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An Enterprise Guide to UC Management

As medium to large organizations look to focus on operational improvements and business transformation, they will benefit greatly from paying attention to UC automation and data analytics. Enterprise communications services, or unified communications (UC), are a key area for business and operational improvements. Integrating the management of all these UC services manually can be complex and resource intensive but are well-suited for automation and analytics. The purpose of this guide is to explore the world of UC and UC management, to help you better understand each layer of complexity and each step of the process to ensure your organization is properly aligned with the rapidly changing environment surrounding the automation of enterprise communications.

This guide will look at all the components of UC, explain why UC automation and big data UC analytics are a business imperative to reduce IT costs, while also explaining how to use UC automation to deliver true business transformation across your organization.

UC Solution | UC Solutions | UC Integration

Introduction to UC Automation

What is Unified Communications (UC)?

Unified Communications (UC) refers to a system that integrates (or unifies) multiple communication methodologies all on a common TCP/IP (i.e. digital) network technology. For example: 1-on-1 calls or chats, video-based and screen-sharing team conference meetings, inter-department project team collaboration rooms, record meetings, share documents, communicate on a range of devices (fixed and mobile), etc.

A unified communication platform delivers a range of applications which better enables the different ways your business teams communicate (both internally and externally) and lets staff engage with each other in one unified system – making your staff more productive and business much more efficient, compared to the old, one-dimensional, analog phone system.

What Does Unified Communications (UC) Include?

Unified communications solutions include the full range of UC services, such as audio phones, audio messaging, audio conferencing, instant messaging, presence awareness, soft phones, web conferencing, virtual meeting rooms, video conferencing, workplace collaboration (i.e. Teams rooms), document sharing, unified messaging, collaborative digital whiteboards, and other services spanning both real-time and non-real-time communication engagements.

And, with the increasing popularity of smart mobile devices, unified communication solutions directly enables end users to enjoy a consistent communications interface even as their access devices, networks, and physical locations change. Greater staff mobility has become a significant benefit for organisations, as a direct result of UC. Workers can remain completely connected to their organization, no matter where they are travelling (or working from home). Greater office utilization with hot-desking and task-centric workplaces (i.e. smart office) has led to significant savings in physical office costs.

UC Solution | UC Solutions | UC Integration

How Does Unified Communications (UC) Automation Fit In?

With the increased sophistication of unified communication solutions over the past decade (and the continued pace of change), the challenge of managing and maintaining the complete end-to-end unified communications infrastructure, across the full lifecycle, while ensuring service quality to end users, is getting significantly harder.

Most unified communication platforms now involve multiple applications, multiple vendors, multiple interfaces (i.e. hybrid cloud), and multiple management methodologies and tools (i.e. vendor-specific and interface specific); all of which leads to extraordinary complexity and higher costs. For example, there are significant operational costs required to troubleshoot quality problems, to introduce new features, reconfigure systems to optimise their efficiency, and manage user/device/room on-boarding/off-boarding/changes. This is because every administration or troubleshooting task (simple, medium, or complex) always requires a multi-step process on multiple different systems. This means that only highly experienced engineers can perform these tasks, otherwise the risk of human error increases (NB. Error correction is a major cost in the UC space today and typically impacts on end-user productivity).

A UC automation platform provides a central point of control over the UC environment, to make it faster (i.e. often by an order of magnitude), easier (i.e. lower-cost, non-technical administrators can perform simple and medium tasks) , and more repeatable (i.e. far less risk of human errors) to execute any given task, respond to any given problem, or scale to support new services or higher headcount.

A unified communications automation platform means that your unified communication platform can be fully flexible/agile and customizable with a centralized management view across the entire organization. Role-based access control means that the central IT team can control everything (design, asset limits, etc.), but individual business units – or agencies – can retain full autonomy for the day-to-day management of their environment. UC, with UC automation, delivers a greater level of user productivity, at a lower overall operating cost (a win-win).

However, not all unified communications automation systems are created equal.

READ MORE: VOSS Solutions Named an IDC Innovator in Unified Communications and Collaboration Management Solutions

Why is Unified Communications (UC) Automation Necessary?

An organization’s unified communications (UC) environment has never been under greater pressure to overcome a range of emerging challenges:

  • Absorb the complexity of an increasingly diverse UC infrastructure and ever-changing parameters to support remote working, hot-desking, flexible employment contracts, and fixed mobile convergence
  • Successfully mesh an array of multi-vendor technology into a seamless collaboration experience
  • Weather the storm of digital transformation, to provide a consistent and reliable communications framework during and after intense times of change

A unified communications automation platform offers a major change to way that unified communication solutions can be delivered and operated. UC automation significantly simplifies the UC environment for complex organization, lowering operating costs and enabling the organization to better implement business transformation of their operational workflow. This all results in a major return on investment for UC automation.

