Bruce Kosbab

When employees and customers experience communications failures, productivity plummets and business reputation takes a major hit.

As more and more businesses have adopted unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) solutions such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex in response to COVID-influenced remote office environments, ensuring flawless performance has become paramount. However, when those vital services fail, employee productivity and customer service falter, creating serious problems for the business.

In a recent CUBE Conversation, Eileen Haggerty, assistant vice president of NETSCOUT product and solutions marketing, and Jason Chaffee, NETSCOUT senior product manager, discussed the current state of affairs with unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) and UCaaS and explored how businesses can assure the performance of these mission-critical services. 

Too Many Tools, Too Little Visibility

According to Haggerty, during the past few years, most organizations have added numerous UC&C tools to their arsenal to meet the growing communications and collaboration demands of a remote workforce. “NETSCOUT did a survey at the end of 2021 asking IT leaders about their use of UCaaS and UC&C, and we found that most of them were using between three and nine different platforms to support their corporate employees,” explained Haggerty. “This very quickly became unwieldy. IT was finding it difficult to assure the quality and performance of so many different services, which is why strategies have been shifting lately toward consolidating the numbers of platforms in use.”

With so many services in use, IT can easily become overwhelmed with UC&C issues. “In the same NETSCOUT survey, respondents indicated issues related to UC&C or UCaaS were often taking hours or even days to pinpoint, slowing IT’s ability to restore service,” stated Chaffee. “Lack of visibility into these services is a tremendous hinderance to IT professionals who are responsible for maintaining the quality of communications and collaboration tools.” 

When UC&C Fails, So Too Does Business

When UC&C and UCaaS services fail or quality is degraded, business can suffer. For example, when customers are unable to talk to customer service representatives in a contact center, business reputation can be irreparably harmed. Similarly, when partners and suppliers are unable to pass along critical information, supply chains can be interrupted. When corporate executives can’t communicate with employees, business flows can be disrupted.

Haggerty explained that losing communications for a couple of hours can adversely impact productivity, customer service, and even the reputation of a business, particularly with social media influencers lurking. 

Resolving Issues Quickly Is Key

Pinpointing problems quickly is the key to keeping services up and running. Understanding the root cause of issues requires a wide-ranging approach that leverages passive, packet-based monitoring along with continuous active testing or monitoring of UC&C and UCaaS solutions. Ultimately, the goal is to readily identify emerging problems and resolve them, even before anyone is impacted.

NETSCOUT’S Smart Edge Monitoring solution provides comprehensive, borderless monitoring and visibility. This powerful, vendor-agnostic solution leverages packet data, gathered at the edge, and brings it together with synthetic testing, empowering IT to assure the performance of UC&C and UCaaS services.

For more insight into NETSCOUT’s approach for assuring hybrid workforce experience on today’s UC&C services, view this CUBE Conversation with NETSCOUT Area Vice President Eileen Haggerty and NETSCOUT Senior Product Manager Jason Chaffee.

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