Q
Evaluate Weigh the pros and cons of technologies, products and projects you are considering.

What automated tools exist for VoIP networks?

What can automated tools, such as Viola Networks, NetIQ Vivinet and Qovia, do for my VoIP network? What do you suggest when deciding on which tools to use?

What can automated tools, such as Viola Networks, NetIQ Vivinet and Qovia, do for my VoIP network? What do you suggest when deciding on which tools to use?

All of these tools work well for automating security services. When you decide to get into an evaluation, you should request an onsite or over-the-Internet demonstration. You should consider building a scorecard of things that you feel are important to your site which you can use during the demonstrations. I would also suggest that you ask them to be available to respond to a second set of questions which you will likely have after looking at all three demonstrations.

It also is not out of line to ask them to provide you with competitive comparisons. Most companies provide their sales forces with sales tools to sell against the competition. Or, they will at least list key features that they do not see in a competitor's product.

You will want to include such items on your checklist as:

  • What platform does the tool run on?
  • Does it support virtualization?
  • How is their tech support service? (You may even want to fake a call.)
  • Does the price include setup?
  • How are the warranty and maintenance policies organized?
  • What are the hardware requirements?
  • How often are patches and maintenance releases put out?
  • Are there automatic updates? If so, will they make your machine reboot automatically? (It's not always a feature!)

Also, check out an article I wrote a while back for SearchNetworking.com called "ROI/TCO fruit salad".

This was last published in September 2006

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