Part 1 of 3

With Skype for Business deployments growing around the globe in industries across the spectrum and with companies of all sizes, it is little wonder the attention it is getting. Numerous vendors have come out and jumped on the Skype for Business bandwagon. All promise to make the investment—in excess of $1000 a seat for the first year—worth every last penny. If it could only be so simple.

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We here at Exinda have noticed the forming of two camps. The first camp focuses on monitoring and forensics. While certainly valuable, knowing there are problems is insufficient mitigation for the network technician and project manager chartered with enabling 1000+ seats of Skype or some other unified communication stack. Probably because their jobs are on the line. The investment, after all, is—strategic—which is corp-speak for, “the CEO is watching this rollout and failure is not an option.” Failing, in this endeavor, is the IT equivalent of a “career-ending-injury.”

“There are problems out there,” these tool-vendors all crow. As if this were somehow a newsflash. The implementation team knows only too well about the problems and burns the midnight oil manipulating spreadsheets that document every last one. And every last vendor action that might be required to remedy what ails the endeavor.

The second camp is largely comprised of network element manufacturers—routers, switches and other active network devices that can act on packet data. As many who have toiled in the business are aware, these are the vendors that completely missed the importance of providing “application services” the first dozen times (dozen and dozens?) their users pointed out the requirement. But late isn’t always lost, just misguided and behind.

At Exinda, we believe there is a requirement for a consolidation of the two camps. A toolset that not only surfaces problems, but provides meaningful recommendations at both the network and service level. Suggested courses of action that can provide real application performance improvement. Actions implemented directly by the solution that found the issue to start with. Policy enforcement with a purpose.

While a simple approach and idea, we believe that the time is right for it. The other two camps have, after all, had a pretty long history of not quite hitting the mark. But that’s OK with us. Leading can be lonely, but is most certainly rewarding as well.

Stay tuned next week for…

Part 2: Simple is Better: Application Recognition and Metadata Extraction