Skype for business - Is your Wi-Fi up to the task?

With the continuing trend for enterprises in migrating to Skype for business for voice and video services, an all too often overlooked component of this is the performance of your wireless network. Traditional wireless networks have not been designed to carry voice and data services to this extent.  Even recent wireless networks that took “VoIP” into consideration are falling short of the expectation and demands that staff are placing in their communications, and rightly so.

The complexities of designing and deploying a voice and video wireless network for a workforce that have had the reliability of traditional wired services is extremely challenging if not performed correctly. By using best practices in planning, designing and optimizing performance, wireless related experience issues can be minimized or eradicated all together which improves employee productivity.

The key considerations when deploying Skype for Business over wireless are:

Plan, plan and plan again.  This cant be over stated and is the needed precursor to the design phase. Understanding how many users, in which locations and those users that are voice only or voice & video users.

Design – Design for wireless capacity, security and not solely for coverage. Understanding the difference between coverage, security & capacity is key and is the most common design fault in today’s voice and video wireless networks. A work space analysis of where users work, meet and calibrate will provide the areas within an enterprise where video capacity is required.  Meeting rooms, auditoriums and high density work spaces are the most challenging when designing.

Validate and optimise – As with anything that is business critical is it important to validate its performance and optimise until the initial design goals are achieved. The Skype for Business “Call Quality Dashboard” is an essential tool in validating call quality and assisting in optimising.

Maintain – ongoing maintenance of your wireless network to support your business communications will ultimately dictate the future performance of it.

Here at DigitalAir we have a specific “Skype for Business Wireless Design” service that caters for the specific demands that Skype for Business will place on your wireless network.

This Skype for business wireless design service fits within our unique five steps for success process, called the “DigitalAir LifeCycle.” Following the steps within our LifeCycle ensures that customers maximise the probability of success and gain the maximum return on investment from their wireless network.

Plan: As with anything successful in life it starts with detailed planning and this is why we have several services available to help you in planning for your wireless network. Our consultants will start the process in gathering your initial specifications such as coverage, clients, devices and applications which will then lead onto an on-site wireless assessment of your required areas of coverage.  If an on-site assessment is not possible then we can start your plan with our wireless desktop survey service. Customers often confuse the onsite or desktop survey as “the design” and although some of the aspects of the network is designed here it does not take into consideration the more important elements such as devices, network design and applications for the wireless network to have been properly designed. This is why we carefully separate planning and designing into their own distinct phases

Design: Following on from detailed planning we combine the initial customer specification and information gathered at the onsite or desktop survey and start the consultative detailed design phase. Coverage, capacity, applications, authentication and scalability are just some of the key elements taken into consideration whilst also ensuring that our designs capture the future aspirations of the customer network for the next 5 years and onwards.

Designing the network in this way ensures that the implementation phase runs as smooth as possible. Zero downtime, seamless integration and minimal disruption are all common requirements from customers which are all achieved by detailed planning and an intelligent design process.

Integrate: Experience is the key element to success when installing and integrating wireless networks and with nearly 15 years’ experience there isn’t a lesson we haven’t learnt. Our engineers are extensively trained in physical installations, working at height, health and safety and they have active involvement in continually improving our processes.  We have performed installations across Europe in the most complex of environments from manufacturing plants, warehousing, corporate offices, high streets and shopping malls.

We utilise the best tools in the industry and our commitment to excellence within our installation procedures and safe working practices are continually reviewed. We are not embarrassed to say that we believe that our installations are the truly market leading and we back that with our guarantees.

Optimise: The optimise phase performs two distinct functions; validate the installed wireless network against the customer specification and refine the configuration for optimum performance.  These two functions go hand in hand and are repeated several times within the optimise phase. 

The “Wireless Validation Service” is an on- site coverage, capacity and interference survey ensuring what was detailed in the planning and designing phases have been delivered on.  The “Wireless Optimisation Service” takes the results from the validation survey and specifies the fine tuning that is required.  Typically both services are repeated until the maximum performance of the network have been achieved.

Maintain: The maintain phase is critical in ensuring the ongoing and future performance of your wireless network. Proactive maintenance will ensure a greater return on your investment and lower the total cost of ownership. 

If you are an enterprise that are looking to migrate to Skype for Business or have already migrated and are experiencing problems, our specific “Skype for Business Wireless Design” will ensure that the investment that you are making delivers true value into your business.

Please get in touch to talk to a consultant.