Who Needs Unified Communications (UC) Management?

Any organization that has complex unified communications requirements, will benefit from the addition of a UC automation. This includes:

  • Organizations that have, for example, more than 3,000 employees, as the amount of manual moves/add/changes/deletes becomes unmanageable
  • Organizations that have multiple offices spread across geographies
  • Organizations that require various layers of administrative control and those that want to empower end user self service
  • Organizations that want to speed business process and introduce zero touch provisioning by the integration of UC Automation with their IT systems (e.g. CRM, ITSM, ERP, etc.)
  • Organizations that want to create a flexible and agile unified communication solutions and workflows that suits the evolving needs of the business

Unified Communications (UC) Automation Uses and Applications

Unified communications automation will help an organization in the following ways:

  • Provide visibility of the complete unified communication platform, all for a single, secure, web portal. Organizations can become like mini service providers enabling the central IT team to control the design and optimize workflow processes more effectively.
  • Introduce faster, easier, and more repeatable business processes by automating every business communication workflows across the UC architecture, interlinking with third party IT business systems.
  • Ensure the service quality of the UC environment is maintained at a high level, by being able to better trouble-shoot issues, but more importantly, avoid issues by receiving trend analysis on performance and capacity levels to pre-empt issues before they impact the UC network and infrastructure.
  • Better manage the complex workflows of multi-applications/devices, hybrid-cloud, and multi-vendor UC environments, with ease (e.g. the ability to create a single wizard to simplify a multi-step, multi-platform, hybrid communications workflow process).
  • Better manage bulk activities and major transformation projects (e.g. integrating a new acquisition) through the use of UC migration automation. Migration automation delivers a significant cost saving (faster with smaller teams), but more importantly, it reduces the risk of productivity loss through high error rates.
  • Add or modify features and applications to their organization by the rapid manipulation of end-to-end communication workflows (e.g. with the rapid change in the UC industry, adding or changing an application and its features no longer becomes a massive effort or cost).
  • Integrate across all UC management functional areas (i.e. assurance, fulfillment, billing, analytics, migration) and manage across the full lifecycle of the UC environment (Day 0-Design, Day 1-Delivery, Day 2-Operate, Day 3-Optimize & Extend) to deliver far greater savings and much higher performance.
  • Customize UC management platform to suit the specific business communications processes of their industry vertical (e.g. the workflow integration between industry standard IT systems and the organization’s business communications platform). The best example is the ability to use the ITSM (e.g. ServiceNow) system to manage both IT and UC environments, by integrating UC Automation with ITSM.
  • Fully automate both the UC environment, as well as network and data center tasks as part of a dynamic workflow … delivering much higher levels of automation (i.e. automate all UC and IT processes).
  • Utilize the billing and telecom expense management systems to ensure that costs are reconciled, and resources can be better focused on determining areas where costs are able to be reduced.
  • Utilize big data UC analytics to measure the utilization of the UC services, thereby enabling the IT team to better address the underlying issues with under-utilization. Increasing utilization means a more efficient organization (i.e. better communications = greater productivity), plus a higher ROI on the UC investment.

Performance Assurance

   Performance monitoring

—   Root-cause analysis

—   Event management

—   Fault management

—   Performance analytics

—   Trend analysis

—   Auditing

—   Reporting

Operational Fulfillment

System administration

Configuration management

Dial Plan management

Provisioning, MACDs

Policy enforcement


UC analytics


Asset management

TEM & UC Analytics

—   Invoice reconciliation

—  Audit reports

—  Expense allocation

—  Expense reports

—  Fraud alert

—  UC analytics

—   Trend analysis

—   Auditing

—   Reporting

UC Migration

  Audit legacy environment

—  Analysis of data

—  Multi-source data extraction

—  Clean/normalize data

—  Data transformation

—  Data validation

—  Loading

—  Cutover

Asset management

Single, multifunction, web portal with role-based access control

What is a Unified Communications Platform?

A unified communications platform is the environment you build for your organization’s communications and collaboration tools.

A unified communications platform will include messaging apps, voice and video calling, team collaboration tools, video conferencing, file sharing, and much more.

An organization usually opts for a single vendor unified communications platform strategy, such as an Avaya or Cisco UC platform, and then adds best of breed products, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, to suit specific employee or productivity requirements.

Managing your unified communications platform is not easy, especially if it is dispersed, or if you have thousands of employees, or if it is multi-vendor.

What is a Unified Communications Solution?

