Managing UCC Data with a Robust UC Performance Management System
Do you know what’s worse than a UCC (unified communications and collaboration) system which is sporting a broad spectrum of disgruntled end-users? A UCC system with dissatisfied end-users PLUS an IT team who is tasked with managing that system, but who lacks the real-time visibility to keep their noses above water while attempting to fix the problems! Recently this Network World piece, which featured this general thesis about UCC data overload (albeit in a generic manner), crossed our desks and got us wondering how many different ways that we could count where PowerSuite is able to “throw IT teams a lifeline.”
Below we’ll count the number of different ways and places that the smart analytics and machine learning in PowerSuite can speed up troubleshooting and deliver a strong ROI to IT, who owns the care and feeding of the UCC system.
- Number 1: Help Desk. We’ll start with this example because it happens to be one of the main examples referenced in the Network World article – “As more apps move to the cloud….employees have the freedom to work from virtually anywhere, [so] how does the help desk ‘see’ issues for a remote worker who is using the coffee shop Wi-Fi network?” PowerSuite’s Help Desk Solution was built with this very scenario (and many other similar ones) specifically in mind. The solution’s ability to quickly isolate the specific issue causing problems for the end-user has been proven to reduce the mean time to isolate and fix on 65% of calls. The ability to identify if an issue is isolate vs systemic and to rule in (or out) the network as a source of the problem is also a key feature of this solution. Perhaps equally attractive (particularly from an ROI perspective) is that the solution is easy to learn and intuitive to use, so training for help desk personnel is greatly minimized. As the Microsoft Intelligent Communications pendulum increasingly swings toward Microsoft Teams, this solution will continue to also add troubleshooting for collaborative chat issues as well.
- Number 2: Mid-Call Update. We’re cheating a bit here, because this feature has yet to fully ship and because the feature is not a stand-alone solution, but rather an extension of the Help Desk Solution. Despite the early glory, this feature is a true lifeline in that it will allow IT to troubleshoot what is occurring on any given call or conference in near real-time as it’s happening. Plus it helps teams take action during (as opposed to after) the call.
- Number 3: Service Health. At the most basic level, with a UCC system, IT needs to have its finger on the pulse of the system. For PowerSuite this translates into our 3 KPIs: voice quality, service availability and user satisfaction. The Service Health Solution provides a visual roll-up of these 3 KPIs and allows IT to set thresholds (to alert if the values drop too low) and to benchmark against other sites within the organization or against other PowerSuite customers around the globe.
- Number 4: User Satisfaction. Although it makes up one third of the Service Health KPIs, user satisfaction is a key tool that IT teams can utilize to be proactive in getting end user feedback. This feedback can be used either to validate a system issue, or it can be a leading indicator to highlight certain anomalies in the system of which IT were not even aware. With this sort of an early warning system, IT oftentimes doesn’t even need a lifeline as they can take action before one-off problems become an irritation to a broad set of end users.
- Number 5: Executive Dashboard and Usage & Adoption Dashboard. In some ways these PowerSuite solutions are less of a lifeline and more of an insurance policy. It doesn’t really help with troubleshooting, but it does help the senior IT team to understand how the particular Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business system is being utilized. If user adoption is stagnated (or dropping) IT can respond quickly and take action to correct. These two solutions also allow for legacy platforms to be tracked so that a clear off-boarding (and associated money savings) timeline can be tracked as well.
- Number 6: Tracking Dashboard. This solution is quite new to PowerSuite and is a direct response to current customer feedback as part of our product planning process. The solution can be used both as a proactive or a reactive troubleshooting mechanism. Using the Tracking Dashboard, IT can create custom groups of users (e.g. C-Suite VIP’s, or Sales Execs, or Constant Complainers) and then track the call and conferencing experiences of the individual users in these groups. The ability to shine a bespoke spotlight on key users allows IT to stay ahead of the troubleshooting process and nip user satisfaction issues in the bud.
- Number 7: Geo Filtering. This feature scales across multiple solutions, including Service Health and Operations Dashboard. The key benefit here is the ability to allow IT to only see the UCC data and insights which are relevant to their specific bailiwick (versus the noise of all the other geographical parts of the organization). For very large enterprises where IT departments have regional areas of focus or for even smaller organizations who are trying to isolate issues down to a specific geo site, this feature set is invaluable.
- Number 8: Service Availability. OK, yes, you caught us again – we already mentioned service availability as one of the core KPI’s that PowerSuite tracks in the Service Health solution. We felt compelled to mention it again here though because of the feedback we’ve received from our customers. The ability for PowerSuite to provide an independent (from the UC platform vendor) UCC data source regarding service ability is becoming increasingly important, particularly as more and more UC systems (e.g. Microsoft Teams) move into the UCaaS space. Independent tracking and validation is an important source of check and balance for peace of mind and to stay ahead of end-user complaints. Additionally, PowerSuite’s availability metrics are able to monitor the overall system and all its multitude of components from different vendors – this is the only way to get a true picture of the total user experience.
- Number 9: Insights Center. This PowerSuite solution epitomizes our commitment to machine learning and AI. The whole concept here focuses on using patterns, past behaviors (across all PowerSuite customers and users, as well as the PowerSuite Cloud Managed Services operations team) and Unify Square UCC expertise to isolate and then prioritize issues on which the customer IT teams should focus their attention. This solution goes far behind that of a simple lifeline – it’s really more akin to the highly maneuverable, technologically sophisticated, and impeccably maintained Coast Guard cutter ship which is always on duty and always in the right patch of ocean at the right time.
You can see a full overview of what PowerSuite can do here, as well as request a demo or sign up for a free trial.