An Enterprise Guide to
UC & Collaboration
Performance Management Landscape
The workplace has changed more rapidly in the last 24 months than ever before with UC at the heart of the revolution. Hybrid working is the new normal. Organizations need to raise their game to ensure every member of staff has access to the productivity and collaboration tools required, to carry out their job, wherever they are located.
The Digital Workplace
This is driving businesses towards a digital workplace; a virtual, highly flexible, digital, modern version of the traditional workplace. The digital workplace quickly and securely provides personalized role-based services and all the applications, data, collaboration, and productivity tools that an employee needs, on any device at any time and anywhere, through a consumer-like online experience.
The Need for Automation Management
A digital workplace involves multiple applications, vendors, interfaces, as well as a variety of management methodologies and tools (i.e. vendor and interface specific). The challenge is meshing these into a successful, agile, and easy to manage digital workplace solution. Then managing and maintaining this complex multi-vendor suite of collaboration and productivity tools to ensure service quality to end users.
The Need for Performance Management
With so many moving parts to a digital workplace strategy, performance management tools are essential. Without actionable intelligent insight into your digital workplace platform, it’s impossible to measure how effective, productive, cost-efficient your platform is, or what the end user experience is like.
Organizations must be able to access and action this insight to proactively ensure positive employee experience, drive productivity, and fuel growth.
What is Performance Management?
UC performance management (also known as collaboration performance management) provides a comprehensive view into your UC platform’s business and operational performance. Performance management enables access to real-time monitoring, troubleshooting, and problem resolution, across multi-vendor UC solutions.
Performance management tools should automate the collection of structured and unstructured machine-generated data from multiple sources, correlate the data with other sources for business context, before analyzing it to extract new insight into business and operational performance.
UC and collaboration performance management gives organization an insight into many things, including:
- Collaboration platform health
- Environmental statistics (CPU, memory, RAM)
- Trending over time
- The overall digital experience
What Does Performance Management Include?
UC assurance / collaboration assurance
Advanced, actionable business collaboration performance intelligence combines voice quality, service data, network telemetry and log analytics from any source before customizing alerts, thresholds and events into response procedures tailored to your organization with integration into business systems for end to end automation.
- Comprehensive access to device information, endpoint to core applications
- Configure automated responses to remediate faults automatically
- Fully customizable alerts, policies, alarms, reports, and dashboards
- Role-based access control
- Integration with the VOSS portfolio for rich data context
- Multi-vendor ingestion of structured or unstructured business data
- Voice and video quality from the same customisable interface
UC analytics / collaboration analytics
Powerful business context insights and visibility drive efficiency and understanding, integrating with your IT ops applications with enriched data for intelligence to enhance your collaboration service quality, usage, and effectiveness. UC Analytics drives improved productivity, saves money, and supports adoption through continual transformation.
- Number inventory tracking
- Multiple reports on lines, directory numbers and E164
- ID associations between lines, directory numbers, and E164
- Integration with external systems
- Export data to your other IT systems
- Set up billing system data feeds to combine business context with telephony data
- Easy to deploy and use
- Cost management
- Integrate VOSS Insights with VOSS Automate for instant access to collaboration system data
- Intuitive menus allow easy navigation
- Quickly and easily customize reports for different persona and business requirements
- Filter, search and drill down to the data needed for a given use case
- License tracking and reporting on vendor defined usage linked to costs, and license management
- Trending and graphical representation of the environment
Read more: UC Analytics: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing
UC monitoring / collaboration monitoring
By monitoring your UC and collaboration platform, you can ensure the quality and performance of your employees’ or your customers’ digital workplace experience. UC monitoring provides actionable intelligence into the entire estate, across all collaboration tools and across multiple collaboration technologies. This will keep users connected and collaborating optimally, while ensuring that the applications continue a positive end user experience, and ensure that the applications stay up and running.