A vendor, such as Cisco, or Microsoft, or Avaya, will offer organizations a variety of unified communications solution packages, which are essentially bundles of collaboration tools that suit your company’s needs.

Often, a unified communications solution will be presented as a cloud-based offering, known as UCaaS. These unified communications solutions are a low risk, cost effective option, but can sometimes be restricted as a result of standardization.

A unified communications management solution can solve this problem, enabling you to get the most out of a vendor-specific unified communications solution, while adding best of breed point products, such as the latest collaboration app, to get the best of both worlds, and then managing the whole unified communications solution from a single point of control.

What is Unified Communications and Collaboration?

Unified communications and Collaboration (UC&C) is a collection of communications, collaboration, and productivity tools, services and applications, which organizations use to communicate with each other and with their customers.

Unified Communications and Collaborations tools and applications can be cloud-based or on-premises and can be provided by multiple vendors.

The purpose of a unified communications and collaboration strategy is to choose a suite of communications tools that suit your business needs and mesh them together into a seamless and secure experience to make communicating as easy as possible, in order to fuel productivity and speed business growth.

UC Management Productivity Benefits

Improved integration with legacy systems

Provide a single point of integration for an organization’s business applications, as well as providing standard APIs that are supported through future releases of the underlying infrastructure. This ensures an integration strategy with low maintenance costs.

Avoid data slippage

Impose a high level of discipline across the communications platform and significantly lowers the risk of data slippage.

Free engineers from repetitive tasks

The high level of automation -UC frees engineers to work on more strategic initiatives, which in turn improves their job satisfaction and improves staff retention rates

Faster triage times

The high level of automation -UC frees engineers to work on more strategic initiatives, which in turn improves their job satisfaction and improves staff retention rates

Retain knowledge within the organization

A central knowledge retention system with built in organizational discipline, helping companies retain original designs, field implementation changes, and subsequent operational changes.

UC Management End User Benefits

Single business portal for all UC services

Single pane of glass management platform for all UC services. Organizations need only log into the one business portal and, from that single instance, manage a range of business processes, such as adding a user, and all the associated provisioning will take place automatically.

Faster service delivery for new applications

Adding a new unified communications service is non-trivial when performed manually. Through advanced automation, UC management greatly speeds UC service delivery and reduces the effort of introducing a new service.

Real-time self-services for end users

Provide a self-service portal, to allow all the latest unified communications settings to be self-managed by end users on any device. End users can change their single number reach settings, modify their messaging notification settings, or change the line label text on their phone, in real-time, from a single, self-service portal.

Maintain strategic control of the communications environment

Enable the centralization of the communications infrastructure, while maintaining strategic control of internal customers/departments. Services levels improve because changes are performed in real time.

Real-time service profile management and reporting

Allow for much greater granularity of service profile management, against agreed business rules, so individual users can receive additional services from local office administrators, on an as-needed basis. This empowers the local administrators and reduces the workload on the central help desk.

UC Management Financial Benefits

Reducing total cost of ownership

Management and automation tools provide several significant financial benefits to organizations who wish to deliver the latest UC services to their users. With unified communications management, a far lower total cost of ownership can be achieved because our technology impacts all cost elements over the lifecycle of a collaboration platform.

Implementation savings

Nemertes Research polled over 1,000 North American large enterprises and discovered that the cost of implementing an IP telephony environment (across all vendors) can be reduced from an average of $523 per phone/device, if specialty unified communications management tools are utilized. For a 10,000-seat enterprise, this amounts to a saving of over $2m.

Operational savings

Shared infrastructure can be managed effortlessly, meaning that server utilization rates can be much higher, and the number of servers reduced. Vendor license management tools can also more efficiently manage vendor capital costs, so that each organization knows exactly what service licenses it has consumed from either their vendor, or provider.

Capital savings

Shared infrastructure can be managed effortlessly, meaning that server utilization rates can be much higher, and the number of servers reduced. Vendor license management tools can also more efficiently manage vendor capital costs, so that each organization knows exactly what service licenses it has consumed from either their vendor, or provider.

Making a Business Case for UC Management

A Summary of a VOSS-4-UC Case-study: Comprehensive automation of all business and operational workflows will greatly increase the savings of the UC platform operational and support teams (as shown by Metrigy research for traditional UC automation). However, this now also includes zero-touch, flow through workflow for more that pure UC operational tasks.

But perhaps the most compelling part of the business case for VOSS-4-UC is the ability to support an organization’s adoption of Digital Business Transformation and all the business and cost benefits that comes from this critical initiative.

Here is a case study example of where VOSS has implemented VOSS-4-UC with the ensuing business case benefits:

A leading UCaaS Provider in Asia Pacific has developed a world-class UCaaS practice, and they lead in most UCaaS markets where they compete for the medium to large enterprises.

