There’s No Such Thing as a Trouble Ticket to Paradise

Visibility into UC&C performance requires a highly effective network and application monitoring and management solution.

Sonar Terrain Grid Mapping identifying users

When it comes to help desk trouble tickets, there’s good news and bad news.

Let’s start with the good news. In the wake of pandemic-influenced reliance on unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) and unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) platforms over the past few years that created an upsurge in IT help desk trouble tickets, a recent report found the strain on IT seems to be dissipating. In NETSCOUT’s latest survey, just 29 percent said that a majority of their help desk tickets were related to UC&C issues—down nearly a third from 42 percent in 2021.

This trend can be explained by a few major shifts in the work environment. First, a much higher percentage of workers have returned to corporate offices where, due to IT control and oversight, networks and devices are easier to manage. Second, after years of hybrid and remote work, employees may actually be learning to resolve problems on their own, or they may simply not be reporting them to IT as often—which might not actually be a good thing, because it means employees may be settling for poor-quality service rather than taking the time to report the issue and contributing the time to help troubleshoot it.

Time to Resolution Still an Issue

More good news found in the report was that 82 percent of UC&C-related requests were viewed as at least somewhat easy to resolve. However, the time it takes to resolve issues remains a thorn in the side of IT. The survey revealed that 54 percent of help desk personnel take a few hours to resolve UC&C challenges, while 12 percent take as much as a day, and 3 percent require as much as a week to fix.

Sideview Bar chart for 2021 & 2022 showing resolution data

Two hours to resolve a communication problem might be okay in the grand scheme of things, but when considered from a business perspective, that might seem like forever to an end user. Not having collaboration tools available to meet with colleagues, vendors, or clients could have serious productivity implications. Not having a contact center available to customers could have significant customer satisfaction implications. When it takes an extended period to time to resolve issues with UC&C or UCaaS solutions, the entire business can be disrupted, which has real revenue and/or cost implications. 

The survey collected information on common problems being experienced by users. Specifically, it revealed that 66 percent of participants experience delays in joining UCaaS video or audio conferences, while 56 percent indicated having poor audio quality. Another 48 percent complained of poor webcam/video quality, and 30 percent cited an inability to log into UCaaS services. Adding to the challenge, IT must hash out the root of the problem with third-party service providers, further extending the time it takes to pinpoint the issue. 

Side bar chart showing the top display top user issues reported


Packet-based Monitoring Provides Crucial Visibility into Performance

Because multivendor UC&C and UCaaS platforms add to the use and complexity of networks, IT needs robust visibility into performance and user experience in order to quickly pinpoint the source of disruptions and reduce UC&C and UCaaS outages. NETSCOUT can address these challenges, offering vendor-independent, packet-based monitoring of utilization and performance across the multicloud, multisite network, including individual user experience analysis with synthetic testing. This type of automated testing enables IT professionals to obtain detailed UCaaS and UC&C performance and availability data so they can readily identify problems early in their lifecycle—from anywhere—and often resolve them before users are impacted, thus avoiding productivity disruptions.

NETSCOUT examines all aspects of the communications from a user experience perspective by customizing tests that perform the steps typically performed by the user. Specific business transaction tests (BTTs) performed by our nGenius Enterprise Performance Management solution with nPoint devices can be trended to provide insight into normal performance for user experience. An example of a BTT would be a common UCaaS conference call experience of logging in to a call/meeting, joining the audio/video, and exiting the meeting. By gathering the trended data, NETSCOUT solutions can identify when performance is degrading and provide early warning of an emerging problem that might cause interruptions or degradations of the UC&C service. This data enables IT to troubleshoot issues faster and reduce overall time to resolution.

With today’s continuing reliance on UC&C and UCaaS platforms, it is more important than ever to ensure the performance of vital collaboration tools. The ability to monitor these systems and gain much-needed visibility into performance can be the difference between success and failure for the business. 

Learn more in our comprehensive report on UC&C.