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VoIP problems

Discussion in 'BYTE ME: Technology discussion' started by OilCanShotTupac, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. OilCanShotTupac

    OilCanShotTupac Sunny von Bulow Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Hey folks.

    I am one of two partners in a small office - 10 people.

    We retired our legacy phone system and installed VoIP about three months ago. It has been rocky. Our IT guy first had all kinds of trouble configuring the handsets. Then we had intermittent but serious problems with dropouts during calls. Various problems with our ISP, our service provider, and our internal switches and routers were diagnosed and supposedly fixed. But the problems keep cropping up. It doesn't help that the handset provider (Yealink), the service provider (Vocal IP) and the ISP (Optimum) keep saying it's the other guy's problem, or our internal problem.

    We have a 300/300 line so bandwidth per se is not an issue.

    My partner is 71 and supposedly going into semi-retirement, which is one of the reasons we wanted VoIP (have a handset at home, voicemails emailed to him, electronically generated log of calls and callers, etc). When he's in the office, he's our chief rainmaker so what he mostly does is talk on the phone all day with his hundreds of contacts. He is absolutely ripshit and I can't blame him. As the junior partner with the responsibility for the back-of-the house systems, I'm bleeding credibility and wasting lots of time with troubleshooting and scraping him off the ceiling.

    Our IT guy (independent consultant, not FT employee) has worked well with us for many years and we like him a lot but this is turning into a fiasco. He keeps insisting that the problems have been diagnosed and fixed but they keep cropping up. I have asked him if this technology is within his skillset and if he needs to bring in help. He insists that he can handle it and that he has the same system with roughly the same number of users in his office, and he set it up and it works fine. Our recurring problems would seem to indicate that he is overestimating his capability to troubleshoot and keep us out of trouble. I don't want to bust his balls but it's now harming our business and both he and I are bleeding credibility with my partner.

    We could cancel our VoIP contract and go back to fiber-optic Verizon; we still have the old phones. But it would take a while and be ugly. I'm also leery of staying with a dinosaur technology.

    Question: what can I do here? Get a VoIP-specialist consultant? Our old phone guy isn't a VoIP guy. Or do we have to live with a certain amount of instability? Or do we just cut our losses and switch back?

    Mind you I'm not talking about troubleshooting and solving specific problem X. I want to ensure an environment of maximum stability and have a good support framework for resolving issues quickly going forward.

  2. PayrodsFirstClutchHit

    PayrodsFirstClutchHit Member SoSH Member

    We have had similar issues with call quality. You are not alone in dealing with the vendor finger pointing exercise.

    More than having a technical understanding of the system, the key is persistence with the various vendors and carriers. Most large providers have escalation processes. Keep pushing them and providing good call samples (time of the call and number). Get them to come onsite to verify their communication gear is configured properly. Structure your testing to eliminate or rule out certain equipment issues.

    Effectively dealing with the various vendors and sorting through their BS is the skill you are looking for from a consultant. If your current guy is not adept at this vendor wrangling, then I would suggest looking elsewhere.
  3. timlinin8th

    timlinin8th Member SoSH Member

    This. The other things (physical hardware, your ISP, and service provider) you have some level of investment in. You are questioning your IT’s ability to handle this new system, so aside from a personal relationship there isn’t really an investment there, especially if his only other experience is setting up his own office. You may be able to find a VOIP specialist who handles this stuff frequently and preferably has dealt with your vendor before.

    Save the dinosaur hardware as a last-ditch effort. See if a different set of eyes can resolve your issues first.
  4. OilCanShotTupac

    OilCanShotTupac Sunny von Bulow Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    Where do I go about finding such a person/firm?
  5. cgori

    cgori Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

  6. rwerber

    rwerber Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    I can take a look for you when i get back from a work trip. I could come by Monday. Id be willing to do a free assessment for you as a fellow sosher.

    The problem may not be able to be fixed with your current provider(s). It could be either a transport problem (ISP) or the voip provider problem. I'll be able to diagnose it pretty easily which one it is, then it is a matter of getting the provider in question to fix the problem, or find another provider.

    I've been an architect of a VoIP ISP for the last 10 years, and I am now a independent Network Engineer. PM me if youd like me to take a look!
  7. OilCanShotTupac

    OilCanShotTupac Sunny von Bulow Gold Supporter SoSH Member

    PM sent.
  8. OilCanShotTupac

    OilCanShotTupac Sunny von Bulow Gold Supporter SoSH Member


    Any recommendations for someone in NYC?

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