The provider is very clear about their desire to stay at the forefront of the UCaaS market. They recognized that the old Cisco HCS model (one-size fits all) was not working for them, and they also well understood that the old, standardized management process was not going to help them continue to achieve a leading position in the market. In fact, it would potentially limit their ability to be more aggressive in the market, as they were concerned about creating new features, configuration solutions and adaptations that were not part of Cisco’s highly standardized HCS model.

As a result, the provider made the decision to work directly with VOSS to create a much better model, more suited to their requirements and desire for market leadership. They wanted more frequent releases from VOSS, driven by their market requirements, but with a faster time to market. Together, they are now working on a much more agile offering, utilizing VOSS-4-UC. The provider’s engineers have undertaken Certification Training and are now creating their own adapted workflows and are both increasing automation levels and better meeting their customer requirements.

In addition, they are now working closely with VOSS engineer in re-engineering it processes in all areas of the business, including:

  • Day-1 Customer On-boarding optimization (including automated data migrations)
  • Day-2 Customer Administration (including advanced top-down AD integration)
  • Existing Strategic Customers and digital business transformation opportunities
  • Educating the Pre-Sales teams on the differentiation from Agile management
  • Hybrid architecture integration (Webex Teams and Office 365)
  • Billing Integration

A good example has been the request for more autonomy from a large end-customer to allow the self-management of their music on hold (MoH) file management. Each location had the need to load their own unique MoH files and was able to rapidly create a simple portal to allow each location to fulfil this requirement.

The provider represents a major case study in the VOSS-4-UC architecture evolution, and VOSS believes it will help to ensure that their Cisco HCS service not only maintains its dominance in the medium to large enterprise Asia Pac market, but also grow its market share in the global market.

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)

What is UCaaS?

Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is the delivery of a variety of unified communications and collaboration applications and services via a cloud model.

Enterprise organizations often choose UCaaS as it carries less risk than a hosted unified communication platform, while enabling the organization to benefit from a flexible and scalable platform. The typical features you can expect from a UCaaS solution include enterprise messaging, presence technology, online meetings, team collaboration, telephony, and video conferencing.

Often, UCaaS vendors will also offer contact-center capabilities, such as auto-attendant, interactive voice response, call routing and customer relationship management integrations.

UCaaS vendors are adding communications platform as a service (CPaaS) capabilities and application programming interfaces (APIs) to their cloud platforms to increase their appeal to enterprise organizations, as this opens up the opportunity to embed cloud-based communication features into their business applications and workflows.

Why is UC Management important for UCaaS?

Why is UC management important? Unified communications management introduces high levels of automation into a UC platform, to improve workflows and business process. For a provider that is offering UCaaS packages to enterprise organizations, this is a critical success factor of the business model. Without automation, it would be impossible for the provider to manage the many day-to-day administrative tasks that are required to support a UCaaS offering.

With unified communications management the introduction of automated processes and flow through provisioning allow the provider to provision multiple UCaaS solutions from a single point of control.

UC management has the added benefit of offering devolve administration, which distributes the administrative burden and allows end customers and even end users various of levels of admin control, depending on their role and technical ability.

Commercial Overview: UC Management Vendors

Some organizations choose to build their own tools to automate and manage their unified communications infrastructure.

However, there are third party vendors that specialize in UC management. VOSS, Kurmi, Starfish, and Unimax have been identified as providers of UC management technology.

Hosted Unified Communications

Hosted unified communications (UC) is a cloud-based, fully hosted unified communications solution, offered largely by Service Providers and Managed Service Providers. It is a solution designed to completely replace any on-premises telephony system. Hosted UC allows you to gain access to the latest UC and collaboration services, while having complete control of your business communications through a web-based dashboard. It is often seen as a cost-effective option for the SME market.

UCaaS Vendors

UCaaS vendors are organizations that specialize in delivering these bundles of services. Top UCaaS providers are listed here.

The UCaaS vendors that are most successful in this space are the companies that provide organizations with service bundles that are both flexible and scalable. When it comes to UC, one size definitely does not fit all.

In order to be flexible and scalable, UCaaS vendors need an underlying UC management component, to automate workflows and streamline business processes. This helps to manage costs, reduce administration, remove the risk of error, and helps to fuel business collaboration and growth.
When selecting your UCaaS vendor, make sure you find out about the UC management capabilities that they offer, to ensure that they suit your current and future needs.

To find out which UCaaS vendors include VOSS unified communications management, please contact us.

What is the UC Migration Process?

