Skype for business…a recipe for stress or success?

Skype for Business with a Legacy Network
Skype for Business with a Global SD-WAN

Skype for Business lets you collaborate with anyone, anywhere, on any device, with the security and control of Microsoft. But, when WANs cause poor voice quality and frequent disconnects, there are some things you won’t be able to do with Skype for Business, including…

  • Connecting with co-workers and partners through IM, voice, or video calls
  • Seeing when your contacts are available online, in a meeting, or presenting
  • Broadcasting online to a large audience
  • Sharing your screen in meetings

The Heavy Burden on Connectivity
Skype for Business places a huge demand on networks. As more users take advantage of the benefits, that demand increases exponentially. Here’s what you can expect when Skype for Business travels over the public Internet:

  • Congestion causing packets to drop
  • Latency and jitter resulting in low quality voice and video
  • Skype for Business overtaken by non-critical applications
  • Bandwidth becoming insufficient

All of these conditions adversely affect collaboration, and ultimately business execution.

A Skype Solution for Global Enterprises
A leading offshore construction and support services provider for oil and gas field development experienced these problems first hand with their offices in Singapore and Mumbai. The company relied on Skype for Business across its globally distributed offices for collaboration. They needed flawless application performance, as Skype for Business had a direct impact on employee productivity and their business operations.

Unfortunately, the company experienced ongoing problems caused by their IP-VPN. Their public Internet links caused performance degradation on all of their applications. This was triggered by the Internet’s inherent high packet loss and fluctuating latencies (between 270ms and 300ms). A common problem with the public Internet is jitter that is caused by erratic packet delay in the network. For reliable connectivity, Skype for Business needs a consistent network path and low jitter.

Because of these network problems, voice and video quality suffered, and connection drops with Skype for Business became common, causing serious collaboration issues between employees in Singapore and Mumbai.

MPLS as an alternative wasn’t the answer. They realized that the high costs and months long deployments would be a detriment to their business. Instead, the company replaced its public Internet links with Aryaka’s SmartConnect network and SD-WAN service to improve Skype for Business reliability and performance.

skype-solution for-global-customers

Deployment of the company’s applications to Aryaka SmartConnect only took a few days, and they quickly saw the benefits. Skype for Business had zero disconnects. Performance was significantly improved — with up to 28 times faster connection setups. Application stability also improved. To get the best user experience using Skype for Business, latency should be under 200 milliseconds. With Aryaka’s network, latency was lowered from 270ms-300ms, to just 70ms between Singapore and Mumbai.

Aryaka Supports Microsoft ExpressRoute
Microsoft’s Azure ExpressRoute enhances connectivity to Microsoft cloud services. It enables enterprises to extend their networks into the Microsoft cloud over a dedicated private connection.

Aryaka has partnered with Microsoft, and supports ExpressRoute connections through its global private network and managed global SD-WAN service. Office 365 and Skype for Business users gain greater reliability, faster speeds, lower latencies, and higher security, because ExpressRoute connections run over Aryaka’s private network.

Global Network Connectivity Built for the Cloud
Aryaka bypasses the public Internet through its global private network (using an SDN/NFV framework). This delivers consistent latencies and negligible packet loss to provide predictable Skype for Business performance.

When branch offices need cloud access and VPN connectivity, Aryaka enables dynamic path selection, load balancing, and converged WAN-edge functionality. We also include routing and optimization, all within a single customer premises equipment (CPE).

To ensure reliable Skype for Business connectivity, embedded Quality of Service (QoS) prioritizes traffic types across five levels and multiple sub-classes using application type, and pre-set service levels. This limits bandwidth “hogging” by non-critical traffic, enabling efficient and reliable voice, video, and real-time traffic. WAN optimization is also embedded into our global private network to deliver up to 40x faster Skype for Business performance.

All of these features and capabilities need to be easily managed, so we include MyAryaka at no additional cost. A real-time network and application visibility tool, MyAryaka gives enterprises a centrally managed, fully transparent network and application view – end-to-end.

Getting flawless Skype for Business connectivity means users won’t be derailed by WANs that cause unsatisfactory voice quality and frequent disconnects. With Aryaka’s global private network and global SD-WAN service, Skype for Business users can reliably collaborate with anyone, anywhere, on any device, with strong security. Guaranteed!

Deliver flawless Skype for Business performance to your global enterprise. Sign up for a proof of concept today.

About the author

Mouli Radhakrishnan
Mouli is Vice President of Product Management at Aryaka Networks, and leads the technology process for strategic customer opportunities and business development partnerships.