Business Communications A to Z: Sixth in a Series

    Every industry has its special language – the acronyms and verbal shortcuts that condense a lot of information into only a few syllables. Reading a white paper loaded with unified communications (UC) terms can create a headache if you don't have an explanation close at hand.

    At ShoreTel we're all about simplifying UC. That's why we've created a brilliantly simple business communications glossary that can give you the ABCs of VoIP UC, PDQ.

    This blog is the sixth in a series that demystifies key UC phrases. If you missed our first five glossary blogs, find them here:

    This blog ends our series by presenting glossary terms from Q-V. First, we'll make a statement loaded with specialized words and phrases, then we'll translate it with help from our Business Communications A to Z:  A Helpful Compendium Of Unified Communications & IP Telephony Terms, Acronyms & Phrases.

    Test Your IQoS

    When purchasing a VoIP solution, it is common to contract the services of a VAR or SI using an SLA that defines QoS. QoS can be improved by WFQ, WAN optimization, VLANs and WMM. Throughput and trunk lines also affects QoS; today SIP trunk lines are often used, which typically require SBCs to prevent TDoS.


    Voice over IP (VoIP) is a method of sending voice calls over the IP data network. When purchasing a VoIP solution, enterprises will typically contract the services of a value-added reseller (VAR) or system integrator (SI) who will execute a service level agreement (SLA) that defines quality of service (QoS) variables like call completion rate, delay from when the last digit is dialed until a user hears a ringing or busy signal, and a mean opinion score to measure voice quality.

    QoS, which identifies and marks which applications and traffic should receive high priority transmission over the network, can be improved by:

    • Weighted Fair Queuing (WFQ) – a method used on routers and switches that allows traffic flows to share the network, but provides prioritization for small, time-sensitive traffic such as voice.

    • Wide area network (WAN) optimization – products that accelerate applications by eliminating redundant transmissions, using local caching to stage data, compressing and prioritizing data, and streamlining protocols.

    • Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs) that separate devices and departments on the same physical network, delivering a better user experience and reducing the impact of multicast or broadcast traffic.

    • Wireless Multimedia (WMM) which defines four priority levels to support different types of wireless traffic, including voice, video, best effort for data and background traffic.

    Throughput (the amount of bandwidth a given system needs to accommodate simultaneous calls, encoding schemes and signaling overhead) and trunk lines (the data cabling connecting the VoIP PBX to public switched telephone network) also affects QoS. Today, there is a move toward trunking that supports the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to establish, manipulate and tear down sessions. However, operators using SIP trunks should add a session border controller (SBC) to ensure that only approved traffic passes into the heart of their enterprise. This protects against malicious attacks such as telephony denial of service (TDoS), a flood of automatically generated calls that typically target a contact center’s IVR or agents with hundreds or thousands of concurrent calls to disrupt the business or to generate calls for revenue.

    You can access your own copy of Business Communications A to Z:  A Helpful Compendium Of Unified Communications & IP Telephony Terms, Acronyms & Phrases.

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