UC migration

Organizations have many different types of migration project. You may wish to upgrade from a legacy unified communications platform to a new platform, or from on-premises to the cloud; after a merger or acquisition, you may wish to migrate multiple new users onto your existing platform, consolidate multiple PBXs to a smaller set of PBXs, or move multiple users from one location to another.

Read about a major VOSS M2UC project at a major retail customer, here.

Introducing unified communications migration automation

Unified communications migration projects should follow a five-stage process to discover and export UC data (from multi-vendor environments); extract, clean, and normalize the data; transform and enrich; and finally, validate the data before loading it to the new environment.

Migration automation technology revolutionizes the way service providers and large enterprises are able to approach rich, complex unified communications deployments. At every stage of the UC migration process, automation reduces human involvement and accelerates the processing of data, all of which directly reduces the costs and risks of adopting UC services.

Migration services support

Skilled engineers that carry out complex UC migration projects draw on expertise, processes, and best practices to help organizations rapidly and efficiently migrate large volumes of users, devices and UC services to a next generation UC platform.

These engineers will provide support through your UC business transformation, to ensure that your data is migrated significantly faster, easier, and more consistently by a smaller and more productive deployment team, and with greatly reduced effort in sourcing the mandatory input data.

In addition, these engineers will make sure that there is an overall improvement in data accuracy, which will significantly reduce project risk and decrease re-work costs, whilst improving end user satisfaction.

Unified communications deployment

In order to benefit from improved company collaboration and from the productivity efficiencies that UC has to offer, end user adoption is key. Until your employees – or if you’re a service provider, your customers’ employees – fully adopt the UC services that you offer, you will not achieve success.

Therefore, it is critically important to onboard users and devices to a UC platform as quickly and as efficiently as possible. It’s also vital to make sure that end users are well trained and confident users of the tools, so that they become more efficient and more successful collaborators, as a result of the UC tools that they are using.

Third party UC management vendors offer an intuitive, easy to use platform, to simplify administration and day to day management, which in turn fuels end user adoption and success. Read more

Agile UC Management

Integrate your Unified Communications Infrastructure with Other Business Systems

You should expect your unified communications management platform to be able to fully integrate your UC platform into other IT functions, while carrying out a core role in provisioning the UC applications themselves.

With a single point of integration, Enterprises can achieve much higher rates of automation, and IT staff have a framework to optimize their business communications and improve end user adoption.

This adaptable framework allows flexibility to fit into any unique enterprise environment without expensive customization. This allows the UC management platform to function as a single point of integration, which comprises:

Zero touch provisioning
Synchronization between the Active Directory (AD) and the UC management platform can be extended to support flow-through, zero-touch provisioning from HR and AD systems, into automated workflows that configure subscriber services

Northbound integrations
The UC management platform synchronizes UC subscriber data with other enterprise IT systems providing near real-time updates on UC subscriber services, simplifying internal billing and cost allocation

Service request systems
REST-APIs offer two-way integration with Service Request Systems such as ServiceNow, allowing service tickets to be actioned and the results fed back

Notification systems
Workflows can be readily extended to send emails and provide event updates

Identity management
Integration with other administration portals, giving single sign-on capabilities to administrators, allowing integrated access to all management systems from a single log-in

Inventory tracking
Enterprise can track all UC assets, serial numbers, and devices, to streamline expenditure and optimize resources

UC analytics
Analytics pulls data from multiple applications, devices, and infrastructure, into a single dashboard, giving a big picture view of resource utilization

Demand an agile framework to manage your UC infrastructure

Until recently, unified communications management has tended towards standardization as this is a way to introduce automation: the rationale being – by standardizing on certain business processes, automation can be introduced. However, standardization does not promote agility or flexibility, or mobility. And, there are a number of factors that are contributing towards a trend for enterprise organizations to desire agile and flexible UC.

Digital business transformation is looming. Traditional communications are nothing like the collaborative environment that we operate in today. UC must adapt to suit the evolving requirements of your staff. In order to weather the storm of digital business transformation, we must provide a consistent and reliable communications framework during and after intense times of change.

The increasingly diverse unified communications infrastructure, and the ever-changing parameters to support remote working, hot-desking, flexible employment contracts, and fixed mobile convergence is complex. Basic or homegrown UC management tools just are not up to the job of catering for the demand that is being put on them. UC management tools need to be flexible enough to change, agile enough to respond quickly, and resilient.

Enterprises want best in class, and therefore need to successfully mesh an array of multi-vendor technologiesinto a seamless collaboration experience. This requires a highly intelligent management solution that allows technologies from disparate vendors to coexist and cooperate.

Dynamic Communications Workflow Automation

Extensive unified communications management capabilities that are underpinned by a dynamic communications workflow automation framework ensure that you can achieve unprecedented levels of automation of your unified communication solutions, in an agile and highly dynamic way.

