Communications platforms often form the fundamental basis of the most critical business systems. The conversation about UCC (Unified Communications & Collaboration) has long-since moved on from why it should be implemented, to how it's being implemented and how it's performance should be managed.
Nemertes Research, the emerging-technologies research and advisory firm, recently published their 2018-2019 Unified Communications and Collaboration study, pointing out that of the 653 global technology firms participating, nearly all of them now use UCC applications as part of their tech strategy. And rightly so. But it's not enough to simply have UCC apps as part of your organization's strategy. As the report points out, in today's technological landscape “the need for high uptime, quality sound and video, troubleshooting and root-cause detection, along with detailed analytics, has become even more vital.”
Why? To improve the experience for both internal and external customers, by better facilitating engagement, productivity and collaboration.
UC performance management drives customer satisfaction
85% of the companies in the 2018-2019 UCC study have, or are developing, Digital Customer Experience (DCX) strategies because the evidence clearly points to well-managed unified communications driving improved Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). And of course there are a range of other benefits that come with an optimized environment, like avoidance of downtime, better employee productivity and a reduction in operational costs, which all contribute to higher ROI numbers.
But how do you achieve a well-managed, optimized, simplified communications ecosystem? The answer is Unified Communications performance management.
Googling “UC performance management” doesn't yield much at the moment. But in a nutshell, this phrase refers to the set of diagnostic tools a company uses to monitor the components of their UCC environment - like bandwidth, SBCs, routers, cloud infrastructure, endpoints, encryption and so on - to keep that environment working together and running as it should be.
On the correlation between a solid UCC environment and an improved customer experience, the evidence is pretty clear; if your systems are working optimally, you can deliver faster response times, give users a richer experience, reduce costs, increase sales and achieve higher CSAT scores.
UC performance management solutions
The set of solutions vary from vendor platform tools, component tools, cloud service tools, and specialty tools (both single-vendor and multi-vendor). A typical UCC environment is an incredibly complex thing. But by employing performance management tools to properly manage these ecosystems, the complex can become beautifully simple!
On the IR blog, we've previously discussed the difficulties of troubleshooting UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) multi-vendor deployments. But to refresh your memory, platform, component, cloud service and single-vendor specialty tools are generally limited to their respective environments. The benefit of multi-vendor specialty tools is that they give IT teams visibility across their entire UCC ecosystem, allowing for complete system monitoring, fast troubleshooting and root-cause analysis via a single dashboard.
Performance management adoption rates
The Nemertes report found 61% of firms currently employ UC performance management toolsets offered by specialty providers (both single and multi-vendor). IR, with our multi-vendor tool, Prognosis, currently captures the largest share of that market, at 24%.
A further 21% of companies surveyed use vendor or platform-specific tools to monitor their environments. But perhaps most worryingly, 18% of companies have no performance management solutions implemented at all. This may be due to prohibitive factors such as high cost or limited resources, or perhaps they're so used to reactively managing their environments that they don't realize there's a better way. Whatever the reason, as these ecosystems get even more complex it's probably fair to say many of those companies will be looking to performance management providers in the not-too-distant future. At least, we hope they do.
By having UC performance management tools in place, organizations are more likely to implement successful technology deployments, improve employee productivity, avoid downtime, reduce costs and, most importantly, improve the experience for all of your internal and external customers.