Why VOIP media resources run out

VOIP media resources... there in abundance, so why do they run out?

One of the quirks of communications technology is the deception of available system resources – when a tally of capacity says you’ve got more than enough, and yet you run out.

What’s going on? The problem is one of location rather than quantity. Specifically, the placement of resources within unified communications (UC) and contact center platforms is more critical to overall systems performance than the quantity of those resources.

Take, for example, DSPs (Digital Signal Processing) – generally known as media resources. Based on the many thousands of customer environments under the watchful eye of our UC diagnostic and optimization platform, Virsae Service Management (VSM), we know that only 16% of available media resources are ever used – and yet 4% of customer sites regularly exhaust their media resources, and a further 22% regularly run close to exhaustion and draw on 80+% of available media resources.

How is it that organizations are maxing out their available media resources and yet 84% remain unused?

Just like real estate investments, the success of your DSPs is all about location. DSPs must be in the right physical location to remain available to the devices they serve. The shortfall leads to a range of problems in the contact center, such as calls remaining unanswered, even when agents are free and available. It gets worse –automated voice announcements or music for managing queued callers fail to activate when DSPs required to connect them are unavailable. Consequently, callers can wait in silence wondering what, if anything, is happening.

The scenario also has legal implications, particularly for banking and financial companies, who can present call reports and recordings as evidence in disputes. However, when a DSP shortfall causes a failure to play the automated announcement informing callers that their conversation will be recorded, they may not have a legal leg to stand on.

The growing desire for super-sized SIP trunk groups makes a bad situation worse.

The average new trunk group has increased in size from 128 to over 250 channels, confirming that administered capacity is increasing way faster than consumed capacity. Blame the zero-cost nature of SIP configuration – which, unlike ISDN, comes free of hardware and licensing. So, when bulking up SIP trunk groups costs nothing, why wouldn’t you do it?

Typically, engineers configuring SIP trunks are unable to gauge the location and availability of media resources, leading to a shortage of DSPs in the right place to support call volumes.

Addressing the problem requires the right kind of diagnostics and reporting. This is where VSM does the job. VSM’s IP Telephony Media Report measures DSP usage, identifying traffic trends and associated impacts on IP telephony media capacity.

IP Telephony Media Report in Action

Click on the screen to watch this 2-minute video.  Request a VSM demo to learn more. 

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