Webinars • Dec 03, 2020 • 30 MIN PLAY • ON-DEMAND

Microsoft Teams: Simplify Complexity. Deliver a Great Experience.

Dave Bottomley
Dave Bottomley

Solutions Engineer, IR

Skip Chilcott
Skip Chilcott

Head of Product Marketing

Details

Transcript

Enterprises are adopting cloud-based communication and collaboration platforms quickly and Microsoft Teams is leading the way with a simple promise; migrate to the cloud and enable digital collaboration, productivity, and innovation across the organization.

In reality it’s not that simple. Complexity remains and enterprise IT teams need help to manage these cloud services and enable meeting and call quality needed for a productive experience.

Join us for this webinar and learn how IR’s new Experience Management solutions for Microsoft Teams delivers powerful monitoring, troubleshooting, and analytics to optimize the user experience, maximize IT efficiency, and deliver on the promise of cloud collaboration with Teams.

IR | BrightTALK

simplify complexity microsoft teams

Skip Chilcott  

Good morning, everyone. How are you? Dave Bottomley is joining me today. 

My name is Skip Chilcott. Dave and I are here from IR. We welcome everyone to our webcast today. Dave, introduce yourself.

Dave Bottomley 

I'm Dave Bottomley. And I'm a Solution Engineer for IR. Been here almost six years now. And I'm here to answer all the questions, technical.

Skip Chilcott  

And I'm Skip Chilcott. I'm the head of Product Marketing here at IR. And a bad comedian at the same time. So you'll have to put up with my bad jokes today. We're here to talk about Microsoft Teams: Simplifying Complexity. 

So let's move into the presentation. We have about 30 or 40 minutes today, and we're gonna get through some content. We encourage you to ask questions at any time; just fill out the question queue. We do have a couple of polling questions along the way, but we want to hear from you and make it interactive as we can. So if you have a question or a comment, please type it in as we move through, and we will do the best we can. 

With that, let's jump in. 

webinar disclaimer

who is IR

Skip Chilcott

Alright, so we're gonna jump in and talk about Simplifying complexity. So let's get in here. I'm gonna take a look at the audience here for just a moment and see how many people we have. We got quite a few people on here. Some of you might be familiar with IR, some of you might not. So let's just do a quick level-set on who we are, because we're not new to this game; we've been around for 30 years. 

This company is based out of Australia. It’s a home office, but we have offices all over the world. And most of our employees are outside of Australia. We're a global organization. We've been working with large enterprises and service providers around the world for a long time. We have been working with our alliance partners, also for many years, starting back 15 to 20 years ago. But we have close relationships with Microsoft, as well as Cisco and Avaya. Because we understand that our customers have a little bit of everything out there. And they might have standardized on one platform or another. But they also move between platforms and evolve. 

And so our large customers; we have several customers over 300,000 endpoints, end-users. And we're up there at the 17, 18 million marks, for how many endpoints are being monitored. So just a quick little bit about us. We work with both the enterprises and the service providers. 

IR and Microsoft

Skip Chilcott

So from a Microsoft perspective, where are we at? 

We started working with Microsoft in 2012—actually a little bit earlier than that—but really, working around the link platform at that time. And quickly evolved, in 2014, to Skype for Business, and then evolved, again, with Skype for Business Online in 2017. And now, here's where we are with Teams. 

So we've evolved our solutions and our capabilities quite a bit—from looking at the monitoring and managing, the infrastructure for a link as well as the call quality, and the in-flight call quality as it moves into Skype for Business. Other additional infrastructure there for network performance and troubleshooting, more SBCs, as those were evolving, as well. 

And then as it moves over to Skype for Business Online, taking on the cloud data. Our first cloud service was actually in 2017, consuming data from Skype for Business Online, and then doing some connection back to the premises in a hybrid model, which is really where we've evolved to with our Teams solution.

know your audience

Skip Chilcott

So with the Microsoft model, and everything else out there in UC, we would love to understand what everybody's role is in the audience? So if you wouldn't mind, just plug in your role and responsibility, so we know who's out there in the audience.