At the heart of a UC management platform you should expect to see a dynamic communications workflow automation framework that includes the following three major benefits:

Business / operational element abstraction from the core framework

All major business operational elements, such as workflow logic, configuration data, GUI presentation rules, and business rule models, are abstracted from the core UC management architecture. This means that key operational and business elements are not hard-coded so can be configured in real-time by IT specialists.

Auto-generations of UC application features and settings into the core framework

The core framework automatically includes all UC features and settings that are in a unified communications vendor’s application APIs (for multi-vendor environments), and the auto-generation of all those UC features and settings into the APIs, the GUI framework, the workflow framework and bulk loader reader. This makes them available to the abstracted operational elements, which means that the UC management platform can support feature parity for all UC applications and devices, and full automation of UC workflows is now possible.

Support for complex IPT, non-UC network and data center elements

The unified communications management platform administers the full range of PSTN or SIP trunking elements, as well as managing mobile devices and supporting BYOD and FMC. It offers dial plan management, taking care of the complex configuration of the PBX, the local access, as well as the aggregation layer call routing. It also makes it possible to integrate directly with the network and data center, supporting the creation of SIP trunks and the configuration of SBCs, as well as the automatic creation of UC application OVAs, and static configuration of those applications within the data center.

100% Automation of UC Platforms

UC management offers faster, easier, and more-repeatable business processes with 100% automation of any and all business communication workflows across the entire physical architecture, interlinking with any 3rd party business system.

For example, dial plan management requires the complex configuration of the PBX, the local access as well as the aggregation layer call routing (e.g. session management) and this becomes significantly more complex for multi-national organizations. If you want to provide 100% automation for number management, then you can only do this if you can include the management of the PSTN and SIP trunk elements. That is, adding a new number range into the PBX is not sufficient. You also have to set up the number routing in the local and central break-out systems. Your UC management platform needs to fully support sophisticated dial plan management and the entire network infrastructure for call routing.

Many unified communications management vendors are focused on automating the basic administration tasks (the Pareto principle of focusing on 20% of the overall problem). Make sure your UC management platform focuses on 100% of the tasks and is working in a number of vertical industries today to deliver the organizational requirements to significantly improve business processes.

Automation Management

A unified communications management platform should always include an extensive baseline of sophisticated UC operational automation and management capabilities.

By applying automation management to a UC environment, the end-to-end UC provisioning processes can be adapted and tailored to increase the level of automation, e.g. across multi-vendor or hybrid-cloud. This drives down operating costs to well below the industry average and removes the need for complex coding which eliminates associated time and budget implications.

Read more

Multi-vendor UC

As collaboration tools become more sophisticated, organizations are selecting best of breed tools that suit specific requirements, rather than a single-vendor option.

By offering multi-vendor UC services and applications, employee satisfaction and productivity increases. However, UC management becomes much more complex.

A quality UC management platform will take that complexity away, by giving a single pane of glass view into all tools – no matter which vendor – without the need for “swivel chair management” across applications or vendor solutions. The UC management platform should manage all end-to-end processes to deliver multi-service and feature-rich UC. Additionally, administrators will no longer be required to have expertise in all vendor-specific platforms, as all collaboration tools can be managed from a single portal.

  • Blog post: How to Manage Multiple UC Solutions in 2023
  • UC Today: VOSS included in roundtable discussion on managing Microsoft Teams in multi-vendor environments, here
  • Read about our largest Microsoft Teams / Cisco Hybrid UC deployment to date, which is underpinned by VOSS, here
  • VOSS Enables Combined Cisco and Microsoft Teams Collaboration and Enterprise Voice Solution for SFR Business – Read more

Single Point of Integration

During our 12 years of experience working with the world’s largest enterprises, government organizations and service providers we have seen the trend of IT teams integrating more and more of their IT systems.

Automating the communication between IT systems, and the tasks or workflows those systems perform, represents a significant opportunity for enterprises. Without integration there is often the need for human middleware; people working between systems to keep workflows moving to completion. System integration reduces errors, improves productivity and speeds up processes and service time. However, when connecting IT systems together, unified communication solutions are typically left out.

A unified communications management platform enables adaptable business systems integration. The underlying core of the UC management platform connects to other API-enabled systems and executes non-API operations without expensive custom development.

By understanding the complexity of enterprise networks, a unified communication platform introduces automation to simplify integration with other systems, driving new value above and beyond UC management.

Service Management

UC Today, a respected industry publication, defines our category of business as “Service Management” or “UC Service Management”, which incorporates all vendors that offer an improved management experience when deploying and administering UC collaboration or contact center solutions. This includes UC management vendors such as VOSS, as well as vendors who specialize in UC assurance, diagnostics, analytics, and monitoring.

