Measure Audio Quality to Reduce Management Headaches

Almost 13 years ago, I began my career in the contact center software industry as manager of a technical support group. It was an interesting time; many contact centers were moving from legacy telephony board-based systems to modern SIP-based systems with digital gateways and media servers. Then, upgrading your phone system or ACD to a contact center solution also meant upgrading your network. Unfortunately, it was a rough ride for many.

One of the biggest sources of frustration then was poor, intermittent or unexplained audio quality. The root of these problems was almost universally QoS setup issues on the customer network. Unraveling that mystery involved timely investigations that included seemingly endless packet captures (the more tap spots, the better), network assessments and, ultimately, several iterations of tweaking and testing. Often, all this work only led to finding another issue. Years in technical support taught me a very important lesson: If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

Today, the contact center industry is undergoing a similar transition to cloud-based serverless implementations. Contact centers moving to the cloud are sunsetting their application servers, gateways, media servers and, in some cases, phones. Modern cloud solutions, like the Genesys® PureCloud® platform, deliver new functionality on a weekly basis—without the headaches of maintenance windows and upgrade planning. The depreciation of hardware in favor of a cloud solution reduces the complexity of maintenance and increases the pace of innovation.

Every Wednesday, Genesys introduces new functionality to the PureCloud platform to help you operate a more efficient contact center and create great customer experiences. Today, Genesys released a new capability that evaluates audio quality of all calls handled on the platform, and then automatically assigns a mean opinion score (MOS) and R-value score. Automated audio quality scoring of every call handled very quickly empowers our customers by quantifying the voice quality they’re experiencing.

Audio scores are available within the PureCloud application and can be added easily as a metrics column in the dynamic Interactions list view. Being able to measure call quality enables you to efficiently—and automatically—manage call quality in real-time; there’s no need to opt-in, develop or configure anything for this functionality. If there’s a need to pull low-level raw data used to calculate these scores into other systems or reports, the supporting data is also available via our public API and easy-to-use developer tools.

Soon, the PureCloud platform will feature automated packet captures (PCAP) for SIP signaling to troubleshoot telephony issues. Access to PCAPs will be available to authorized administrators of the PureCloud organization for security and compliance reasons. PCAPs will be available, just like MOS scores, within the PureCloud interface without the need for additional configuration or setup; they’ll also be downloadable. PCAPs will be in an industry-standard format, so they’re viewable in free online tools like WireShark.

As a product manager, it’s very rewarding to develop great, easy-to-use and intuitive features and tools for the PureCloud solution. When I started in technical support 13 years ago, I would have killed for automatic tools for audio quality (MOS score) and PCAPs. With the PureCloud platform, we’re automating the measurement, so you can manage things more effectively.

To find out more about these new tools, innovations or other weekly releases, please visit the release notes section of our Resource Center.