Managing a Successful UC deployment from the Devices backwards.
The “old school” approach to a well-managed UC system was all about strong Skype for Business monitoring to guarantee that the on-prem servers were ‘stable’ and to ensure that the network could support the high volume of real-time content and video. Many enterprises still struggle at times with Skype for Business deployment and keeping a handle on this old school set of issues, but as UC gradually moves to the cloud, as the 3rd party tools to manage and monitor UC environments proliferate, and as enterprises become more skilled and experienced with UC, the battle ground has begun to shift. The common denominator across all UC and team-chat (like Slack or Teams) platforms is now, even more than before, the end point device. And, as the users of these devices become ever more mobile, the focus, by a large order of magnitude, has moved from IP Phones to more simple (but ever more technologically advanced and complex) UC headsets.
Let’s talk more about these headsets and what they bring to the table.
On the one hand there is great utility to these headset devices as they are able to be used not just for the UC system, but also on the plane (for watching movies), on the go (as a Bluetooth cellphone headset) or while exercising (as an iTunes headset). So diverse, in fact, is the usage that the statistics show that the average employee uses 2.3 devices daily for work purposes and nearly a quarter of all employees use more than six devices. With each device type requiring nuanced integrations with the UC platform and custom configuration, IT teams must look to employ a comprehensive device management solution to help pinpoint and resolve various call quality issues related to various devices at scale. A robust UC platform like Skype for Business or Teams may be perfectly deployed, but if even a single UC headset is not correctly tuned, call quality for large numbers of end-users can be disrupted.
Now, in the past, both headset as well as IP Phone vendors have done a satisfactory job of creating software to allow for firmware upgrades and some level of troubleshooting and configuration work on their individual devices. The problem here, for IT, was twofold — First, it is rare that an enterprise uses ONLY a single type of device ubiquitously for all of its employees. Second, the device vendor software was not engineered with the UC system in mind — rather, it was focused just on the UC device, and not with how it interacted with the UC system. In a survey conducted by Osterman Research (for Unify Square) in 2016, senior IT managers identified the following challenges with device management:
- 45% – the ability to efficiently/rapidly monitor and troubleshoot individual UC devices
- 38% –dealing with firmware upgrade and/or patch issues for UC devices
- 32% — tracking location/”ownership” of a UC device
- 30% — assisting with the configuration, provisioning and setup of UC devices
“Anything IT leaders do to automate and improve UC performance delivers positive results to users and budget-holders. When companies use performance management tools, UC adoption is 30% higher, and they save 58% on operational and 19% implementation costs,” said Robin Gareiss, President of Nemertes Research. “I would anticipate partnerships such as Jabra and Unify Square’s will continue to improve those figures, by pulling ‘the last mile’ of UC performance into a broader UC management portfolio.”
It is with all of these challenges and the growing changes of the UC environment in mind, that we at Unify Square were very excited to announce our new partnership with Jabra back in mid-March. Prior to our work with Jabra our device management solution already offered significant value for IP Phones (Polycom, Yealink, etc.), but now, starting with Jabra’s UC headsets, Unify Square’s PowerSuite offering will provide a single pane of glass for all IP phones and UC headsets, delivering cost reducing value and streamlining device management.
To request a demo or to 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.