The Trouble with Troubleshooting UC&C

Independent, packet-based monitoring is essential to pinpointing problems.

Woman working remotely sitting at laptop appears to be having issues with a meeting app

Unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) and unified communications as a service (UCaaS) are fast becoming the tools of choice for nearly every type of business. And that’s making for some sleepless nights for those tasked with troubleshooting problems associated with this complex technology. 

The problem is, pinpointing the source of disruptions and quality issues with UC&C and UCaaS can be particularly challenging because of the involvement of remote workers, extensive networks, and cloud-based applications. This has put IT professionals in the hot seat when it comes to ensuring the best end-user experience. A recent NETSCOUT survey found that approximately 63 percent of enterprise IT departments are monitoring the UC&C user experience of their employees. 

However, difficulties arise when relying principally on information provided by UCaaS providers in order to troubleshoot UC&C problems. 67 percent of those surveyed indicated they are using the vendor’s tools and dashboards to reveal the source of issues. The survey further revealed that just half of respondents were satisfied with current management tools and the information provided.

Circle Graph representing 67% of people use UC&C to monitor packet analysis

Here’s a prime example of how this works: Employees start to report audio and video connection delays or poor voice quality when using Microsoft Teams or Zoom. However, when IT looks at each of the vendors’ dashboards, no issues are present. With dashboards showing all green, the vendors are essentially ruling themselves out as the source of the problem. That’s all well and good, except that the problem still persists and users are still complaining, so IT is no better off when it comes to getting to the root of the issue. As a result, IT will likely spend countless hours of troubleshooting to determine the exact cause of the problem.

Independent Network and Packet-level Visibility Is Essential

IT professionals are left to ponder this burning question: Is relying on UCaaS providers as the primary source of information the most reliable way to go when it comes to resolving UC&C experience issues? The answer is no! 

Because of today’s increasingly complex, multivendor landscape, IT pros are responsible for supporting multiple platforms and a distributed hybrid workforce that is often dispersed across the enterprise and remote locations. Even with a grab bag of third-party tools in use, finding the source of problems may prove difficult. This is where independent tools can make a real difference.

Tools that deliver independent network and packet-level visibility, revealing the full communications path and enabling the testing of user experience, are invaluable for pointing to the true root cause of problems, thus allowing for quicker resolution.

Surprisingly, the NETSCOUT survey found that only 23 percent of respondents use vendor-independent, packet-based analysis to monitor the performance and experience of remote workers using UC&C platforms. This suggests that there is a tremendous opportunity for improvement. IT departments that embrace an independent solution can more effectively monitor communications paths used by a hybrid workforce, examining call quality and quality of service (QoS) priority settings. NETSCOUT offers a best-in-class solution that also enables mean opinion score (MOS) analysis and synthetic testing for end-user experience analysis, allowing IT to assure UC&C and UCaaS quality

NETSCOUT’s packet-based monitoring:

  • Quickly pinpoints problems
  • Provides early warning into issues that might cause service interruptions or degradation
  • Detects problems impacting third-party vendor UCaaS tools
  • Helps reduce overall time to resolution

As reliance on UC&C and UCaaS tools grows, the pressure on IT to ensure performance and a quality user experience is greater than ever. Independent, packet-based monitoring is essential to pinpoint problems wherever they occur—allowing rapid resolution. Anything less is more than enough reason to lose sleep.

Learn more in our comprehensive report on UC&C.