Why Quality Of Service Is Critical To Good Communications Have you ever been on a phone or video call and, suddenly, the audio became choppy or the picture was blurry, and you could only hear snippets of what the person on the other line was saying? Maybe your call was dropped, and you had to inconveniently reschedule your phone call for a different time. These things can happen if Quality of Service (QoS) is not established on the network. QoS is a method for prioritizing network traffic, and can solve your network traffic issues and keep your bandwidth under control, which saves you money and headaches. If your organization has network bandwidth to spare and not much network traffic that overloads your bandwidth, then you may not have much need for QoS. However, if you find that you’re constantly experiencing delays or interruptions on your network, it is probably a sign that your network traffic is reaching the maximum bandwidth, making several applications and functions extremely delayed or unable to use for periods of time. What exactly is QoS? Here’s how Microsoft defines it: “QoS for networks is an industry-wide set of standards and mechanisms for ensuring high-quality performance for critical applications. By using QoS mechanisms, network administrators can use existing resources efficiently and ensure the required level of service without reactively expanding or over-provisioning their networks.” What QoS Does When you think of the word quality, you think of something that is excellent, fair, and helpful. In relation to your network, quality means consistent, reliable, and scalable. QoS enables your network to be consistent and reliable by allowing you to prioritize your mission critical traffic. For example: your phone calls and other real-time communications can be prioritized over other network traffic, so that you don’t have to worry about dropped calls or interruptions. This way, when there is a lot of traffic on your network, your mission-critical applications can still have the bandwidth they require. Additionally, QoS allows other less critical applications to still access the network, but they may experience minor delays that are usually un-noticed to the end user. How QoS Benefits You Overall, implementing QoS on your network can benefit your organization in several ways. First, it benefits every user of your network, because it allows them to do their work without interruptions or downtime. With QoS running in the background, your employees can stay productive. It also benefits you, and can provide peace of mind knowing your network traffic will run efficiently. Since your mission-critical functions and application have the bandwidth they need, you can conduct business with less distributions and frustrations. Second, it saves you money. Instead of upgrading your bandwidth or buying better technology, QoS allows you to use your existing bandwidth and technology more efficiently. Prioritizing your traffic lets you rearrange and reorganize your network, and let you experience better network usage overall. Lastly, QoS gives you more control over your network. If you’re not a tech-savvy person, then understanding your organization’s network and technology can give you headaches. QoS allows you to manage your network in a way that is easier to understand, while at the same time, gives you more options and functionality to help your network run more efficiently. If you’d rather not deal with your organization’s network at all, many technology companies can handle your network and technology needs for you, so that you can stay focused on your organization’s overall needs and growth. A Focus on Efficiency It’s safe to say the main focus of QoS is to boost network efficiency and allow your organization to continue to operate smoothly with minimal interruption. Today, having QoS is becoming more and more essential, as more applications and Internet of Things (IoT) devices become necessary to run a business. With QoS, that important phone call is completed with no loss of signal, patchiness, or connectivity issues, allowing you to do business without a hitch or glitch. Is your organization leveraging QoS to improve call/voice quality? Ron Schmudlach Ron Schmudlach has been helping clients understand technology for over 30 years. For the last 5 years he has worked with Aureon Technology as an Account Executive. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Upper Iowa University and is active with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and with the Rotary Club, where he is a Paul Harris Fellow.