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Business Networks: Effective Against The Economic Crisis

Business networks are essential to face the crisis and accompanying economic recovery, as demonstrated by the results of the National Observatory on Business Networks report. The health crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic has strongly impacted all advanced economies, including the Italian one, which recorded a drop in GDP of 8.9% in 2020. However, the recovery promises to be just as rapid, thanks to essential stimuli offered by the European Union, such as the Next Generation Europe plan. Many companies, generally small and medium-sized, have activated virtuous mechanisms and forms of informal collaboration, often by reconverting production processes and technological systems in different economic sectors. 

Several of them have set up business networks. A business network is a contract that allows participants to pool activities and resources; this sharing aims to improve the functioning and strengthen the competitiveness of the companies that are part of it. The topic was explored in the article “Business networks: what they are, how they work and what advantages they offer.” The companies that have formed a network or within production chains have proved to be more innovative and open to international markets, overcoming the limits of self-sufficiency in production capacity and supply. 

It is, therefore, clear how important it can be to encourage collaboration between companies through stable and organized aggregation models, such as network contracts, especially in the context of the production chains of excellence considered strategic for the country. Business networks are confirmed to be decisive in facing the crisis and accompanying the economic recovery, favoring individual companies’ performance, improving technological transformation, strengthening relationships, and acquiring new skills. Evidence of this is found in the 3rd Report of the National Observatory on Business Networks, presented in January 2022

Disturbing Factors Of Audio Quality

In digital communication, speech is digitized via codecs and compressed into data packets. But the path taken by the data packets (routing) is also essential. It is, in fact, necessary that all data packets arrive in the correct order and at the right time. If this does not happen, a distortion occurs, that is, a variation in the execution time of the data packets, perceivable as the “broken” or “metallic” voice, particularly evident “free” telephony platforms are used, such as Skype and like, where no distinction is made between voice files and other formats. In this case, the voice files have no prioritization, which is why they often reach the recipient incorrectly or late.

Another problem occurs when the selected Internet connectivity does not have sufficient bandwidth: depending on the codec used on an excellent voice transmission, each telephone connection needs between 3 Kbit / s – GSM – and 128 Kbit / s – G711-G722 -. The prioritization of voice traffic initially slows down the network, which can be avoided using a codec with minimal bandwidth consumption, which can cause quality losses.

Audio Quality Is No Accident

Overcoming these hurdles, however, is still no guarantee of sound voice transmission, as the subsequent potential weakness comes into play here: the chassis! The problem can arise already during the initial design of the terminals and in evaluating the optimal positioning of speakers and microphones according to their application areas, for example, in the handset or the speakerphone housing. Once the ideal conditions have been created, the next step is selecting the hardware components to be used. In this context, compatibility between members is also essential to ensure that all parts work together optimally and that you have sufficient capacity to encode and send data in real time.

 In the case of terminals Snom, the audio quality assessment process begins as soon as the first industrial prototype is available. This process then proceeds and is constantly optimized for the product’s entire life cycle. Over the years, the Berlin manufacturer, thanks to its experience and audio laboratory, has continuously improved the audio quality of its products by combining the latest DSP algorithms with VoIP transmission. In particular, Snom solved several problems of VoIP technology, such as processing and network delays, packet loss, and noise. An aspect that the company boasts among its flagships.

This attention to detail during the design phase makes all the difference in the quality of voice transmission in phones. At this juncture, subjective tests are as necessary as objective ones: a theoretically well-tuned phone can still present poor audio quality in practice. Well-calibrated devices are those in which a phase of subjective tests follows a cycle of objective tests. Both evaluations meet expectations about the acoustics of the handset and the speakerphone. The quality of the audio is taken for granted by most users. How complex and laborious this technology is today becomes apparent only when confronted with the often poor audio experiences of the most sophisticated smartphones or designer desktop devices.

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