Dave Bottomley 

Skip, I believe I've invoked the first poll. So hopefully, I see some folks add some values.

Skip Chilcott   

Yeah, fantastic. If one of these roles is not your role, then let us know what your role is. And just submit it as a question.

Dave Bottomley  

Skip, are you seeing any contributions?

Skip Chilcott  

I am not.

Dave Bottomley  

There we are.

Skip Chilcott  

There we go. They started to come in. Fantastic. 

We got some results coming in here. A little bit of everything. A couple more—great. Well, let's keep rolling. I think we've got a pretty good view of those and what that spread looks like. Thank you for that. And we will keep on rolling. “Knowledge Manager”: that's an interesting one. 

remote working teams

Skip Chilcott

All right, let's keep going. Let's talk a little bit about why we're here today. 

As everyone knows, Teams is a pretty amazing product. It got to start, maybe, one, two years ago now—18 months, something like that. And the growth rate has been tremendous. And what these coloured lines represent is this chart was done back in June of 2020, earlier this year. And what this chart represents is at that moment in time, “What do the trajectories of usage look like?” 

The red line is “as of Q4 of 2019”, that trajectory was looking there. With COVID, that hit in Q1 of 2020, that number jumped up to 44—and there's a trajectory line there. And then you see that in the Q2 of 2020. It even rose farther to 75 million. But it's interesting to know where it happened today. So some new numbers came out last month or earlier. And those numbers actually are quite a bit higher, about 30% higher than the last forecast. So the usage of Teams has been phenomenal. And the growth is amazing. And I got to hand it to Microsoft, the capability and technology rollout has been fast and furious, and it is a fantastic product. 

So customers are adopting it all over the world. And we are seeing that from all of our regional roles around the world as well. 

IT leaders want the best collaboration tool

Skip Chilcott

But the story is not 100% a Microsoft story, within the customer base. So we've been working with Wainhouse Research, to do some surveys and some analysis within the enterprise customers segment. And this is an interesting result. In 2018, the question was asked: “Are you going to have a best of breed strategy? Or are you going to have a single vendor strategy?” And the overwhelming majority in 2018 said, “We're going all to a single vendor, because ‘best of breed’ has been so challenging. 

To tie everything together, however, fast forward two years, and that attitude has completely changed. The same survey was run to this earlier this year. And the thing flipped upside down. And we dug into this a little bit—we really understood that because the technology has become easier to use and easier to integrate, customers have told us they're interested in utilizing the best technology for the purpose, for the role, different types of users. Standardizing on a single platform isn't necessarily the priority anymore, because the interoperability has gotten so much better. 

And that was a big key challenge many years ago, prior to 2018. So this is interesting to see. Now, what is the challenge with the best of breed platform? 

cloud or hybrid

Skip Chilcott

The challenges aren't near what they were before, however, they do start to show their heads a little bit. But the other question that we asked was, starting back in the 2015-2018 timeframe was: “What's your strategy going to be in the future?” And it was basically overwhelming: “Primarily Cloud, Unified Communications in the Cloud, Cloud Collaboration”. Everybody understood the value and the promise of that.
And so it was very much Cloud forward, however, as you see, that that has dropped over the last five years. And then if you look at the bottom, obviously, “Primarily Datacenter” has also dropped quite a bit. 

But what we see is that the Hybrid model is really the leading model. So maintaining a perspective of some technologies and solutions On-Premise and some of them Cloud, making them work together—delivering a kind of a ‘best of breed’ approach with both the right technology for the right usage, as well as the right deployment model or the right topology that's best for the organization as well to take advantage of those best of breed solutions. So this was really interesting. It's a Hybrid has taken over as the strategy currently and into the future as of now. 

