Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology has been an important and growing segment of Biamp’s business for some time. In general, VoIP technology is not well-understood within the AV industry or among members of the general public. As a result, VoIP technology was met with some resistance in its early years. Traditional landline telephone systems had been in place for more than a century and were simple to operate. VoIP technology has become much more stable in recent years, and industry professionals must learn how to integrate and install the necessary equipment, including Biamp products, into VoIP systems.
One interesting aspect of VoIP is that there are three major factors that must be correct for the technology to work. There’s the Biamp product, followed by the VoIP server or proxy server that manages the entire VoIP telephone system and enables VoIP telecommunications. Finally, there’s the network infrastructure in between the Biamp product and the VoIP server and the rest of the VoIP phones, as well as connections to the public telephone network. The network infrastructure can be rather complex. These three elements must be in alignment for the system to work. Aligning the product, the VoIP server, and the network infrastructure properly can be challenging for a number of reasons. Our customers typically have control over the Biamp product, while the network infrastructure is frequently managed by the end-user or the end-user’s IT department. On occasion, the VoIP server is managed by a separate telecommunications department or by a third-party provider hired to oversee the VoIP server. Consequently, VoIP projects can sometimes require troubleshooting.
We recognize that the training may be challenging for some participants, particularly because it covers technologies, concepts, and terminologies that re outside the traditional AV comfort zone.
HOWEVER, THIS CHALLENGE IS NECESSARY TO ALLOW INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS TO INCREASE THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND EXPAND THEIR SKILL SETS.
Regardless of experience and skill, many industry professionals are unsure of how to proceed with addressing any problems that arise. Biamp recognized the need to better educate our customers about VoIP so they can learn how to troubleshoot issues more effectively. We are proud to launch the new Biamp VoIP Training program. Following the success of our TesiraFORTÉ training program in March 2014, we decided to develop a similar self-paced format that can be completed online, allowing each participant to engage in the program according to his or her individual needs. We recognize that the training may be challenging for some participants, particularly because it covers technologies, concepts, and terminologies that are outside the traditional AV comfort zone. However, this challenge is necessary to allow industry professionals to increase their knowledge and expand their skill sets.
Although several VoIP training programs are currently available, each is specific to a particular vendor’s product lines. Because they are associated with proprietary technology, these courses do not provide generalized instruction and can be prohibitively expensive. Biamp’s VoIP training program is the first of its kind, and begins with the overall concept of VoIP, as well as Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), which is the type of VoIP we use. Our training curriculum covers SIP at a general level, which gives participants a strong foundation for troubleshooting any issues that arise between the VoIP server and the Biamp VoIP product. Because Biamp products and VoIP servers are designed to “talk” to one another to set up telecommunication audio paths, most problems occur when something in the SIP communication breaks down. In other words, the server communicates to the Biamp piece, the Biamp piece responds, and the server cuts the Biamp piece off if the response is unfavorable. This can occur for many reasons, including something as simple as an incorrect password or username. In other cases, fundamental interoperation problems occur because the VoIP server is implementing things in a particular way and the Biamp piece is implementing things in a different way, indicating that a setting needs to be changed. Making the necessary changes requires an understanding of SIP, which is why our training begins with the basics of SIP and how it works. From there, the training presents real-life troubleshooting examples and walks participants through common scenarios and how to address them. Installments include online videos and reading materials, and each session concludes with a quiz.
With its online, self-paced structure, Biamp’s VoIP training program allows us to reach people around the world, 24 hours a day. The structure also allows participants to access the program from anywhere, eliminating the expense of traveling to a physical classroom. Sales manager approval is required for enrollment, but all sessions are provided free-of-charge. Self-paced instruction permits participants to go through the program at their own pace. Participants who need to go slowly or review the material frequently can do so, while faster learners are welcome to complete the program more quickly. Those who complete the training successfully will receive Biamp VoIP certification.
The training program concludes with a survey that allows participants to provide feedback about the quality of instruction. Contact information for Biamp’s support team is also available in case participants have follow-up questions. In addition, participants are free to come back to a particular lesson after completing it. For example, if a person encounters a troubleshooting scenario at any time in the future, he or she can log back in and review the section that covers that particular issue. By hosting this course online, we can also update certain training segments based on feedback or industry developments.
Because they allow us to reach a broad audience efficiently and effectively, we intend to introduce more self-paced online training programs in the future.