Positive Marks for UC Offerings
The firm, Psytechnics, a voice, video and multimedia solutions evaluator, began a review of a prerelease of Microsoft’s Office Communicator 2007 in February and issued a report in early March. It also looked at an early release of version 5.0 of Cisco’s Call Manager solution. The review measured both solutions for voice quality, bandwidth, and delay and used both subjective methods with real end users and objective methods with Psytechnics’ own Quality of Experience software.
The end user test involved six speakers (three male and three female) and 32 listeners; tests were done using U.S. and U.K. English with and without background noise. “Users have been cautious about PC desktop telephony, but our tests show that concerns about speech quality have now been addressed by software,” said Mike Hollier, chief technology officer at Psytechnics. “This evaluation emphasizes the positive transformation that software-based VoIP solutions will have on unified communications and telephony in the future. The familiar PC can now outperform the IP phone.”
The firm further concluded that “by using a single user identity across all modes of communication, companies can confidently transition to unified voice, conferencing, [instant messaging], presence, and collaboration without any risk of reduced quality. As desktop communication continues to evolve with the incorporation of VoIP, businesses will benefit by the extension of existing telephony infrastructures.”
In comparing Microsoft’s and Cisco’s offerings, Psytechnics noted that “both the objective and subjective evaluations identified Microsoft’s solution as superior in speech quality.
“Overall, the one-way listening speech quality provided by the combination of Microsoft’s client and USB handset was consistently better than that provided by Cisco’s IP phones and Call Manager,” the report said. — Leonard Klie