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Microsoft Teams: You can’t fix what you can’t see

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Microsoft Teams needs no introduction. It is arguably the most popular collaboration platform used by enterprise organizations today. But this doesn’t mean that large enterprises, as well as corporates and SMBs, use Microsoft Teams exclusively.

Multiple platforms = a multitude of complexity

Businesses often use multiple communication and collaboration tools within their organization, to cater to varying business needs.

For instance, an IT department, customer service team and HR department may have different communication and collaboration priorities and find that one tool alone does not meet all their specific requirements. Customer facing teams may prefer to use Zoom to cater to customer preferences, but they will use Microsoft Teams.

Users only care about their preferred platform working, they don’t realize this is just the beginning. There are numerous components sitting behind the platforms that make them work. But we know with Teams, Webex, Zoom and other players all in the mix, managing the interoperability of today’s multi-platform UC environments is becoming increasingly complex.

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Hybrid working raises the bar on monitoring UC performance

In today’s hybrid working world, organizations not only have to contend with the performance issues of multiple platforms, but the added complexity of disparate devices and numerous dispersed locations. They must also ensure all platforms are always working, especially back-up platforms in case their primary one fails.

The Microsoft Teams environment provides a platform that enables video conferencing, calling, chats, meetings, file sharing and much more. The platform works best with ‘Microsoft Certified’ devices, and non-certified, Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) behaviour prevalent in hybrid working, connectivity, and sub-par video and sound quality can be compromised.

Thanks to constant innovation from most of the key collaboration platform providers, interoperability is taken for granted. You can join a Microsoft Teams meeting from Zoom Rooms. Or, depending on the type of Webex device you have, you can join a Teams meeting with Cisco Webex Video Integration for Microsoft Teams.

While all this interconnectivity can add convenience, it presents increased network vulnerabilities, device incompatibilities, and a performance management nightmare. However, the bottom line for end users is that it all just needs to work without glitches. But how?

You can’t fix what’s impossible to see

A UC ecosystem can be like an airplane cockpit, with so much componentry that needs to be constantly monitored to avoid crashing. There are multiple webcams, microphones, headsets etc. in meetings and calls, which can compromise overall quality and experience.

The networks, routers and SBCs used to connect end-users to make calls and meetings possible can drop out, or experience poor quality for any number of reasons.

Organizations are realizing that with all the capabilities within today’s Microsoft Teams and/or multi-platform collaboration ecosystem, there is no ‘set and forget’ default for their UC environment. And with multiple monitoring tools to keep track of, IT leaders are facing tedious, time-consuming processes when trying to pinpoint issues, for example:

  • What device(s) aren’t working and why?
  • Why is the network slow?
  • What’s causing calls to drop out, and video to freeze?
  • How can you prevent it from happening repeatedly?

Visibility into these components is highly critical because they are more likely to fail than the collaboration platform itself.

Siloes: an organization’s worst enemy

Monitoring tools specifically designed for Microsoft Teams won’t show problems that occur in Zoom or Webex. Likewise for any native monitoring tools, and this creates an obstacle for a hybrid working environment.

Every organization’s bottom line relies on being able to identify and resolve issues fast – and that means in real time. This requires complete visibility across your UC ecosystem – from a single pane of glass – and not just for one vendor. You need one tool that spans multiple systems, can detect anomalies with devices, networks, and apps, and notify teams when problems are likely to arise.

Reactive vs proactive performance management

Monitoring your UC environment is not just about creating alerts for when something goes wrong, then trying to fix it after the fact.

To avoid or reduce downtime and ensure business continuity, you need comprehensive performance data that you can easily see via customized dashboards. Additionally, you need the analytics that can provide insights to proactively address issues in real time.

Teams alone consumes a great amount of network and bandwidth capabilities, so you also need to make sure that your UC environment can handle the load, and ongoing testing ensures a great end user experience.

Since the worldwide adoption of hybrid working, Microsoft Teams and its counterparts have created the means to stay connected through constantly evolving technology. But when something goes wrong, it’s not always the platform itself at fault.

It’s imperative to have the tools to accurately pinpoint the source of problems within your UC ecosystem, fix them fast and utilize the data that can help prevent them happening in the future. The success of your business depends on it.

Source: IR

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