Here's what you're doing wrong, and some advice on fixing it
Voices garbled, contacts in the US office looking like Minecraft characters, and days of eerie silences as incoming calls mysteriously stop happening. Is that the state of your unified comms infrastructure?
We've discovered the top five reasons why your UC&C's a mess and, with some choice words from NetScout, come up with ways you can fix it.
1. You're ignoring root causes
If you've got packet loss or ‘jitters' on your network, you might be wasting your time investigating them, instead of working on the wider problem that causes them. What you should do, as Frank N Furter once wisely said, is remove the cause, and not the symptom.
NetScout advises you to "dig deeper":
"You need to dig deeper to determine what is causing packet loss and jitter. Are quality of service (QoS) policies set and applied correctly? Are congested network segments or devices dropping packets? What other applications or services are running on the network that may be causing packet loss and jitter?"
2. You're not collecting meaningful metrics
Just looking at the speed of your network link and whether endpoints are up or down? You're doing the bare minimum, there. Perhaps even less.
"In order to assure the quality and performance of UC&C environments, meaningful end‐to‐end metrics must be available to identify performance issues," suggests NetScout.
3. You're not focusing on the demands of video
Video's not like voice - it often uses a hell of a lot more bandwidth, and needs treating with special consideration. Lumping it in with all the other bandwidth monitoring is a pathway to woe.
"Video is an important service that your UC&C performance management solution must be able to monitor," NetScout advises.
"Don't get so caught up in network instrumentation and other traditional endpoints that you forget to monitor your video applications and services."
4. You're being too negative, and it's all the board hears
"Don't let management hear only about problems in your UC&C environment!" emphasises NetScout.
"Report your successes as well. Clear and engaging management reports demonstrate UC&C adoption by users in your organisation and can be used to gain support for further investments. You can also provide helpful reports to others in order to support their initiatives, such as a teleworking policy for human resources.
5. Your end users haven't got a clue
It seems simple, but you'd be surprised how often end users don't properly understand how to use standard office equipment, and have new hardware and software simply thrown at them, being left to fend for themselves as to how to use it.
"You need to provide training on how to properly use UC&C equipment and applications, including basic and (for some users) advanced functionality," says NetScout.
"Also, ensure end‐user equipment is set up properly. Desks frequently get rearranged and cables inevitably get disconnected. Microphones may not be positioned correctly. Video conferencing equipment may be moved to different meeting rooms and may not be connected properly - just because a cable connector fits in an outlet doesn't mean that's where it goes!"