UC monitoring collaboration monitoring will help you:
- Manage, maintain, and attain thresholds
- Manage alerting and alarming
- Set up and manage notifications
- Offer capacity management
UC reporting / collaboration reporting
UC reporting is an extremely important part of the performance management function. With a fully integrated performance management platform in place, you will be able to report on:
- Network impacts on UC and collaboration tools
- Quality of service
- Throughput and bandwidth
- CDR (call detail record) reporting
- Service utilization
- License usage
Network monitoring / NetFlow analytics
A deep network understanding across performance, usage and degradation areas. Combine with collaboration data across on-premises and cloud deployments for increased fault isolation, user experience, security vulnerabilities and network planning. Visibility across all network traffic and deep root cause analysis with proactive synthetic call flow testing.
- Collect, correlate, and customize your dashboarding and reporting
- Access additional data sources for forensic network evaluation
- Understand traffic flows in the network and quickly identify and rectify any changes
- Understand congestion impacting user’s service, experience, or quality
- Security to ensure the authorized flows do not open insecure paths
- Access traffic history to see if changes have altered the user experience
- Identify bottlenecks in the network, e.g. internet & core routers, and VPN concentrators
- Combine flows with port, bandwidth, and alarm information
- Overlay call quality data with traffic flows, using synthetic tests
- See voice jitter, delays, and hops in the context of a network
Where Does Performance Management Fit into the UC Management Ecosystem?
UC performance management forms part of the wider UC and collaboration ecosystem. At VOSS we see this in three core areas:
- UC migration automation technology to help the fast and efficient migration and on-boarding of large volumes of users, devices and services to harness the power of the latest UC solutions available
- UC automation management technology, offering a single point of administration and integration for the entire digital workplace ecosystem
- UC performance management technology for actionable intelligence and data into the collaboration system, to visualize and actively manage the performance and quality of the collaboration suite.
Why is Performance Management Necessary?
UC and collaboration performance management is an increasingly important part of a digital workplace strategy. Without actionable insight and intelligence into the performance of your collaboration platform, it is impossible to monitor and manage a hybrid workforce.
A performance management capability will empower you to:
- See issues coming
- Avoid failures by spotting early signs
- Use assets efficiently
- Manage capacity to ensure you have enough in the environment
- Keep critical collaboration systems running
- Measure user experience
- Diagnose voice issues
- Diagnose cloud voice issues
- Reduce MTTR (mean time to repair)
- Resolve work from home technical issues
- Carry out UC resource planning
Performance Management Solutions
Performance management encompasses a broad range of functionality, including:
- Enterprise performance management (EPM)
- Network management
- UC Assurance
- UC Analytics
- UC Alerting
- UC Alarming
- UC Monitoring
- UC Reporting
- CDR Billing
- CDR Reporting
- Cloud Monitoring
Why You Need Performance Management
Problems will occur. If your organization doesn’t have the tools to see, understand, and report on performance, utilization, and capacity management, problems will take longer to resolve, be harder to determine and are likely to recur. You need insight into your actual versus expected SLAs. If employee or customer experience has been impacted you cannot be reliant on isolated vendor data. You should be able to demonstrate whether your UC platform and tools are robust enough to cope with increased demands being placed on them.
You need access to reporting and analytics which give you actionable intelligence to monitor trends and usage patterns, track adoption rates and licensing, and quickly respond to changes.
Let’s not forget the important topic of customer and employee experience. Performance management tools expose issues which are affecting user satisfaction. Does everyone have the correct tools they need to be successful in their job? Is this affecting their productivity, performance or ability to collaborate and innovate? What impact is this having on your business?
- UC Observability: Understanding the Impact on User Experience
- User Experience: It’s What Really Counts in a Microsoft Teams Deployment
- Top Tip for UC Performance Management: Flag Service Degradation Before it Becomes a Problem
Most importantly, your performance management tools need to be integrated into your administration suite. Your digital workplace needs to be flexible and highly agile. Your management tools must be the same. A single, comprehensive solution enabling automation, simplifying complexity, accelerating change and increasing adoption. All from a single interface, having a positive impact on your business.
