How Important is Networking?
Through the years, we have provided our services to several call centres. From our experience, there are two main underlying causes of problems; the quality of the internet connectivity and networking. Without a doubt, if you don’t take you time to properly plan for your networking, failure is imminent. Moreover, if you do not have a reliable internet connection, even if you build the fastest network in existence, it won’t be of any use. If you happen to be lucky enough to be in a place that has a Fibre Broadband connectivity from BT, we recommend that you get a few connections.
Virgin Media on the other hand is not an option that we vouch for since we have some consumers who use it and they often experience problems. We prefer a leased line connection, either a traditional one or microwave from providers such as Metronet. We also don’t advise on using ADSL since it isn’t working well enough for some of our clients. It is always our pleasure to provide you with advice and if need be, we can build your network for you. Reach us via email or phone call and we’ll give you a quote. There are three main areas that you should focus on; router, switches and network cards.
Software or Hardware?
The router is the centre of your network and you shouldn’t hesitate to invest substantially in this part. Draytek routers, especially the 2960 models are an exceptional choice but they are quite costly. We also advise that you acquire a low-end server that has two network cards then install the PFSense. The main advantage is that you will have the ability to lock down the agents to prevent them from browsing the internet. You just have to spend some money to acquire a decent router, Obviously, the router that you got for free after signing up for your Internet connectivity won’t be powerful enough to run a 25 seat all centre.
Layer 1, Layer 2 or Layer 3?
We always recommend to call centres that they better spend heavily on costly routers rather than costly switches. Layer 1 (also referred to as unmanaged) gigabit switches work well. The Layer 2 (also known as managed) are quite okay but there is a good chance that you will not use their functionality. Layer 3 on the other hand is an unnecessary expenditure. We do not advise using 48 port gigabit switches, partly due to their price and also as a result of their risk of failing. However, with all IT systems, you should strive to have a higher amount of resource than you actually need because when you run at a capacity of 100%, you have no room for error which leads to overheating!
10/100 or Gigabit?
It is not advisable to have any 10/00 network cards on your network unless you have a layer 3 switch. This is because layer 3 switches are the only ones that can run different ports at different speeds. This is not the case with both layer 1 and 2. Therefore, if your network has just one 10/100 network card, you are running a 10/100 network even if you have a gigabit switch, unless your switch is worth £800. Ensure that you check the routers port speed, if it’s 10/100, then it’s going to have a similar effect. Also, faulty network cards can lead to slowing down of your network. You should carry out a regular check-up for your network for slow connections.
How Do We Carry Out Structured Networking?
Basically, Structured Networking it’s the physical connection of cables to the server cabinet from the computer network. It implies trunking and fitting the network cables to one or many patch panels, network points, wall boxes and at times a server cabinet. We can organize for a structured networking for you but have the tendency of making use of local contractors.