bluArc has been at the forefront of providing cloud hosted services to small- and medium-sized businesses. In fact, bluArc has been delivering Hosted Business Phone and Internet Services across Canada for over seven years from its core service centres in Toronto and Ottawa.
Our Fundamental Philosophy—A Private Network
When we embarked on delivering cloud services for small- and medium-sized businesses, we began with a fundamental philosophy: our primary delivery mechanism for Hosted Business Phone and Internet Services would be over a private network.
By private network, I mean a network that doesn’t go through the Internet to reach bluArc’s service centres, but rather a network that is directly connected to our service centres, bypassing the internet completely. We chose to deliver our services this way because it is the only way to consistently provide business grade voice quality, meeting or exceeding the quality of traditional voice networks.
What “VoIP” providers typically use
Most Hosted Business Phone providers do not use private networks to deliver their services. Typically, these “VoIP” providers either use the customers’ existing Internet connection, or they install a dedicated Internet connection for voice services.
The first problem with both of these deployment types is that they both run over the Internet. When the Internet is used for voice services there is no guarantee of voice quality because nobody can guarantee Internet performance. Even if your existing Internet connection has a lot of available bandwidth, there are still no guarantees of voice quality. This is because many things can affect voice quality: available bandwidth being one, latency being another.
Routers inject latency or delay
The Internet consists of many devices linked together, moving traffic between each other until the data, or voice, reaches its destination. Each one of these routers injects latency, or delay, and it’s this latency or delay that can have a critical impact on voice.
Dedicated Internet connections suffer the same issue with latency, although bandwidth may be available, latency is uncontrolled. Think of it like having a six-lane freeway with traffic lights, regardless of the amount of traffic on the road, you still have to stop for the traffic lights.
Risking availability and reliability
And voice quality isn’t the only concern customers should have when evaluating a Hosted Business Phone provider. By sending voice over the Internet, customers risk the security of their private conversations as well as the availability and reliability of their service. As the Internet goes, so do your voice services.
What about your Data Services?
Let me extend the argument a bit further. If you accept the argument that allowing your voice services to use the Internet is a bad thing, what about your data services? As the demand for Hosted Data Services increases, customers are faced with the same questions that they have with their Hosted Voice Service:
- How secure is my service, my data?
- I’m sending it over the Internet and it is stored where?
- What happens to my application performance when there is high traffic volume on the Internet—what happens to my staff performance?
- How secure and reliable is the warehouse where the servers and data are stored: are they backed up, redundant and secure?
- Where is it / are they located?
Shouldn’t you demand the same reliability, security and performance of your data services as you do your voice services?
by Rick Koenders, VP of Business Development and Marketing, bluArc Communications