Ask the Experts: Is Your LAN Ready for UCaaS?

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by In this video, Intelisys’ SVP Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle talks about assessing customers’ LAN readiness for UCaaS with CallTower’s Chief Revenue Officer William Rubio. Learn more about how you can help your customers benefit from UCaaS here:

Andrew: Okay guys, time for another Ask the Experts session. I’ve invited into the studio William Rubio, who is the Chief Revenue Officer for CallTower and a long-time member of the faculty here at Cloud Services University. William, welcome man.
William: Thanks. Thank you, Andrew. Pleasure to be here.
Andrew: Very cool. All right, so we want to chat about LAN readiness. We’ve been talking about how important it is to understand what the customers’ Local Area Network environment, what it looks like, how it’s built, how it’s designed and is it truly ready for UCaaS? How does CallTower go through that process? How do you assess the readiness of a Local Area Network for a customer?
William: The challenges that we face today with all the different customers that we have, from small to medium to enterprise size, is that everybody has different types of circuits. Everybody has different types of broadband, whether it’s DIA, whether it’s cable, whether it’s MPLS. It’s a challenge, because we’re basically trying to make sure that our product is going to fit well into their design of their network. What we have done is—depending on the size of the customer, there’s a couple of different tools that we actually use. We do have an online tool that we provide to our customers that’s a pre-sell type of tool. They can run it.
It’s one of those things that they’ll run on a daily basis. They would run it probably morning, lunch and then right around the evening time-frame just to see how that’s going—and that’s more for your smaller customers. Then we do have something more for the medium-size customer, which is a box that we provide to them. We basically ship it out to them at no cost. They plug it in with just a quick ethernet connection and they let it run for about a week, and we capture every data packet for the entire week and just let it roll.
Then for our larger customers, we always provide a network assessment. That is something that we will invest with on them to make sure that their network is very ready, because if there’s one little glitch on one firewall or something like that, it’s just going to make for a bad experience. We want to make sure we cross our t’s and dot our i’s.
Andrew: Yeah, I got it. The network utilization piece of it is really important. You can see if the broadband connections they have are going to be sufficient or not to handle their peak loads. Having that tool that can sniff out that traffic over an extended period of time so they can see those peaks and valleys and how it performs—it sounds like that part is really, really critical.
William: It is. Another thing that we do is we actually—I don’t know if it’s called light reading or not because it’s about 17 pages that we have—but there’s a booklet that we have that we put together which is basically connecting Lync over the internet, because Lync was really made to run over the internet. That’s really the unique thing about it when it was designed by Microsoft. We put together a know-to type of document and again it’s about 17 pages, but it’s definitely worth it—that depending on the type of firewalls, depending on the network equipment you have, it’s always good to read it and actually make sure you have the right applications and the right firmwares for everything to work the way it’s supposed to.
Andrew: Yeah, cool. It sounds really important. That to me it feels like it’s WAN or router out. I’m looking at their internet connectivity, their broadband connectivity. What about router in? What steps do you go through to make sure that you’ve got the right, oh I don’t know, ethernet switches for example? Do you require that they support multiple VLANs or is power over ethernet a consideration? Speak about those components.
William: We always do prefer to have power over ethernet. On the back of the phones they obviously do have the two connections, so they could actually plug in the phone and then plug in the computer if they are going to have a desk phone. Usually we do prefer to make sure that they have power over ethernet with GIGe-type switches because obviously it does help, but it’s not a requirement.
They could obviously do 10/100 and it will work; but from the inside, from the router in, we could separate the VLANs if they want to as well. That’s really up to the customer and their design. Obviously they have their own security around it, so we could adjust that pretty much as quickly and easy as they want. It’s really from us—it’s really more when you get from that router out than from the router in. That’s usually where you see the most risk and the most vulnerability in the network.
Andrew: Got it. It sounds like you have a lot of flexibility of what kinds of LAN environments you guys can support?
William: Yes, absolutely we do. Pretty much I haven’t really seen one that we can’t support, but if we actually come up with something that we see that’s a little bit different of a design, then we’ll obviously get our tier 2 and tier 3 engineers involved and help out.
Andrew: Good deal. Excellent. William, hey, thanks for jumping in man. That’s really helpful stuff.
William: No problem. Sure.
Andrew: Good deal. Guys, that’s William Rubio. He is the Chief Revenue Officer for CallTower and a long-time member of the faculty here at Cloud Services University. Make sure you check out the learning center for CallTower. They have great information there, guys. White papers and videos, sales tools, things that you can study to get smarter about how you can sell more CallTower UCaaS services. Good selling.