And so this is really interesting, but it does bring on some challenges.

challenges within modern collaboration solutions

Skip Chilcott 

And this is what our customers have told us, and this is what we're hearing—we'd love to hear from you and what you think. Go ahead and type a question in there, and we'd love to hear what you think, as well. 

So networks, clients devices—they all cause challenges with outages, errors, poor quality—things of that nature. But at the end of the day, people are at the center of all that. And oftentimes, people cause that. Are they using the right laptop? Are they connected to a Wi-Fi that's actually any good? Are they accidentally cutting themselves off or hanging up on the call by closing the window? Is there background noise that's causing the problem? People are a big cause of it. 

And oftentimes, we don't really realise that and think about them. But at the same time, the management across the devices, the networks, the infrastructure, the endpoints, network providers, all that is challenging, and the ‘best of breed’ does introduce challenges, backend. However, things do work better together, but there's still a lot of challenges that affect the quality. 

And then over on the right, it's really around: “How do you manage all of this?” So managing across the Data Centers and multiple Clouds, the endpoints, the people, the networks, the clients—you name it. All of this does create challenges that are kind of hard to manage. And if you have an administration tool, or a surveillance tool for each of those, you wind up having a whole library of tools to use.

IT service operations guidance

Dave Bottomley  

Hey, Skip? Hey, sorry to interrupt. We do have a question from the audience. And I personally would like a little bit more clarification. The question is: “What do you know about the future version coming with what is touted as significant interface modifications?”

Skip Chilcott   

Is it a Teams question? I don't know.

Dave Bottomley 

Yeah, if it relates to Teams itself, we don't have that insider track. If we want to talk a little bit about more, how we're evolving our UX, then I will address some of that coming up here shortly in the demo portion.

Skip Chilcott   

Fantastic. Yeah, thanks for interrupting me there. From a Microsoft perspective, they are always adjusting the user experience and the interface; and they're making some really smart decisions around things like being able to undock the meeting, being able to sort your Team channels and things of that nature in the chat channels. It's been a tremendous pace of innovation and modifications. And I wouldn't expect that to change. I have seen some information coming from Microsoft recently about more changes coming. But I think everything they're doing is very smart. And it's very thoughtful, based upon how people are using the tool. 

It is a really super flexible tool, you can use it a lot of different ways, create some of its own challenges on the right way to use it, or the best way to use it. But I do think that the changes that are being made are thoughtful, and they're not jarring. And they're definitely helpful. So there's that. But it's up to the customer to manage all of this. So how do you manage it? 

So Microsoft does provide guidance on how to manage the service operations for Teams. And this is the top box here—these are Microsoft charts. 

The top box here does put the responsibility on the customer for actually a significant portion of this. This is about two thirds of the environment or the solution. But 2/3 of it is on the customer to manage, and about maybe even 75%. And then the last 25% on the infrastructure of the Cloud and making sure that it's always running, and those kinds of things that you don't have to worry about. And that really is a fantastic promise. 

But what are we all about? What is IR all about? We'll get to that in just a moment. But there are many areas here that we can really help with and that we have been helping with for many years. And this is all about these five boxes over here. 

So monitoring the service health, assessing the usage, understanding how people are using it, the user sentiment and the feedback on the quality and the experience, managing the network and troubleshooting problems that are occurring—whatever the quality that is—and then assessing and ensuring the quality. 

How do you find the problems and troubleshoot them and get to them as fast as you can? That is not an easy thing to do because of what we just talked about. But here, let's talk about what we're doing here for Teams. We're on this journey. We've been working on it for quite a while and we did bring it to market earlier this year. And so we're gonna jump into that next. 

Dave Bottomley

Hey, Skip? 

Skip Chilcott

Looks like there's another question in there.

Dave Bottomley  

Yeah, exactly. And I was waiting, I knew this slide was coming up. And I knew it was a build slide. So for everyone else in the audience who—I don't believe you can see anyone else's comments—but a comment has come in and says: “I have seen problems with Apple laptops and quality deterioration, basically with 7+ attendees. 

