By Brandy Hicks PASSING THE TEST Touchstone Technologies Offers TestingTools or Network Assessment L ocated just miles from the birthplace of America, Hatboro, Pa.’s Touchstone Technolo- gies provides VoIP testing and measurement services to keep business communications running free. With a customer-first attitude, the company works closely with clients through a sales staff fully focused on web demon- strations, custom configurations and testing. Touchstone’s specialty includes products for assessing SIP/H.323 load generation, deployments, SD-WAN voice quality, distributed monitoring and network diagnostics. The services that underscore Touchstone’s true commitment, however, streamline voice and video quality evaluations in real time. “We’re a test and measurement company,” noted Touchstone presi- dent, Neil Urban. “We’re all about the numbers behind the performance, helping evaluate call quality with custom charts, graphs and tools.” The company spent years perfecting its testing software, refining its feature set to provide an array of capabilities that optimize performance for high- quality, precision measurements. Now, it focuses on providing the network information it obtains to the user. Touchstone’s new reporting tool provides insight into the communica- tions network, with a function that gives detailed metrics into transmissions. The software’s easy-to-read, graphical format also provides at-a-glance views into network performance. Touchstone’s suite of tools is optimal for helping telecommunications operators assess voice and video call caliber and integrity, from design through deploy- ment. They also proactively measure quality and integrity for the end user, with a drilled-down, honed-in view, or high- level call quality overview. Reports are presented side-by-side to lend detailed statistics and numbers regarding call quality and integrity. Touchstone’s tool examines all calling aspects in real time, starting at the developer level. The software also automatically analyzes audio and video streams to assess critical transmission aspects such as endpoint availability and bandwidth. At its core, Touchstone’s test tool conveys critical assistance for maintaining a proper call, with precise, real-time voice and data call emula- tion to validate a network’s expected performance, plus features for monitor- ing live calls, troubleshooting, passive- ly enforcing 24x7 SLAs and conducting other forms of assessment. “It’s a form of support, with servic- es,” said Urban. “Our testing is really close to live. You can test before deployment or after network configu- ration changes to mitigate risks and issues before they occur. Not a lot of competitors can do that.” Perhaps more importantly, Touch- stone’s tools do not require a techni- cal background to operate; data interpretations are just clicks away. “In our business, a lot of the tools that we use are very technical,” said Urban, noting that it should not be the burden on the end-user to oversee the technology’s operation. Touchstone’s product assigns each call a customized letter grade, based on its algorithms, for a unique score card of performance that anyone – even those with little technical knowledge – can understand to remain proactive. “When you’re proactive, you’re ahead of the game. You’re smart,” contin- ued Urban. “It’s very important. The active testing aspect of this software is something that really sets us apart.” During the years, Touchstone has seen many different forms of technology come and go. As the tech industry advances forward with time, Touchstone’s focus will only continue to adapt and grow. Core bandwidth such as support for integrating new products, as well as promoting network support for business and provider need have forged its path. Regardless of the new technology of the day, however, familiarity always leads the way for Touchstone. “Over the past 20 years, the whole process has become so highly specialized,” said Urban. “One of the things that I think really sets us apart from competitors is that videoconfer- encing and VoIP are firsthand to us. We go all the way back to switched telephony. I guess you could say, we’re big on telephony.” And in that regard, Touchstone Technologies is as traditional as American pie. o CORE COMMUNICATIONS 62 CHANNEL V ISION | July - August 2021