Lync is a living, breathing ecosystem that is constantly changing, and of course this means that you need to establish key metrics and monitor those metrics on a regular basis. One slight twist to our recommendation is to focus on the end-user impact of these measurements. Typically, technology services are measured at the server level or application level. We suggest that you test and measure Lync from an end-to-end perspective in the same way that an end user would be exercising the system. This is important because several pieces to the puzzle are actually out of your control and beyond the reach of your datacenter monitoring solutions.
Our third recommendation here at Unify Square for keeping your Lync deployment on the right track is to establish key metrics and monitoring for end-user availability, voice quality and end-user satisfaction. Here is a quick snapshot of each of these measurements and their overall importance to your success:
End-User Availability KPI
Measuring the end-user availability ensures that you are keeping tabs on the fact that users can do their jobs with Lync. On a regular basis you should be proactively testing each route into and out of your Lync environment to make sure it’s available. This includes peer to peer calling between offices and within offices, conference call hosting and participation including the click-to-join capabilities, federation and your PSTN dial-in and dial-out capabilities. By running tests on all of these routes from end-to-end you get a true picture of your availability and you will greatly reduce those surprises caused by a firewall change, a routing table update or a SIP provider outage.
Measuring Voice Quality
Knowing that users can make a call or connect to a conference is only half the battle. A healthy Lync environment will also measure the quality of those calls and conferences to ensure good communications. With Lync this can pose a challenge because there are many different aspects of voice quality across the network. Voice calls and conferences traverse different network segments, different network types (wireless, wired, etc.) and they leave the datacenter and go through third party services. Our suggestion is that your voice quality metrics take into account your different geographies, your different network classifications and your different modalities. Bringing all of these together into a consolidated view for the enterprise can yield tremendous benefits and ongoing improvement.
Measuring User Satisfaction
The ultimate measurement of Lync in your enterprise is attained by asking your end users. As we discussed early in our “Five Ways to Keep Your Enterprise Lync Deployment on the Right Track” webinar, the end-user is the key to your success. By consistently measuring the end-user perception of Lync, you’ll uncover a wealth of information including unreported problems, at-risk users and even promoters. A simple way to keep a pulse on your user base is to implement an ongoing NSAT survey giving you a standardized score on a 200 point scale. NSAT, a net user satisfaction survey methodology, was created by Microsoft and is used for many of their own user adoption and satisfaction measurements. Microsoft published the NSAT methodology as part of the Lync 2010 adoption and training kit, and it’s a great way to start your own measurement program.
There you have it! Those are the top three KPIs we think that you should consider for a healthy Lync deployment. There are several ways you can accomplish the collection and reporting of these KPIs. At Unify Square we have built products based upon our customer needs to measure and report on these critical elements including PowerMon for end-user availability monitoring, PowerView for Lync voice quality analytics and PowerSat for recurring end-user satisfaction measurement. If you would like assistance with these solutions or on determining the right set of KPIs for your ongoing operations, contact our sales team. You can also find out more about this topic, as well as the other four tips, in the free webinar “Five Ways to Keep Your Enterprise Lync Deployment on the Right Track.”