A breakthrough technology for remote meetings, Cisco® TelePresence integrates advanced audio, ultra-high-definition video, and interactive collaboration tools with the underlying network as the platform to deliver an immersive meeting experience. Through this powerful combination of technology and design, local and remote participants feel as if they are in the same room. Cisco TelePresence has the potential to transform the way organizations do business.
A key element of the meeting experience is the WAN solution selected to support intra and intercompany collaboration. The optimal Cisco TelePresence experience is achieved through a WAN service that enables highly reliable, secure, and intelligent networking and that can scale for global reach across your organization is an important solution consideration.
The Network Delivers the Experience
To take advantage of all the benefits of Cisco TelePresence, your WAN should be capable of handling high demands and anticipate those of additional integrated applications and services to come. There are several essential attributes that your network solution should address:
• Quality of service (QoS): Cisco TelePresence puts stringent requirements on latency, jitter, and packet loss. All parts of your network infrastructure must collaborate to support intelligent QoS policies that are compatible across your LAN and WAN.
• Reliability: Your WAN solution should be resilient to disruptions, support automated recovery of processes, and have the intelligence to balance traffic loads.
• Integrated security: Your WAN should be protected from external threats such as attempts to intercept calls as well as threats such as worms, viruses, and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. As you extend your Cisco TelePresence solution to include intercompany collaboration with customers, partners, and suppliers, additional network security is required to connect TelePresence calls between multiple enterprise networks so that only authorized access to your network or network data is allowed and endpoints are properly authenticated.
Evaluate Service Providers WAN Services
You can narrow your list of service providers to those that provide the needed technology, expertise, transport infrastructure, geographic coverage, and price levels. It is important to understand the service provider's core competencies. For example, some carriers focus primarily on network connectivity and operational excellence, whereas others have deep levels of IT and applications hosting expertise. Also consider the service provider's size, financial resources, management team, greatest strengths, and expertise in your industry. Table 1 lists some questions to consider when choosing a network service provider.
Service Provider Evaluation Check List
1. Does the service provider track and monitor the network end to end?
2. Can the service provider secure its own network traffic and manage priority traffic across other networks?
3. What are the minimum thresholds for network latency, packet loss, and jitter on the IP network services?
4. How are network performance and QoS measured and policed?
5. Are there procedures for trouble escalation, load rebalancing, network security assessments, and regular data backups?
6. What are the terms if the network goes down or if the level of agreed-upon service is not maintained?
7. What measures does the service provider take to ensure continuous availability and high performance?
8. Will the service provider provide you with regular, thorough reports on network performance?
9. Can the service provider's data center support your requirements for network security, availability, and network connectivity for any hosted solution elements such as Cisco TelePresence Multipoint Switches?
10. Will the service provider be able to support secure, scalable intercompany connectivity between you and your business partners?
Cisco encourages companies that purchase Cisco TelePresence solutions to work with a Cisco certified partner and/or their Cisco account team to assess their networks.
The Cisco Powered Program
Cisco understands that finding a provider that is a good fit for your business is critical -and that is why the Cisco Powered Program was developed.
Cisco awards the Cisco Powered designation and certification status to a select group of service providers worldwide that offer their customers reliable, proven, and cost-efficient technologies and solutions.
The Cisco Powered logo tells you that the service provider uses industry-leading Cisco solutions in its network end to end, and that Cisco recommends its managed services. Service providers that have also undergone a third-party audit for TelePresence Connection services are certified by Cisco as meeting QoS standards for the optimal Cisco TelePresence experience.
A valuable consideration when selecting WAN services is to identify service providers that have achieved Cisco Certified TelePresence Connection service status.