The Troubling Trend in Trouble Tickets

UCaaS and SaaS issues are dominating IT help desk trouble tickets.

IT Helpdesk person

Unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) tools are essential for most modern enterprises in today’s highly connected business environments. When those applications don’t work or don’t work well, that’s a big problem for IT help desk teams responsible for resolving issues quickly.

Over the course of the last few years, NETSCOUT has asked participants about their experiences with communications and collaboration services contributing to help desk trouble tickets. In 2021, 42 percent of respondents indicated that trouble tickets represented more than 50 percent of the issues reported by employees to help desks. This was not surprising, given it was during the height of the pandemic when many workers were operating remotely. With such a strong dependence on UCaaS tools, any communication issues inevitably had a tremendous impact on employees’ productivity and the ability to do their jobs. Compounding the challenge for IT, many of the issues involved employee access (e.g., “the last mile”), which meant IT had no control or visibility, making it all the more challenging to troubleshoot.

Luckily, the number of trouble tickets reported dropped to 29 percent in 2022. This was likely because many employees had returned to the office, where IT had greater performance management control and troubleshooting tools at their disposal.

Increasing Reliance on UCaaS and SaaS

This year’s NETSCOUT survey continued to look at communication and collaboration with UCaaS and added software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools, which have grown more prevalent within enterprises. The survey uncovered that 59 percent of enterprise-level companies support 11 or more such tools and applications. With so many applications in play, it’s easy to see why an increased number of problems with these tools and/or network-related delays or outages would make up a majority of trouble tickets for most major corporations.

Most Common Problems Reported

When it comes to UCaaS problems, the most commonly reported issues by remote workers include video and audio delays, dropped calls, poor quality, or an inability to log in. The NETSCOUT survey found 31 percent of respondents indicating that they frequently or very frequently experienced delays in joining UCaaS video or audio portions of conferences. Another 30 percent cited dropped calls as their biggest problem, while 28 percent indicated both poor webcam/video quality and an inability to log into UCaaS services. 26 percent of those surveyed pointed out that poor-quality audio was a frequent or very frequent issue for users.

Bar chart depicting Top 5 IT Delays and % of frequencies

Without a doubt, these quality issues are a make-it-or-break-it problem for IT. Video and audio delays, dropped calls, poor quality, or an inability to log in have direct impacts on the end user, which in turn impacts productivity and the bottom line. Service and reputation may be at risk when customers are participants in these calls as well. IT is under tremendous pressure to ensure seamless access to these tools, along with the highest quality, so communications are always flawless.

SaaS Problems Rival Frequency of UCaaS Issues

It comes as no surprise that as more enterprises utilize SaaS tools, there is a growing number of trouble tickets related to these applications. The NETSCOUT survey bears this out. Between 51 percent and 75 percent of survey respondents stated that 32 percent of their trouble tickets were related to UCaaS issues. At the same time, 26 percent to 50 percent of companies reported that 39 percent of their trouble tickets were related to SaaS problems. These findings suggest UCaaS- and SaaS-related tickets represent a significant number of the tickets opened by employees. 

Bar Chart depicting percentage of SaaS Problems versus UCaaS Problems

The Need for Vendor-Independent Observability

Given the complexity of UCaaS and SaaS applications, which involve multiple vendors and an array of vendor tools, IT teams lack the necessary control over these vital tools to ensure the highest performance and the best user experience. One of the shortcomings of using this plethora of vendor tools is that they will only rule out parts of the network as opposed to pinpointing the true source of the problem, which could be WAN access, an internet vendor, the SD-WAN environment, Wi-Fi interference in an office conference room, and so on.

A further issue is the response time from vendors when a trouble ticket is opened related to their UCaaS or SaaS tool. Will they initiate support efforts immediately, or will they demand proof that the problem isn’t caused by another vendor’s solution or some other issue within the enterprise’s infrastructure? Potential slowdowns in addressing problems due to excessive finger-pointing are all too common when so many different tools are involved.

When traffic goes over the internet, thus not through IT’s private data center, IT lacks end-through-end observability. And because vendor point tools are too limiting in terms of visibility and analysis, IT teams end up with insufficient control of UCaaS and SaaS applications, putting the user experience at risk.

All of this points to the need for vendor-independent observability across the entire communications ecosystem. Having end-through-end visibility, such as that offered by NETSCOUT’s nGenius Enterprise Performance Management solution, is essential for not only ruling out parts of the environment but also for actually pinpointing the true root cause.  In this way, IT can tear down war rooms and more rapidly solve problems. And help desk teams can manage trouble tickets more quickly and efficiently.

Look for our next blog, which will examine the risks to the business when these services are disrupted and what IT can do to minimize such problems. Meanwhile, learn more about trouble ticket trends in our comprehensive report “UCaaS and Today’s Enterprise: The True Cost of Outages and Help Desk Support.”
Learn more about trouble ticket trends in our comprehensive report “UCaaS and Today’s Enterprise: The True Cost of Outages and Help Desk Support.”