There are two important ways that the pandemic is forever changing the way offices operate. These have to do with more remote workers and less physical customer contact. It’s been months since the earliest shutdowns first started due to COVID-19, and the world is now realizing that things may never go back to the old version of “normal.” This new normal involves running companies with more at-home workers and coming up with innovative ways to serve customers who are more contact sensitive now than ever before. The internet and remote connectivity play key roles in both those areas. 77% of surveyed businesses say that post-pandemic, they’ll have more employees working from home at least 3+ days per week. Quality of Service (QoS) will play a big part in ensuring businesses are able to connect to employees, customers, and cloud data effectively on a daily basis.
What is QoS?
QoS involves the quality of network connections. These can include connections during a video conference or the connections of your point-of-sale (PoS) devices customer use to purpose your products or services. To understand where QoS comes in to help improve data transmissions, let’s looks at how two standard protocols for network transmission work. UDP (User Datagram Protocol) is a transmission that streams data in an ordered sequence, like when you’re doing a VoIP or video call. If packets of data are lost during transmission (e.g. a frozen video stream), the protocol just lets those go, it doesn’t go back to try to retransmit the lost data. UDP is faster, which is why it’s used for voice/video streaming. TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is a transmission that DOES go back to retransmit any lost data packets during a connection. This is commonly used for things like cloud storage uploads and downloads. Part of the data won’t do you any good, you need the entire file, so TCP is a better fit than UDP in this case.
How QoS Improves UDP/TCP Data Transmissions
What QoS does is look at both the UDP and TCP processes and works to manage data packet loss, delay, and jitter – all things that cause connection and data transmission problems. It will look at the available bandwidth, the transfer protocols being used, and the process priority to identify which activities need to have priority on the network. For example, if you have a remote workforce, you need to ensure that video conference connections are running smoothly as a high priority. Whereas you may put remote connections to your wireless printer on a lower priority, so a large print job doesn’t suddenly ruin an important video meeting.
QoS for Critical Applications
Another important area that QoS impacts is application performance. If you have employees logging in remotely to company applications that are running on your server, those connections could be interrupted by other processes taking up bandwidth. If you’re not using QoS on your network to act as a “traffic cop” for your internet connected processes, then you could lost valuable productivity and cause constant disruptions to applications like your VoIP phone system or customer CRM program.
The Advantages of QoS for Your Business
QoS looks at your total bandwidth and controls which processes get which slice of the pie. This is crucial in a post-pandemic working environment for a number of reasons.
Ensures Remote Teams are Productive
You can prioritize applications like video conferencing and remote connections to your server to significantly reduce lag time, poor video meeting quality, and trouble connecting to office resources while working remotely. Faster connections equal more efficiency and higher productivity because staff aren’t waiting on slow connections.
Keep Customer Call Quality on VoIP Consistent
VoIP phone systems have become a necessity in an unpredictable world where companies need to be able to quickly move their operations. But, if you’re not using QoS, then other applications using up bandwidth could impact customer call quality and even cause calls to be dropped. QoS allows you to designate priority and bandwidth requirements for your VoIP phone system to ensure a consistent experience.
Improves Overall Data Handling
Without QoS, the devices that connect to your network are in a “free for all” when it comes to bandwidth, making all of them unpredictable when it comes to latency, jitter, and packet loss. By prioritizing devices and which are the most critical to have their data packets delivered first, you put control to the chaos and improve the data handling of all your internet-dependent activities. What this does is allow you to explore new ways to reach and serve customers using cloud processes to reduce physical contact and create a safer business environment into the future.
Does Your Network Need Help Prioritizing Traffic?
Onsite Techs of Rhode Island can work with you to put QoS into place on your network including adding any necessary hardware. This allows you to gain control of your traffic, improving its quality and speed, and reducing connection issues. Contact us today to set up a network consultation at 401-415-6290 or reach out online.