In 2020, UC Today crowned VOSS as the world’s leading Service Management vendor. You can read about this press release here, or watch the awards video, here.

Also in 2020, UC Today hosted a roundtable discussion on Service Management and invited VOSS to contribute. This was published on their website.


There are some areas of the industry that categorise UC management – and UC service management – as Business Communications Operations Management (BCOM).

BCOM is explained as a category of management products that automate the configuration and operations of modern enterprise communications solutions in order to simplify the challenge of managing today’s increasingly sophisticated communications environments.

According to BC Strategies, the functions and complexity of UC have dramatically increased the challenge for operational teams. To better manage the deployment and ongoing operations of UC systems, Business Communications Operations Management (BCOM) solutions drive configurations across the communications platforms and systems in the enterprise based on a wide range of lifecycle change events. Key elements of BCOM solutions are: multi-application, multi-device, multi-vendor, multi-system, multi-tenant, multi-region, and comprehensive integration to business and user lifecycle events.

The impact of BCOM solutions is potentially critical in organizations moving from simple traditional telephony to sophisticated modern Business Communications and UC systems. BCOM solutions reduce costs and dramatically reduce errors by effectively managing resources and automating configuration steps and processes. Being freed from the crushing load of routine configuration and changes enables staff to focus on successful implementations, improving user adoption, and adding new capabilities, which increase business effectiveness.

What do the analysts say about BCOM?

“The more sophisticated UC becomes, the greater the need for automated and integrated business communications operations management”
Phil Edholm, UC Strategies

“Today about 50% of the total 5-year ownership cost of a communications solution is the staff time required for operations and management, a percentage that has been increasing as licensing and hardware costs decline. Reducing this operational time only becomes possible with user profiling and the automation of configuring those profiles. This should be a priority for organisations.”
Marty Parker, UniComm Consulting

“We are seeing a large number of customers migrating to Skype for Business (Lync), but retaining their existing voice infrastructure for an extended period. The operations and configurations in these transitions is challenging, and the tools that VOSS provide are essential to a successful technology transition and user migration.”
Kevin Kieller, EnableUC

“Success in UC is often dependent on adoption of new capabilities and the impact on the business. VOSS enables staff to move beyond the challenges of operations to focus on enablement and adoption, while avoiding errors and delays that reduce both user satisfaction and adoption.”
Blair Pleasant, CommFusion

Further Reading

In the press

No Jitter articles

UC Provisioning

Unified communications (UC) improves inter-company collaboration, fueling efficiency. But, when it comes to UC, organizations are faced with at least three dimensions to navigate: UC applications, multiple vendor options, and multiple network elements. Every organization needs a provisioning engine to control all of the moving parts in this UC environment, to make it all work in a unified way. UC needs automation and administration to support its complex needs. Some people call this UC provisioning; others call this UC fulfillment; others call this UC management. No matter the name, a unified communication platform simply cannot function without it.

Making UC Work

There are some essential processes and elements that are required to make a UC environment work, in order to deliver the capabilities expected by an organization

  • A dial plan to route call flows in the system and to external interfaces (e.g. PSTN)
  • Integration of multiple UC applications to provide the required services
  • Initial provisioning of the UC applications and devices to implement the chosen design
  • Development of the business processes and procedure to deliver services to users
  • Ongoing Moves, Adds, Changes, and Disposal of services (MACDs)
  • Migration of an existing environment to UC demands careful consideration with regard to how existing business processes and systems will integrate into the new solution.

As the list above outlines, there is a wide range of requirements and complexities involved in deploying and operating an effective UC environment. This is where UC management tools that provide automation and simplification of these tasks are key to a cost-effective UC environment.

Options for UC Provisioning and UC Fulfillment

When it comes to provisioning a UC environment, there are two approaches that an organization might consider:

  • A manual path: Highly skilled engineers carry out the UC provisioning tasks manually. This is a difficult model to scale, and can be quite expensive in terms of man power.
  • An automated path which has two options:
  • A basic level of UC provisioning and UC fulfillment, which caters for simple workflows and a limited set of UC applications

An end-to-end UC provisioning or UC fulfillment solution, which covers all dimensions of the UC environment

  • Basic Level Provisioning / Fulfillment
    Standard provisioning applications can support UC implementations by providing automated processes for deployments, and limited operational functionality for basic administration tasks, such as additions or changes. These provisioning / fulfillment tools help speed up basic administration of subscriber moves, adds, and changes. The overall aim is to lower day-to-day operational costs by reducing the need for skilled resources to operate voice and messaging applications. This is done by simplifying the delegation of UC services and managing workflows. This automation also reduces errors allowing focus on higher value activities.
  • End-to-End Provisioning / Fulfillment
    A deeper level of UC provisioning or fulfillment provides integrated management and full automation over the complete lifecycle of a UC platform. The covers management of the design phase, through deployment, through operational day-to-day MACD delegation and management, as well as on-going upgrade and maintenance.