So that was an interesting segue as to what Skip was saying. And I think we're going to go ahead and continue to flesh this out. And this is interesting that you pointed out this very specific scenario. So these are the kinds of use cases we're trying to assist you in identifying and helping to run remediation on.

Skip Chilcott

Yeah, so we can probably show some of that; what kind of visibility you can get into, all the way down to the kind of the end user and the devices they're using and things of that nature. Sometimes it's kind of hard to tell why it's causing it, but you can definitely pinpoint it and say—Look, when you have a meeting, it's seven or ten people. And you can see that—let's make up the numbers—let's see, there's ten people in the audience in that meeting, and seven of them are on laptops; or everybody's on a laptop, but maybe six or seven of them around Apple, you'd be able to see those six or seven people on Apple having the problems. 

And so you can pretty much make an assumption of what that is. But I'll tell you what I found: I have found that it's not the Apple laptop itself, it's that most Apple users are using the AirPods. And that potentially is a challenge because everybody assumes it's the laptop, but it's kind of like: “What's the devices they're actually using with the laptop? Are they on WiFi combined with the AirPod?” 

There's a lot of different combinations that can happen. But we got some of the ability to jump into trying to troubleshoot that. 

needs and challenges

Skip Chilcott

So with that, what are your challenges? What are your top needs? We'd love to hear from you, so please, more questions like that would be fantastic. 

So just type them in and what your challenges are not necessarily with a specific brand of something that let us know. And we'll talk about that.

Dave Bottomley 

Just a comment here:Skip and I are—this is one of a sequence of webinars that we're going to have. So this is essentially a broad brush today. But based on your feedback we will tailor the subsequent presentations to your areas of interest. So you'll have yet another opportunity to give us some feedback, but we're obviously interested in understanding where your pain points are today. And that's why these pointed items that we've listed out. So, Skip, I don't know about you, but I'm not seeing any feedback. And I get a sense that there's some lag between.

avoid find resolve

Skip Chilcott  

Yeah, I think there is. They come in in a great big batch at one time. So we'll wait for that. All right. 

So our company is IR. Our solution is Collaborate. 

Now some of you might have known—just a quick little note here, Collaborate is our brand name for our solutionary around communications and collaboration that covers a lot of everything from Call Recording, to Contact Center to UC Cloud, UC, everything Cloud, Communications and Collaboration related. 

We have gone through a little bit of a brand evolution. So you might have noticed as our product has Prognosis in the past. And Prognosis is the platform, it remains the platform going forward. We've extended that platform into the Cloud. But we've really started to wrap around a new brand around it called Collaborate. And what this is about is: “How do you avoid problems? How do you find them when they occur? How do you get identified with them? And how do you resolve them as quickly as possible, and even before people can notice? 

And so with that, I'm going to turn it over to Dave, he's gonna start talking quickly about how we do this and our solutionaries. 

Dave, over to you.

monitor and troubleshoot requests

Dave Bottomley 

Okay, I think this is the really the slice that I've talked about over the years. So some of you probably in the audience have heard me present before. And most of you probably know that I like to compartmentalise our pain points. And we still have remaining—what's going on with our endpoints? There's usually a distinct interest in the health of our network. When it was On-Premise days, it was: How well are our servers running in terms of congestion and optimization—things of that nature. But now, a portion of that has moved to the Cloud. And so now we need to be sensitive of service availability and any kind of service anomalies we detect there. And then on the far right, we have video endpoints. And this seems to be a distinct conversation piece, apart from the other three components here. 

So these are the three areas—or the four areas, I guess—that most customers want to talk to us about—usually come to us with specific pain points. And one of these areas—so Skip's heard me say numerous times, and some of the folks probably on the call is, folks are usually in a conversation with IR because they're either going through a migration or they live in a heterogeneous environment. Hopefully, Skip brought that point home earlier in the deck. But, they also are interested in explaining away outages, otherwise unexplained. So management turns to them and says: “What the heck happened last Wednesday?” They're also responding to feedback that there's voice quality issues. 

