to count on if you have those systems internally?” asked McCaffrey. Clarus deals with those challenges through rigorous testing. They will take an end user’s phone and automatically place calls on it as if the end user were sitting there. This method may be used to test thousand or tens of thousands of calls per night, which produces metrics to show whether or not the phones are offering proper availability, call quality and whether service level agreements are being met.
McCaffrey added that by looking at trends over a period of time, the company can determine if the capacity of trunks may be running out, even if an issue isn’t evident at the moment. Knowing about a potential problem offers plenty of lead time so companies can tackle the task of adding more capacity.
Clarus is focusing on three main areas to face the challenges of scalability and movement to the cloud. They have been looking at analytics a lot of the past year, to determine which data is most relevant out of the massive amounts of information they collect. If there is an issue, whether it be a future problem boiling up or a problem present right now, the company can pinpoint it better by using analytics.
McCaffrey said telepresence is also playing a major role in high-end communications among senior executives. As video conferencing systems become more advanced, time invested in video calls becomes extremely valuable, and Clarus has come up with a solution for testing telepresence calls to avoid connectivity, quality of service and other issues.
Finally, the company is focusing on offering new services like system upgrades and testing of session initiation protocol (SIP) trunks for VoIP calls, since the number of SIP trunks is quickly growing. Customers want help using their software to test systems once they are rolled out since they are making major changes to the overall infrastructure of their architecture.
“We want to be able to measure voice and unified communications in the cloud, just like we do in an on-premise environment,” said McCaffrey about the movement toward cloud services. He added that there are a number of critical metrics for the cloud, including using data statistics to see if a phone is registered and determining if calls are getting dropped, if calls are secure and if SLAs are being met.