Organizational convergence follows the unification of voice and data. When all services share one infrastructure, they almost necessarily share management and troubleshooting as well as transport. There may be exceptions in larger organizations where it is possible to dedicate specialists to an area such as troubleshooting voice quality issues. More on this later.

The choice of a network management system (NMS) can have a surprising impact on a business. In early 2011 Nemertes Research studied the costs for VoIP management. They found that a specialized management tool for VoIP, one that measured network performance attributes that correlate with voice quality, reduced the cost per seat by more than half compared to using no NMS. The cost when using the vendor's product-specific workstation fell in between.

The cost differences derive from the time needed to solve problems. A specialized tool that addresses all devices and all protocol levels finds faults faster. Less labor equals less cost equals reduced staffing.

Unexpectedly, having more than one specialized manager of managers (MoMs) was worse than having none. The analyst's explanation claims that a “single pane of glass” for management is the key to cost reductions. Multiple panes incur multiplies costs.

One pane to watch implies that one person will do the watching. By implication, organizations that formerly had separate telephone and data staff must cross-train everyone: that watcher ...

Get VoIP and Unified Communications: Internet Telephony and the Future Voice Network now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.