And then primarily, a fourth and often forgotten component of this is enabling more people in your IT or across the organization to support your end users. So what we find ourselves in a lot of discussions about other tool sets is—as Skip has talked about—and what we don't want to do is always have to run to one or two people in the organization to initiate an investigation or search or get some understanding of what's happening out in user land. 

What we're trying to do is enable more people like: Service Desk, the Red Carpet Team, the LAN Admins, whoever is the custodians of the SBCs, whoever owns that dialogue with the carriers and so on. 

And then there's typically a different party who has this dialogue with Microsoft. Something anecdotally that people are starting to realize is maybe three years ago—we were used to having dialogues with very specific silos of communication or telecom groups. And that might be the Cisco group, the Avaya, the Skype for Business. But now what has happened is Call Control has moved into the space of Teams, which we're seeing a number of the organizations move over to a completely different organization, who's more focused on the overall collaboration experience. And call control and calling functionality is just a portion of that. 

We're seeing these organizational moves from some of these very specific groups in terms of architecture, engineering and support into more of a collab space. Skip, you want to say anything else on that front?

Skip Chilcott  

Absolutely. Obviously, Teams, at a very basic level, is a fantastic tool. And the more you adopt it and the more functionality you bring over from other platforms and think about migrations. Or is it a coexistence strategy? 

We have customers in both from both perspectives, where—I can tell you about one customer we talked to yesterday. They have 8000 users, they run Avaya throughout their organization. They actually have a couple of contact centers on Cisco. They have other contact centers on Avaya. They also run Skype for Business across everywhere. So they want to continue to figure out how to consolidate. So they're going to move 5000 users off of Avaya, for telephony, and push that over to Teams. They're moving from Skype for Business to Teams, or Skype for Business Online to Teams. 

And now they're going to move 5000 of those 8000 on the telephony side. They're going to move that to Teams, but they're going to keep 3000 on Avaya. And we asked them why. And they said: “Because we have 3000 people spread across 50 states that are in remote offices, small offices, warehouses, things like that.” 

And it's actually a better form factor for them just to make a quick phone call. That's their strategy. And they're going to keep their contact centers in place, as well. But they are going to split their SBC traffic to draw out some on-prem and the rest to Teams, a complete hybrid model. 

And obviously, they want to have that oversight for the call quality and the user experience along the way. And then they got conference rooms where they want to put the video room systems in, which they've never done before.

Dave Bottomley  

Yeah, so to net all that out Skip. I think the key takeaways is: High Complexity = Heterogeneous. 

And what we're looking for is the ability to see end-to-end and be able to navigate this data from different angles. 

real-time monitoring troubleshooting and analytics

Dave Bottomley

This is a really basic slide. But it's a really important idea to understand what we do. 

And it's very simple to go: “Yeah, I understand what you do.” But this is really how we differentiate from a lot of the things that people get their hands dirty with today, in terms of trying to manage their environment. 

What we're doing, as we mentioned, in a heterogeneous type of environment, we're acquiring this data from all these disparate sources. So we're not just pulling from Microsoft, we’re not just pulling from Vendor X or Integration Point Y. We're storing that and what does that allow us to do? 

That allows us to correlate this data, so we can navigate across these within a single solution. And that allows us to analyze it. And a big differentiator here is the alerting. And I'll get into that in short order here. And then if you're brave enough, in a response to alerting, you can automate. 

For my experience—and I've been around a long time—it takes a very brave soul to say: “I want to basically plug in some logic that will “automagically” intervene whenever this signature, an anomaly appears.” 