Included in these management systems is the ability to introduce advanced automation to the administration of the dial plan and the entire UC infrastructure suite of applications and devices. This can range from workflows for the creation and mapping of network elements through to the deployment and management of users with their devices and services. This is all supported with a flexible access control mechanism to ensure different user types can access and work with the system according to their privileges and capabilities. The end result is an agile and flexible UC platform that can quickly respond to change.

The main advantage of end-to-end UC provisioning and UC fulfillment is that it truly offers an overall management experience with extensive and flexible automation and simplification. This drives the ability to deliver the extensive benefits and lower costs of management throughout the UC platform lifecycle, and it makes UC work.

Digital Workplace

The digital workplace embraces the idea that organizations should use digital business transformation to align technology, employees and business processes to improve operational efficiency and meet organizational goals.

The digital workplace is therefore the virtual equal of the physical office space, and includes employee devices, apps, tools, software, and platforms.

For unified communications, this means ensuring that remote staff have access to all of the collaboration and communications tools that they need, to carry out their jobs efficiently and effectively from any remote location.

Enterprise Voice

If you are grappling with the challenge of how to add enterprise voice telephony to your Microsoft Teams client, there are two options available to you:

The most widely adopted, tested, and approved route for integration is with Microsoft Direct Routing (or Microsoft Business Voice/Calling Plans for SMEs). This is the classic way that VOSS enables you to manage Microsoft Teams and Cisco HCS from a single point of control, by using Microsoft Direct Routing.

Many organizations are adopting this route as the user experience is better and it leverages the increasing investment towards Microsoft 365. It is also the preferred, supported and tested route indicated by Microsoft themselves.

Read more:

Management as a Service

If you are an enterprise and you want to quickly take control of your collaboration solutions, or if you are a service provider and you want to manage multiple end-customer cloud collaboration environments as a managed service, then the “Management as a Service” model could be the best fit for you.

MaaS provides all the capabilities and benefits of a UC collaboration automation management platform, with the added convenience and benefit of a hosted delivery model.  This makes it faster and easier to implement and realize the benefits of an end-to-end collaboration automation solution.

Business Process Automation

Business process automation (BPA) – also known as business automation or business transformation – is the technology-enabled automation of complex business processes. The aim of a BPA strategy is to streamline a business for simplicity, achieve digital transformation, increase service quality, improve service delivery, and contain costs. BPA integrates applications, restructures staff resources, and uses software applications to achieve these goals.

When you incorporate your UC & collaboration processes into your overall BPA strategy, you will realize greater benefits enabling your business to flourish. Read more

Performance Management

UC & Collaboration Performance Management – also known as UC Assurance, UC Monitoring and Diagnostics, and UC Analytics – gives a comprehensive view into a communication platform’s business and operational performance, enabling you to access real-time monitoring, troubleshooting, and problem resolution, across multi-vendor UC solutions.

Your performance management tools should automate the process of collecting structured and unstructured machine generated data from multiple sources, and correlate the data with other data sources to give business context, before analyzing it to garner new insight into business and operational performance.

Blog Series: UC and Collaboration Performance Management


NetFlow gives a deep understanding across network performance, usage and degradation areas. Combine NetFlow intelligence with collaboration data across on-premises and cloud deployments for increased fault isolation, user experience, security vulnerabilities and network planning. It will give you visibility across all network traffic and deep root cause analysis with proactive synthetic call flow testing.

Microsoft Derived Trunks

Microsoft Teams now supports the ability to create one ‘super trunk’ that is registered in the Microsoft tenant for the carrier itself. A Derived Trunk can be used within each of the individual customer tenants, simply by adding the trunk into any respective voice routing policy (no need to register).

These derived trunks take or inherit their configuration from the parent carrier trunk, so configuration changes and actions can be quickly and easily applied by making changes to this single parent carrier trunk; without having to go into every individual customer tenant and make a repetitive change.

To take this to the next level, deploy a UC automation tool to bring a level of assurance, self-service administration, and automation to the Direct Routing service that will make it stand out from your competitors.

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FCAPS is an acronym for the following operational systems:

– Fault management
– Configuration management
– Accounting management
– Performance management
– Security management

The purpose for ISO’s FCAPS initiative was based on everyone understanding that the full suite of FCAPS was necessary to maintain your IT and network systems to a high level. Read more