The basic procedure is accomplished in a similar way to that of testing Applications and Voice Quality. You need to automate actual calls into the voice portal/IVR in a controlled way and measure the results at every stage. This is especially important in Unified Communications and Contact Center installations, where the structures are quite complex. Isolating performance issues at each layer enables you to speed the discovery of the source of any problem that might crop up.
Two key elements of infrastructure testing of contact centers and unified communication environments include the session border controller (SBC) and SIP trunking. To understand more about SIP testing, read SIP 101: Preparing for Successful Deployment. In this post, I will focus on the requirements of testing SBCs.
Today’s communication environment is extraordinarily complex. We live in a time where everyone wants to communicate and interact in their own unique way. Clearly this situation can be very challenging for contact center operations managers. There is pressure to meet customer satisfaction goals and reduce the risk of new technology, while also keeping costs low and addressing other business goals.
The first step when considering testing contact center networks is to make you have a clear set of goals that others in the organization buy into. Your test plan can affect many other departments in your company beyond the contact center: marketing, finance, etc. You need to get them to buy in and you need to make sure the tests you’re performing covers their needs as well.
To start the process off, perform a “Network Readiness Assessment” or NRA. Note, however, that this concept means different things to different people. I have seen some customers perform NRAs on their own in a variety of different ways, I’ve seen third parties perform them for customers, and some IP Telephony vendors require that the NRA be performed by them in order for them to support their product.
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