Call Accounting Featured Article

Avotus Call Accounting Minimizes Disruptions of Migration to VoIP


April 24, 2007

VoIP, which stands for “Voice over IP,” isn’t called a disruptive technology for nothing. The ability to send voice over IP networks has transformed the telecom industry. Actually, it would be more accurate to say “is transforming,” since the process of move from the PSTN to VoIP is still underway.
 
The disruptions that VoIP has caused are mostly positive: companies now have access to more advanced phone features at lower cost. But VoIP has also created some temporary, negative affects as well. It’s a new technology, so it requires new infrastructure, and new skills to manage that infrastructure.
 
Some of the challenges surrounding VoIP are not new to telecom and IT managers, although the skills needed to handle them may be new. End-users want dependable, high-quality voice service. Management wants the ability to gain insight into telephony usage patterns and expenses using reporting.
 
As companies migrate toward VoIP, they may find that meeting the needs of end-users and managers is challenging. Telephony has always required an understanding of call detail information using call accounting ; now that task has morphed into a new type of oversight: usage management.
 
Usage Management is the 21st century version of call accounting. Traditional call accounting tracked only voice calls routed through the PBX (News - Alert); the latest generation usage management solutions collect and manage  all communications services and technology used by a business—wireless, videoconferencing, IVR systems, pagers, calling cards, and more.
 
Given the complexity of migrating to VoIP, and managing IP communications services once that migration is complete, it is imperative to select a usage management solution provider with the experience and flexibility to meet the unique needs of your business. One such company is Avotus, which has been providing call accounting and usage management services for more than 20 years
 
Avotus’ usage management solution is compatible with all major VoIP hardware platforms. In addition to supporting VoIP,, it handles TDM and hybrid environments. The company has partnerships with Cisco (the only call accounting company to by recommended worldwide by Cisco) and Nortel (News - Alert) (the first company to gain software certification for Nortel’s MCS 5100 multimedia server).
 
When it comes to usage management, Avotus’ focus is on helping businesses migrate to VoIP without losing track of their telephony assets. Since many businesses migrate to VoIP in stages, and maintain a hybrid environment for an extended period of time, Avotus’ solution transitions seamlessly as the network evolves. All calls, IP or TDM, are handled in the same way.
 
The usage management solution from Avotus, which supports SIP addressing platforms, can include Quality of Service reporting on metrics such as latency, jitter, and packet loss. Also available is a VoIP capacity planning tool that helps business determine how much IP bandwidth they need—using actual call detail information rather than estimates.
 
These VoIP-related features are in addition to the call accounting capabilities Avotus has developed over the past 20+ years. Avotus ICM Usage Management™ brings the following, core call accounting features into the 21st century by making them applicable to VoIP. 
  • Cost allocation
  • Recovering telecom costs through billing
  • Highlighting abuse, misuse
  • Service quality assessments
  • Usage policy monitoring and enforcing
VoIP may be a disruptive technology, but as it gradually takes over one thing become clear: the fundamentals of call accounting , now usage management, remain familiar. Avotus is helping businesses make the transition without disrupting their telephony environment.
 
To learn more about usage management, please visit Avotus’ TMCnet.com channel, Call Accounting.
 
Mae Kowalke previously wrote for Cleveland Magazine in Ohio and The Burlington Free Press in Vermont. To see more of her articles, please visit Mae Kowalke’s columnist page. Also check out her Wireless Mobility blog.