During the 2014 Telecom Tour Stop in Scottsdale, we talked to Dan Foster (President of MegaPath) about the close relationships he values with the PlanetOne team.
A business choosing an internet services provider needs to consider important factors to achieve specific connectivity needs such as reliability, selection, and scalability. See http://www.megapath.com/data/ for more information.
As a business owner, you do have a lot of options for different kinds of connectivity, for whatever kind of data you have.
It’s quite important that, to make sure that you look at the different options that are out there you are picking the one that’s going to work best for you.
MegaPath will always help you figure out the best route.
MegaPath is a great one stop shop. Because of the way we do business. We offer the full gamut of services that’ll address whatever kind of communications needs you have. MegaPath does have the reputation. They do have the reliable service. And MegaPath has the experience and knowledge to employ those things to create the best overall customer experience.
We have a reliability promise of 99.999% reliability. That means virtually no downtime at all for your service. And while your service is running, your business is running.
When you’re choosing a service provider you obviously want to make sure that they have the kinds of bandwidth that you’re looking for. But you also want to make sure that they are able to provide the reliability that you’re looking for, the security of the data that you’re going to be running across it. You want the network redundancy. You also want to make sure that the provider you’ve chosen has the reputation for providing service that you need.
On our lowest end we’ve got our DSL services, whether that’s asymmetrical DSL or symmetrical DSL. And those, of course, scalable services that allow you to get bandwidth transfer back and forth. They’re even capable of handling voice or other advanced services if that’s what your application calls for. As you get to bigger bandwidth needs we have bigger options. So, whether you want to go the direction of a scalable service like Ethernet, or a hard-wired nailed up service like T1, we’ve got all those options available for you. And so, whatever kind of bandwidth need that you have, we’re going to have a service that’s going to fit what you need.
With MegaPath you’re going to get the flexibility that you need to work with whatever your growth is going to be, with whatever your needs are now, with anticipation of what your needs are going to be in the future.
Good call quality on a MegaPath VoIP phone system needs three legs of a stool: an optimized Local Area Network (LAN), the right Broadband connectivity, and your MegaPath Phone system. For more information, see www.megapath.com/voice/hosted/. More videos are available at the MegaPath YouTube channel. http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=UUoDZLwRcPLtCobay-6sIb_Q
Businesses across the country are converting to voice over IP by the thousands every week. What you might not realize is the importance that the reliability of your Local Area Network, or LAN, and broadband connection, play in service delivery and called quality.
Let’s take a look at this diagram. This is like the three legs of a stool. All three legs have to work together for a successful implementation. Let’s look at the first leg of the stool –your LAN. Your LAN must be ready and compliant to support the real time nature of Voice over IP communications. Voice is being packetized and sent across your LAN, just like an email or any other data application. But, by the very nature of any live or real time conversation, the slightest delay caused by network congestion within your LAN, will cause call quality issues such as choppiness or dropped audio. Please note that the vast majority of call quality issues are caused by an underlying problem in your LAN. So, everything on your LAN, including switches, routers, firewalls, and cabling must be ready to support Voice over IP communications to ensure optimal call quality.
The second leg of the stool is the broadband connection. This connection must have enough capacity to support the combined utilization needs of your voice and data traffic. It must consistently deliver packets with low latency and no packet loss. We have found that Voice over IP operates best with less than 100 milliseconds latency. This is why we always recommend the use of a MegaPath broadband connection, such as an Ethernet connection, a T1, or DSL technology with QOS, or Quality of Service, fully enabled. By using a MegaPath provided network access service, your voice is being routed to our core network and prioritized to ensure the highest call quality possible. Please realize that some broadband connections like cable or often times operating over a shared network and can vary and their ability to consistently deliver voice communications. However, an Ethernet, T1, or other dedicated line connection, which we always recommend, is the optimal broadband medium for the delivery of high quality Voice over IP communications.
The third leg of the stool is your new hosted phone system provided by MegaPath. This is a fully redundant carrier-class network, design for high availability, and reliability, and is hosted in several world-class data centers operating 24 by 7 across the U.S.
In summary, the 3 legs of the stool are: your LAN, your broadband connection, and your MegaPath Hosted VoIP system. When troubleshooting call quality problems, it is important to look at each leg of the stool in order to isolate and determine what may be generating the issue. The good news is that today’s networking technology, LAN and router technology, allows us, by working together with the customer, to clearly identify the potential cause of the issue and to act quickly to correct and to resolve.
MegaPath is the leading provider of managed IP communications services in North America. MegaPath leverages its wide selection of broadband connectivity, Virtual Private Networks, Voice over IP (VoIP) and Security technologies to enable businesses to lower costs, increase security and enhance productivity. Businesses of all sizes can easily and securely communicate between their headquarters, branch offices, retail locations, mobile workers, and business partners.
Flexibility: By offering multiple access methods, hybrid VPN services, modular security offerings, industry-specific application support and end-to-end management options, MegaPath allows enterprises to minimize their network and IT expenses while meeting their business objectives.
