Many organizations depend on ubiquitous and seamless access to real-time applications to communicate, collaborate, and drive business success. Unified Communications solutions like Skype for Business and Office 365 are built to boost productivity and drive down costs, but oftentimes organizations do not get the results they were promised.
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Employee adoption is essential to realizing ROI on any UC deployment. However, poor quality of experience for voice, video or collaboration apps can deter your employees from using the application and prevent your organization from realizing the full operational and financial benefits of your UC strategy. The key to UC success is being able to guarantee reliable and consistent performance for your users at all times.
Here are three steps to ensure flawless performance of your UC applications.
1. Prep Your Network
Getting your organization up and running with a new UC application as quickly as possible might seem like an attractive option, especially if you want to prevent employees from using unsanctioned applications, but in the long haul it will cause more harm than good.
Not knowing whether or not your network can handle this new app in the first place is a step that is often overlooked. What you need is a full picture of your environment and how your network resources are being consumed. This can be achieved by a comprehensive network assessment. With this kind of tool you’ll be able to ensure you have enough bandwidth to handle a UC deployment, but also get a complete view of your organization’s network traffic and current application usage. For example, you’ll be able to pinpoint activity that could impact voice and video performance, like unsanctioned applications.
2. Avoid the “Set It and Forget It” Approach
You’re passed the first hurdle, you’ve assessed your network, and you’ve made sure you have the network resources needed for your UC deployment. You’re job is done, right? Not exactly.
It’s been a couple of weeks; how do you know if the voice and video quality is still good? Are people experiencing dropped calls? Choppy audio? With new users jumping on and off your network, the coolest new applications (or iOS updates) using up valuable resources and old apps becoming obsolete – your network is in constant flux.
So, what’s the secret to flawless UC performance? Beyond the initial assessment, ongoing monitoring is crucial. You need to be able to dive into your network activity at any given time to see how well your applications are performing. You also need to be able to identify bandwidth draining applications, Shadow IT and any other network activity that is or has the potential to impact the user experience.
3. Take Control of Your Valuable Network Resources
After receiving a few helpdesk tickets about dropped calls and connection issues, you’ve jumped into your network to analyze activity. You’ve discovered that a quite a few recreational applications are hogging network resources.
While these statistics and usage trends are informative, they’re really only useful if you can also manage it. You need the ability to control how your network resources are allocated and guarantee that there are always enough available for your voice and video applications.
To avoid a poor quality of experience, you also need to be able to set limits that will prevent non-critical traffic like recreational, social and media streaming from impacting performance.
A successful UC deployment is vital to your organization. To maximize the ROI of your investment you need to ensure your voice, video and collaboration apps are delivering on their productivity and cost benefits. This requires exceptional application performance. With careful planning and the right tools, you can ensure every stage of your UC deployment goes without a hitch and with a seamless user experience.