Concord Enhances eHealth Suite, Heeds VoIp's Call

The upgrade, eHealth 5.6.5, includes two new VoIP modules that give Concord users the ability to monitor and manage the performance of network equipment that supports VoIP, including IP-PBXes.

As customers move deeper into VoIP deployments, management becomes a key issue, said Greg Redmond, president of Network Performance Services, a solution provider in Pennsauken, N.J.


Concord's Kettenstock says interest in IP telephony has spiked this year.

"Customers want to be able to manage VoIP the same way they manage their data networks," Redmond said, noting that his company plans both to sell the new Concord technology and build management services around it.

With the new offering, Concord's channel partners can implement a management solution that combines the monitoring of VoIP devices, quality-of-service and the underlying data network, said Frank Kettenstock, vice president of product marketing at Concord, Marlborough, Mass.

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"It's important to manage these things together because they rely on each other so much," Kettenstock said. "For example, if your router CPU becomes overloaded, you'll start to see degradation in VoIP calls," he said.

Concord began developing the VoIP management solutions after interest in IP telephony among its customer base spiked earlier this year, Kettenstock said. "In the first quarter of this year, it was almost like a light switch turned on. We had a lot of customers asking about it," he said.

The new modules include eHealth Voice Quality Monitor, which runs synthetic calls across the network to measure latency and jitter, and eHealth for Cisco CallManager, an agent that sits on the CallManager server collecting performance statistics. Concord chose to support market leader Cisco's products first. It also plans to support other IP telephony vendors, including Avaya and Nortel Networks, over the next two quarters, Kettenstock said.

The two new modules report back to the eHealth E2E Console. The management console provides realtime and historical views into network performance, he said.

Concord's eHealth for Cisco CallManager is priced at $6,000 plus $30 per phone. Voice Quality Monitor costs $5,000.