Exploring the Present and Future of PowerSuite Device Management
If you haven’t already noticed from some of our recent blog posts, as well as the launch of our new strategic partnership with Jabra, UC device management is shaping up to be a key focus and differentiator for our overall PowerSuite software offering. Unlike its more talked about cousin, MDM, UCDM (UC Device Management) doesn’t receive nearly as much airtime or IT focus. On the one hand, the disparity can certainly be explained given the ratio of the number of cellphones and tablet devices on the market (towards which MDM focuses its attention) vs the number of UC endpoint devices. However, when viewed from the lens of the powerful ROI impact that some relatively ‘simple’ Skype for Business or Teams device management adjustments can make, the disproportional focus on MDM begins to make less sense. In fact, one could almost begin to ring warning claxons in and around the offices of the enterprise IT team who neglects the management and troubleshooting of Skype for Business headsets and IP phones.
Skype for Business Headset Management
The PowerSuite Device Management solution focuses on core capabilities to allow IT to apply PowerSuite’s single pane of glass concept to enhance the total end-user experience on Skype for Business and Teams — for device management, this means the troubleshooting, resolution and overall management of certified IP Phones and UC endpoint devices across the entire device lifecycle. We’ve created a short 3+ minute video here to walk you through the top line details of our solution.
The video will walk you through the core focus areas of our comprehensive approach to IP Phone and UC Headset management. Given that our solution is still maturing, there are some facets of the solution which are still in their nascent stages. In addition, there are still some IP Phone and UC headset providers (such as Plantronics, Sennheiser and Audiocodes) whose devices are still not compatible with our solution. There are various technical, business model and overall prioritization reasons for the current lack of complete and comprehensive feature and vendor coverage. We are working hard to fill the gaps, but if you have a favorite vendor or feature that you think is missing, we’d love to hear from you to help us prioritize!
In general, we think of the following 6 areas as making up the ‘perfect’ device management solution for Skype for Business and Teams: Usage and Adoption Overview (listing total counts, firmware stage info, top used devices, etc.), Firmware Management (the ability to easily track the life-cycle stage, i.e. testing production or outdated, of the firmware for ALL device models in operation and then to ‘push’ firmware updates down to targeted devices within an organization), Feature Configuration (the ability to turn on/off certain features, such as language configurations, auto-dial buttons, etc., for a device type, or even for a specific users’ phone), Help Desk (the ability for a Level 1 or Level 2 enterprise help desk/support person to respond to an issue, via phone or email, surfaced by an individual end-user), Troubleshooting (the ability for IT to both investigate and then remediate either one-off or group issues relating to UC devices), and Inventory Management (the ability for IT to track device inventory levels over time within and organization).
Skype for Business Headset Troubleshooting & Jabra
As mentioned above, we have an exciting new strategic partnership effort working with Jabra. Here is a podcast (captured during the Enterprise Connect show in Orlando in March this year) where Jabra talks about their UC focus in general and their partnering efforts with us. Finally, if you really want to have the opportunity to both a) grasp the full Jabra device + PowerSuite experience, and b) have access to some free new Jabra devices, you should consider signing up for our limited-time offer to trial PowerSuite here.
Microsoft Teams Device Management
Although this post has spent most of its time talking about Skype for Business, we all realize that the future of Microsoft’s UC platform is all about Teams. To that end, as much as Microsoft is working hard to ensure that all the existing installed base of UC devices work well with Teams, there will inevitably be issues that crop up — issues that ONLY a strong device management solution will be able to effectively investigate and remediate. Unify Square conducted an interesting survey over a year ago about device management which you can download here. While many of the issues surfaced in this report all still omnipresent, you can bet that there are now brand NEW issues that have surfaced (or which soon will surface) related to Teams, which will need to be examined and prepared for.
UC Device Management is one of the keys to a successful Teams or Skype for Business deployment. Don’t wait for the device management end-user issues to surface and catch you by surprise. Be proactive and get ahead of them — you’ll be glad you did!
To request a demo or learn more about our unique UC technology and PowerSuite features, connect with one of our consultants today!
To view other Unify Square demo videos and informational videos please consult our UC Library HERE.