Virtual Office Analytics is an excellent call quality reporting tool. Correctly interpreting call quality reports will help you troubleshoot call quality issues on your 8x8 services. The following Q&A provides some insight on the more difficult portions of call quality reports. For more information on using Virtual Office Analytics, see the online product documentation.
Q: How do I interpret calls that last 30 seconds or more that show very high packet loss (40% loss or above)?
A: Calls that last more than 30 seconds that show very high packet loss are false positives. In these cases, there is no actual packet loss. Calls with true high packet loss would not last more than a few seconds.
Q: How do I interpret calls with a Quality Score of good or excellent, but that actually had quality issues?
A: For a call with a rating of good or excellent that actually had poor quality, there are the two possible scenarios:
- If the original call stream from the public switched telephone network (PSTN) is poor, such as a bad cell phone connection on the other side, the current technologies would not detect this if the IP stream is solid (meaning that the IP side between the underlying carrier and the end-user is fine, but the original content is bad). These cases should be reported to the underlying carrier for investigation. The underlying carrier will determine if the issue was one bad call, such as a bad cell connection, or a bigger issue such as a problem PSTN switch in a particular market. When the issue lies with the underlying carrier, action will be taken by the underlying PSTN carriers.
- It is important to pay attention to the net packet loss ratio (NLR%) and jitter buffer discard ratio (JDR%) portions of the report even for good or excellent calls.
A call might be rated with an overall Quality Score of good, although the call experienced a 3% loss within a short period of time (e.g., 5 seconds in a 5 minute call). It is important to take into account the gap and loss density. Although a call may have an overall rating of good, a sudden burst of 3% packet loss in a period of 5 seconds may produce poor call quality. The same call with a 3% loss evenly distributed over the course of the call would sound good for the entire time.
Q: How do I see what kind of loss was experienced?
A: To find out what kind of loss was experienced (evenly distributed or in bursts), click the red plus sign + next to the Call Quality Detail report to get advanced details (EndPoint Voice Quality Report). Look for the Burst Loss Density (BLD). The range will be 1 to 100 for desk phones such as Polycom. The range will be 1 to 255 for Virtual Office Mobile/Desktop/Online. The closer the number is to 100 (or 255 in the case of Virtual Office) will indicate that the loss happened in a burst (sudden loss of data, creating a gap or horrible quality for a short period). The smaller the number is will indicate that the loss was evenly distributed (or the loss did not happen as much during the bursts). As an example, you see a call quality report that says Local.BurstGapLoss BLD:99.6. A BLD of 99.6 would indicate that the loss happened in a burst. This screenshot displays where to find the BLD information in the report.
Q: Virtual Office Analytics depends on the device endpoint reporting what it receives. Since the data flows through the 8x8 iPBX, how can we get an accurate picture of how good a call is without having metrics reported by the 8x8 iPBX in addition to the end devices?
The phone will know if the data sent by the 8x8 iPBX is received properly (in the right order, without much latency, etc.), but how does Virtual Office Analytics know how well the 8x8 iPBX is receiving packets from the phone? If the reporting is based on the device endpoints, it seems that this only provides half of the call quality picture.
A: There are two parts to call quality reports: one from the endpoint perspective, and one from the server (Media Relay Server) perspective. To see the details of the report from the server side, click the red plus sign + next to the Call Quality Detail report to open the Endpoint Voice Quality Report. Then, click Next. The information from the media relay server is found on the Media Relay Server Voice Quality Report.