It’s no surprise that unified communications as a service (UCaaS) has become the platform of choice in the work-from-anywhere-at-any-time world. Even as organizations return to more in-person face-to-face meetings, video, and web conferencing are still expected to enhance productivity, collaboration, efficiency, and effectiveness of communications for conference calls, work meetings, educational collaboration, and even doctor visits and discussions. Yet voice, video, and connectivity problems persist in the new cloud-enabled communications world that challenges IT professionals to keep up with the demands their users have for flawless communications.
No matter how you define market leadership for UCaaS, three of the most recognizable leaders for virtual meetings, chat, phone, and collaboration platforms are Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Cisco Webex. Of course, there are others, but in a market expected to be $25 billion in 2024 with a nearly double-digit growth rate, those big three will be taking their fair share. I have yet to meet anyone who has not been on a Teams, Zoom, or Webex call in the last three years. Some of us have been on many calls across all three platforms. Regardless of how anyone feels about which one of those three is right for their organization and why, all three have their strengths, and the choice often is a matter of preference and fit.
Talking About Trilogies
Outside of IT topics, people often debate the three greatest players in a sport, the three best diners or coffee shops, or—my favorite—the three best movie trilogies ever made. Obviously, a person’s age skews the lens on this debate, but it’s safe to say that if you have “Lord of the Rings,” “The Dark Knight,” “Star Wars” (episodes 4-6 of course), and “The Godfather,” a healthy discussion can ensue and no matter where you land, you have got a great movie trilogy.
NETSCOUT Director of Product Marketing Ray Krug stitches together his very own UCaaS trilogy as part of the Problem Solvers Series when he leads the three compelling discussions “Ensuring High Performance Microsoft Teams,” “Ensuring High Performance Zoom,” and “Ensuring High Performance Webex.” If a movie critic were to share an opinion about that trilogy, it might read something like this:
“Krug does a masterful job in all three episodes, painting a clear picture of the villain's Poor Performance, the complex environments that launched the villain into notoriety, and the dramatic defeat of the villain at the hands of NETSCOUT’s end-to-end visibility of the broader network, application environment, and activities that support those critical collaboration services.
“Krug’s depiction of end-to-end visibility is consistent in all three episodes. NETSCOUT’s visibility is derived from scalable deep-packet inspection capabilities that can see traffic flows to wherever users are—even when they move between locations. The outcome enables rapid troubleshooting of quality issues regardless of whether the user is connecting to services from home offices, remote locations, or on-premise corporate offices. No matter what UCaaS platform is used, performance will degrade and be impaired at the worst possible time for mysterious reasons that cannot be unraveled in real time without end-to-end visibility.
“Krug also brilliantly utilizes demonstrations to connect the dots on complexity and poor performance. He brings the audience in to see through his eyes how NETSCOUT monitors voice and video quality that provides the intelligent data needed to identify the root cause of issues in real time, dramatically reducing downtime. He chooses real-world examples of complex performance problems and illustrates how the solution works with meticulous precision across intuitive, logical workflows. For each episode, the audience knows how this powerful technology can transform their world by seeing for themselves how it helped others solve complex issues in their UCaaS environments impacting the quality or availability of services.
“Some of my favorite scenes and takeaways from each of the episodes included dialog related to the unimpeachable quality of evidence and details so people can provide directed escalations to the right team so they can solve the problem rapidly; multihop call views that clearly delineate call quality as it traverses the network for rapid deductive reasoning; how performance and problem resolution can never be outsourced despite utilizing a software-as-a-service model; and, finally, the visibility needed for the proverbial needle in the haystack.”
Learn from the Problem Solvers
Although Krug may never be mentioned with the likes of Peter Jackson or Francis Ford Coppola or even George Lucas, he did a fantastic job with his own performance management trilogy of Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Webex. All three are worth watching as a trilogy or by themselves for free as part of the Problem Solvers Series.