Heightened complexity, reduced visibility, longer adoption periods, and a myriad of licenses to manage, all lead to increased cost complexity. By introducing performance management tools your organization will better understand and manage costs, and even make substantial efficiencies based on the data you gather.
Who Needs Performance Management?
Who are the staff that will benefit from a performance management solution?
- Capacity managers
- Business analysts
- NOC teams
- Technical engineers during incidents
- Product teams
- Support engineers
- Budget owners making purchase decisions for software licenses, UC services, and network equipment
Performance Management Benefits
Customize and configure
Access a single, vendor-agnostic dashboard that spans all on-premises and cloud collaboration vendors encompassing voice, network, security, and LAN/WAN. Ensure time-sensitive and actionable data is all in one place.
Monitor, analyze, and report
Monitor all endpoints, network, and collaboration systems to understand voice quality and performance over time. Analyze vast amounts of business data across multi systems. Gain greater insight into administrator and end user activity to highlight opportunities to refine workflows, improve processes and make efficiencies.
Better understand your UC solution
Pull business intelligence data from multiple applications into a single dashboard to understand UC services usage and the impact on the business. Identify trends in user and service adoption, understand which services are favored above others, and make better decisions on which services should be invested in moving forward.
Improve and optimize
Monitor employee and customer experience with greater visibility across your platform. Reduce operational costs by resolving problems faster – or avoid them altogether. Harness actionable intelligence to continually improve and optimize your collaboration platform, and create automated rules to pre-empt and then self-heal issues that arise. Scale horizontally and vertically to meet your evolving business needs.
Increase your visibility
Access and report on performance, utilization, and capacity management. Understand whether your UC environment is performing to expected SLAs, and if employee or customer experience has been impacted.
Improve customer and end user experience / satisfaction
The performance of your UC or collaboration platform affects end user experience, such as:
- Not enough bandwidth
- Unhealthy application
- Not enough resources for network, compute, and storage
- Digital experience monitoring
- With a performance management platform you can remove these issues.
Performance management tools give real-time intelligent insight by spotting trends and issues, and reporting on them, empowering you to take remedial action.
With performance management tools you can proactively measure and manage services or applications over time, and see and deal with problems and impacts as they arise.
Performance management unlocks a host of cost saving benefits including mean time to repair, mean time to isolate, avoid incidents and costs, and determine if expensive services / licenses are being used.
Performance Management Integration
Your performance management solution will provide the most value if it is seamlessly integrated into the fabric of the organization. Other business systems that should integrate with the performance management layer, include:
- Self healing platforms
- IT Service Management (ITSM)
- Robotic process automation (RPA)
- HR systems
- IT tools
- UC platform
- UCaaS platform
- BSS layer
Performance Management and Microsoft Teams
Performance management for Microsoft Teams or Microsoft 365 gives you access to actionable intelligence about your Microsoft Teams collaboration platform, enabling you to visualize and actively manage the performance and quality of your Microsoft collaboration suite, across its lifecycle.
Performance Management and Zoom
Performance management for Zoom gives real-time insight into your Zoom platform, enabling you to visualize and actively manage the performance and quality of your Zoom collaboration suite, across its lifecycle. By integrating seamlessly with your Zoom tools and applications, you can resolve problems faster, make better and more informed decisions, and improve service delivery through automation.
Cognitive collaboration is the practice of applying specific behavioral guidelines to an environment, giving staff the support and guidance they need to create a better atmosphere that improves collaboration. It completely transforms the way we think about company culture and helps employers find ways to improve the employee experience and remove any factors that are detrimental to productivity.
A major impact of cognitive collaboration is on tool utilization and uptake. By making the collaboration experience more easy and pleasant for employees, cognitive collaboration encourages users to more quickly adopt collaboration tools, unlocking productivity gains and efficiencies.
The ability to provide rich insights into the uptake and usage of collaboration tools, along with keeping those environments healthy, is critical to overall business productivity. Knowing how the services are being utilized provides the advantage of more successfully planning future rollouts and gives the ability to focus training for those areas. Of course, ensuring the uptime of the collaboration tool along with a quality experience is paramount to getting the full value from it.