Look at the bigger picture, find faults faster
We've tackled a number of how to's and technical fix approaches in the last few pieces, but what Computing readers really want to hear is results. We gave NetScout the platform to offer up proof that unified communications performance management can actually turn an infrastructure around.
A large personal and commercial insurance company - which wishes to remain nameless, but is almost 50 years old - relies heavily on its communications infrastructure. With employees at home and on the firm's "campus" office, staying in touch is paramount.
Unfortunately, during a Skype for Business migration, underlying problems were flagged up.
"Call quality issues began to appear," observes NetScout.
"For IT, there's nothing worse than unhappy internal customers - particularly during the rollout of a new technology initiative. The problem dragged on for months, with customers, service representatives and insurance agents suffering through poor call experiences."
Technical investigation began a "classic multi-vendor finger-pointing exercise", with the IT department unable to isolate the exact source of the specific issue, and the variety of different network solutions being blamed, be it Microsoft's Skype servers themselves, the AudioCodes gateway, or any number of other considerations.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, an eventual decision to take on NetScout's "end-to-end visibility" solutions began to clear the mist.
"Empowered with the right performance management tools, IT teams were able to quickly and easily navigate through the complexity to pinpoint two problems that were affecting customer calls in the call centre," NetScout explains.
"Efficiently designed workflows leveraging advanced voice statistics helped the UC&C (unified communications) staff to uncover quality of service (QoS) configuration errors that were part of the problem affecting call quality."
The other issue - noise problems on the line with some customers - was similarly identified via MOS (mean opinion score) analysis, which identified specific phone hardware among the multivendor infrastructure the insurance company was running.
"Once the upgrade was complete, the service representatives heard calls clearly and could satisfy their customers' requests," reports NetScout.
As unified communications becomes ever more complex and relied upon, the argument for a single source of network monitoring seems, in the experience of this large insurer, compelling.
To find out more about what network monitoring - particularly in the area of unified communications - can do for your business, check out out our UC&C content hub, built in association with experts from NetScout.