Customer Care: Quality customer service is woven into the fabric of MegaPath’s identity. By leveraging professional Service Delivery Teams, systems and processes, MegaPath delivers mission-critical reliability and performance backed by stringent Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
Network Systems: MegaPath leverages its MPLS, fiber-optic backbone network through direct network and systems interconnections with the country’s leading broadband access providers. The MegaPath Customer Portal facilitates smooth implementation, management, visibility and control of its VPN, security and advanced IP services. The result is fully managed, cost-effective services with superior reach, reliability, performance and customer control.
MegaPath is committed to delivering the most flexible, cost-effective and scalable IP VPN, voice and security solutions available with the highest quality service and support. MegaPath leverages these solutions to significantly improve its clients’ productivity through the use of new applications and enhanced communications between their headquarters, branch offices, retail stores, mobile workers and business partners.
Megapath is one of the largest facilities-based providers of managed services in the United States providing voice, data, managed IT, and security services to enterprise and SMB customers.
Matt Hutchinson of MegaPath talks about what’s new with MegaPath, the convergence of telecom and IT, and the pitfalls agents and consultative VARs need to avoid.
MegaPath’s Hosted Voice service beautifully integrates your smart phone and your desk phone. With a single click in a Web portal, your calls appear to originate from your VoIP number and all of your calls are routed through your Hosted Voice interface. For more information, see http://www.megapath.com/voice.
Now MegaPath gives you all the advantages of Hosted Voice right on your smart phone. With Hosted Voice Mobile, your customers and colleagues only have to remember one number when trying to reach you. It’s that easy. Hosted Voice Mobile introduces the new manager portal that you can access right from your smart phone. Tap the web App to set your call configurations, make and receive calls, and access your voicemail.
Use the convenient Hosted Voice Mobile App to set your current location so you can send and receive one-number calls no matter where you are.
Not in the office? Customers and colleagues only have to remember one MegaPath VoIP number to reach you regardless whether you’re at your desk or on your smart phone. When you’re on the go, you can use your smart phone to make and take calls and still appear to be calling from your MegaPath phone. And all usage charges are billed to your MegaPath calling plan.
Missed a call? With Hosted Voice Mobile, you also get Visual Voicemail, which means you can privately and discretely review your voicemail messages by reading them on your smart phone. Incoming voicemail messages can also be sent to your email so you can save your messages or forward them to your entire team.
With Hosted Voice Mobile, you can access the new Hosted Voice Manager portal, use one-number calling, and consolidate your long distance calling charges. It’s that easy. Hosted Voice Mobile, from MegaPath.
Converting a business phone system to VoIP requires planning. Since the Voice traffic will travel across the local area network as data, even small delays will effect call quality. Considerations need to be made for firewalls, network design, and voice data Quality of Service (QoS). For more information, see www.megapath.com/voice.
As you prepare your network for your new MegaPath VoIP services, there will be a few items to take into consideration while planning your implementation. Your old copper phone lines are no longer in use. And all of your voice traffic is now traveling across your local area network as data. Just like your email. There is however one critical difference to be aware of: your voice traffic is happening in real time. This means that minor glitches and delays or latency that you would normally never notice could have a negative impact on your overall call quality. Here are a few steps that you can take to ensure that your network is optimized for voice traffic, prior to your installation.
The first item we will cover are about firewalls. Generally speaking, you don’t want your voice traffic passing through your firewall. The purpose of the firewall is to protect your network from fraudulent traffic, and ensuring that the security of your data is always protected. It does so by inspecting all of the data flowing through the device. And it rejects unauthorized sources and allows your valid traffic to pass through your network. Voice traffic however, as we have covered before, is happening in real time. And the constant flow with of data can put an unnecessary strain on your firewall, as well as potentially introducing latency affecting your overall call quality. If, on the other hand, your network design requires that your voice traffic routes through your firewall you will first want to verify that your device is SIP aware, and has the capacity to support your new MegaPath voice over IP system.
The next item we will address is network design. At a high level there are two basic set ups that you can deploy. The first option is a converged design. With your Data and Voice traffic running through the same network. This is achieved by utilizing the switch port built into the back of your IP phone, eliminating the need for multiple Ethernet drops and simplifying the installation. The second option is a separation of your voice and data traffic. This could be achieved through a physical separation with separate Ethernet drops and switch hardware for phones and data. Or, it could also be a logical separation, such as a virtual LAN. If you are pushing lots of data across your network or deploying a large number of phones, this will help ensure the best possible quality for your new MegaPath phone system.
The final item we will cover is quality of service or QoS. In a nutshell, this means giving your voice traffic top priority and making sure that there is always enough bandwidth available for high-quality voice communications. Without QoS, a large download on one user’s PC could actually impact the quality of another user’s phone conversation. With QoS in place phone traffic is always given the top priority. The bandwith available for your download will be temporarily reduced to ensure that the required bandwidth for your VoIP call is available and that call quality is unaffected. Note that if the customer is using non-MegaPath-provided network access that they are responsible for ensuring the overall quality of the network connection as well as the quality control of the voice transmission and overall quality of service.