Communications Blog • 4 MIN READ

Q&A with Adam Geffner (Excerpt: UC Optimization Guide)

Adam Geffner

Written by Adam Geffner

This is an excerpt from the UC Optimization Guide for Pros available download here. This extract is taken from the chapter on Energizing your UC team and elevating productivity. 

Q: What's the best way to cut down on monitoring and troubleshooting hours in UC?  

Know your tools and have efficient and practical processes around how to use them to triage and troubleshoot issues in the environment. Prognosis is a great tool, but only if the people looking at it know how to use it and drill down efficiently.  

We also just recently deployed Prognosis integration with our Service Desk ticketing system, so tickets on major or critical alerts are automatically opened and assigned. Our telephony teams will get notified of Major and Critical alerts as they happen, but not necessarily on the small stuff (noise) like minors and warnings.  

We have a resource who reviews those alerts while checking system health from Prognosis daily and can bubble up any minor alerts worth noting. This reduces the noise/frequency of tickets that the Ops teams process, so they can focus on higher priorities while ensuring nothing gets missed.  

Q: How do you make sure your UC dashboards are fit for purpose?  

We've modified the dashboard display to ensure only systems deployed are visible in the navigation pane. We've customized the visible default fields that display in many dashboards to show only relevant data. We also have members create and use both custom key displays as well as purpose-built mashups.  

Q: How could Operations Managers be wasting employee time? 

Treating or testing for symptoms rather than identifying and treating root cause. I once had a director who would test trunks for possible issues by having much of his staff make lots and lots of test calls and report any bad calls and see if they matched customer complaints. Highly inefficient. If you don't have an established process to deal with a particular type of issue, managers need to be open to their team's ideas on efficient and logical ways to troubleshoot.  

Some Ops Managers who have been in telephony for years may be treating an issue with an outdated approach, or one that's no longer applicable. What worked or got them here today may not be what works or gets them where they need to be going forward. Be open to and rely on the technical expertise of your staff for suggestions; don't just hammer down to your staff what you think is right, as it may be dated, inefficient or ineffective.  

Q: What are the best ways to energize your UC team? 

Reward and recognition. Tout their accomplishments in staff calls or department meetings. Send shout-out emails to the department that praise them for work on a project or tough issue. Show them that the praise is real, and recognized, and how it's made a difference by saving money (by preventing lost revenue). They do make a difference and they need to know it. 

Task them to come up with ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness on issues. Have a common issue that takes a little effort to resolve each time? Ask a person or small subset team to analyze the common contributing root causes. How can they help prevent these issues going forward? How can they use Prognosis to alert more quickly so they can be more proactive in resolving? Can they write an efficient set of triage steps for others to follow to most effectively RCA&R the issues, and add that to a training or runbook?  Give them responsibility to improve the job for themselves and others.  

Give them the latitude and approval for additional training, and conferences. A company willing to spend money on external trainings speaks volumes and the employee gets to expand their skillset and share with others, so it's a win-win for employee and company. 

Topics: Communications

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