But the most of our customers are at a minimum looking for some alerting functionality. Because other than a knock environment, I'm unaware of many groups, subgroups within IT, who spend a great deal of time analyzing displays or looking at displays and sifting through displays. It's been my experience that once an alert is raised, then they go back to the displays and start doing their investigation and coming up with a remediation strategy. And hopefully, the alerting is coupled somehow, to some kind of backend workflow that will route the critical information to the appropriate group on a timely basis.

Skip Chilcott  

All this stuff happens in a real time fashion, though. It's not a linear one. It is linear one after the other, but these are the bits and bytes flying across the wire. So we look to do all this in real-time. Because you can't look at it 24 hours later and have a real active response.

Dave Bottomley 

And you don't really understand the momentum of something if you take a snapshot from yesterday at three o'clock, right?

Skip Chilcott  

That's right.

microsoft teams user experience management

Dave Bottomley 

So this slide, I'm not going to grind through all the details here. But to reiterate some of the points Skip made before is: “What are the things that matter to our customers—and I assume they matter to the audience here is—how happy are your end users with their experience?” 

And we want to expedite problem identification. We have to apply automation in some of these metrics, because we can't rely on the end users to tell us when something's gone sideways, I'm sure everyone in the audience has had some poor experience with some level of technology. And it's not like you picked up the phone and raised this issue with someone. You probably may have hung up in disgust, you may have just closed the app, you may have just gone on your merry way. 

So what we want to do here also is illuminate how much pain there is or how well someone is doing in managing their environment. So there's a flip side of that, too. As Skip mentioned before, we have Terms of Use in the past. 

Meantime to identify a reducing meantime to remediate. What we are trying to do is find all the potholes, address them sooner than later and help you reduce the amount of anomalies you find across the environment. That's the summary of what we're trying to do from a functional and business level. Skip, I don't know if there's any other words of wisdom you want to throw in there?

Skip Chilcott 

At the end of the day, all of this information is evidence of what's going on and where it's coming from directionally. So you can really identify the responsibility of what's causing it. And if somebody's complaining all the time, you can dig into that person and everything they're doing. But you can also look across the organization. These screenshots are representative of what you can see in there. 

Some of them are of our demo system. So they're interesting, but if you look at that chart right in the middle, you can see that there's something weird going on right in the middle. And that's organizationally—that's not a specific user. 

You can dig into that organizational bar that's popping up there in the middle, and start to dive in to see what's going on. And maybe you find that everybody's calls dropped at one time. And for whatever reason, you can figure it out, whether it's a network or an SBC—or for some reason: did everybody come back from the Christmas holiday with a different audio device, like AirPods? And then all of a sudden, everybody's having trouble. That's gonna be a fun one to watch, actually. 

Anyways, it's fantastic to look at the organizational view, but you could drill into this all the way down to the minutia. And that's what Dave's gonna show you next.

webinar demo

Dave Bottomley 

Okay, it's demo time. 

I apologize, it took us 30 minutes to get the demo time. Sorry, that's the way the world rolls. 

So I'm going to share a screen and I'm going to start out with a new look at a product that you're familiar with—for some of you in the audience. Essentially, this is our Collaborate product here, and not to belabor everything that's in the kitchen sink—because this is a demo environment here, and it is intended to provide visibility to almost everything that we manage here. 

Most of you in the past may have seen something like a Skype for Business, and that would be your on-premise deployment. And the other thing, the hand-in-hand with Skype and Teams, seems to be monitoring the session border controllers. So if you'd like more information on that, we could have a sidebar conversation, or we can follow up post-call, or maybe in one of the upcoming webinars. 

But outside of the PBX is now you see this new container called Cloud Collaboration. What we've added is our Microsoft Teams functionality. So here is some of the data that we are pulling from this. And because time is so limited, I'm going to really scoot through this really quick. By putting focus here in this intermediary navigation pane, you get an Overview. And some of these frames honestly are something that we would focus on here within the Intermediate Stops. 

Here's Microsoft Service, and this is going to be a theme. While we're going out to Office 365 and checking on the health of Teams, we might as well get the health of the other subscribed skews. So as you look down through this list, you're going to see more than Teams, you're going to see Dynamics 365, you're going to see Microsoft Intune, you're going to find Project Online, and Yammer Enterprise, and so on. So if there is any service interruption there, you're going to go ahead and see that called out here with a visual alarm and a link to drill into the details of that. 

The second item here is the Prognosis Status. So what this is reflecting is our calls into a tenant, and are we pulling back call data? Are we pulling back media data? So on. So this tells us that our call-in was healthy, and will flag anything that is not healthy. So a common question from our customers is: “Will you alert me, if for some reason you're unable to pull in this data?” The answer is yes. And here is the published rows, this tells us we hold back this amount of data; you see it just jumped. So you're going to see the detail elements here and the counts being committed to our storage. 

There's also a historical view of this. For those of you who are unfamiliar with our solution here, this little DVR function lets you scoot back in intervals. Or you can grab this pin and go back to a point in time and see what was going on. So this is a representation of a historical display. 

We talked about Alerts. So if anything does go sideways, that relates to Teams, this is where you'll find it. 

Interactions Quality is a summary of what's going on. So Skip talked about adoption and how the end users are using this and what is their overall experience here. So you can start to see some aggregate type of representation of what's going on in the environment. 

I'm going to go down and go in through Licenses. So this is how many of the Office 365 licenses are essentially allocated and consumed. We could set an alert, if anything gets close, or you've hit the ceiling—it's up to you. 

We also have Network Impacts. Once again, we're starting to analyze which subnets are problem children. We also—upon ingestion—are mapping this back to the carriers in the ISPs. For instance, we have a specific carrier in our Denver office. And so they would appear here, and we would understand what their aggregate performance is across that link. This is also helpful if you've got regional broadband, and you want to identify some that perform better or not as good as alternatives. So this is one of the things I thought was an interesting add to enhance the data here. And we're starting to pull out the users who have most of the bandwidth issues. So this is something that someone who is more customer facing has to remediate what the end user would be interested in. 

And of course, we have drill downs here for ISP data. So you can see the specific interactions over a specific MOS trouble. I'm going to go back one—and we have other ones for subnet issues and bandwidth issues and so on. 

I apologize profusely, but I am blowing through this here. 

User Insights is really—here's your phone book. And once again, this is demo data, so we may have some vacant frames up here. But what I want to do is take this gal here, Aileen, and there we go. It's dynamic data—we just pulled it in and if I drill into Aileen’s, because I know she at least had one issue here. So if I drill into this start time here—this is the one session that was troublesome. If we look at the participants here and I drill into Aileen, I'm going to go ahead and get rid of my navigation pane, by clicking over here. So what we've added in terms of a UI component is trying to reflect in terms of this call. Here's Aileen the user, and we could drill into her and then what her capture, render audio devices are. And now we start seeing—as the flow goes through—where these pinch points are. Once again, it's a demo environment. But we should be able to correlate the data we get from the other systems such as SBCs, and network—things this way—and weave this into a better or an improved end-to-end visibility story here.

Skip Chilcott 

Dave, just so I'm clear. So this stitches all the information together in a nice visual picture with these visual alarms. All the data from the user experience and their satisfaction with the call.

Dave Bottomley

Correct. Yes. And the point being here is—as you mentioned before with the AirPods—if there was something we would flag over here, that's probably a different support group that's going to address that. But if it's something that's an anomaly in the LAN, that's a different support group. So we're trying to keep these five groups off of a con call, trying to digest what happened end-to-end. And we just flag what we see and send it directly to the relevant team, if you will. 

There's one other thing here that I want to show, that's endpoint readiness. So if anybody's heard me speak before, I'm keenly interested in people who are not using optimized devices. I've said it numerous times, I recommend going to two or three vendors, finding one wired one wireless, and say: “Here's my six or eight devices that are approved. Why are they approved?” We know they're optimized for Teams, we know how to support them. And you're going to get end users who may have come from non-Microsoft telecommunication environments, and they're gonna say: “Gee, how do I add somebody to my conference? How do I start a conference? How do I put someone on hold? How do I share something?” And so on. 

We need to have someone in the organization who is ready to field those kinds of questions, and we can't have them running to the Teams admin. So this is back to my point, when I talked about the four reasons folks talk to us is one of them is to enable more people in the organization to support your end users, and slowly and eliminate all these anomalies. 

So what I'm interested in here is: “Who's using the built in audio?” and I don't mind if it's a one-off. But if it's a habitual behavior out of someone, then then there's probably some education and potentially, some hardware needs to be sent out to those people. 

So this is the Endpoint Readiness. I don't have time, but you can drill into all of these endpoints here and get further information. So at this point, though, I want to diverge a little bit. I'm going to go to a different UX that we're now providing. And this is going to be a little bit different. 

If my Internet's gonna help me out here. All right.

Here we are.

Skip Chilcott

So this is the view into our SaaS service, our Cloud, our Cloud service for Teams as well. Different user experience of the future that everything's going to be moving towards, as we build this out. It is available, by the way,

Dave Bottomley

Yeah, it is available. 

So you'll notice when I logged in as Dave, I dropped in here, and I've been set up in essentially a demo environment here in this Collaborate demos, the one we're going to look at. But the purpose of me dropping in here is, this is an example of if there's any service providers out in our audience today. This is an area I've logged into where we have four different customers within this one login landing page, if you will. 

Now I'm going to go over to the demo environment, and I'm still landing as an admin just because who I've logged in as. If I log in as Dave, the operations type person, I wouldn't have access to this. But the reason I'm stopping here is under this little gear here, I want to point out—this is where we can define alerts. 

Once again, a big differentiation point from some of our competitors. And some of the Microsoft-provided tool sets. So if I click on Alerts, you'll see, at least in this demo environment, we've probably defined—see 32 of these here. I'm just gonna stretch this out a bit and give you an idea of—here's some of the alerts that we've defined. 

So once again, Call Failures—100%. Any high Setup Failures, Drop Failures, poor average Audio Degradation. And the way that these are built—and I'm not going to go all the way through it—is you give it a label, and then we pick what body of knowledge, we want to essentially interrogate for these parameters that are out of spec. And then down here, you can ‘Any’ or ‘All’ of specific grouping, of a category, of specific fields. And we can aggregate value, how many consecutive observances we see of it, and we evaluate—here's the period. 

We could go on to define this alert and say: “Where do we want to respond to, in observance of this kind of signature?” 

So I just wanted to stop and show you that there's obviously things here, where we have support for users and roles. You can see the logs of what kind of changes have been made to the environment and this kind of thing. 

At this point, I'm going to duck over to the Operational Data. So this would be where someone who is more of an operator, or someone who is non-admin would drop in. 

The first stop we get on a landing page—this is Experience Overview. So this is giving you things like  how deep is the stack of users we're supporting? Is there any kind of degraded health? And this kind of thing. There's so much here on the screen, I'm going to let you peruse it. 

But there is something I want to point out, there's a little bit different here with the SaaS product, is when I hover over these dots, and I can further drill into this Explore. So let me explain here: This is a dashboard called Experience Overview. And it's made up of multiple Explores—what we call Explores—and those Explores are listed over here. 

So if you look at all the Explores we could stuff into a dashboard—we've got about 100 of them here. So Audio MOS by ISP, Call Quality and so on. So I could look at any one of these. If I open this might be one that I built—

Skip Chilcott

Dave, just a quick time check. Just so you're aware, we got about five minutes. We're over time—we've got about five minutes left.

Dave Bottomley

Okay, got to get to a couple things here. 

So this is an Explore that I came up with. So just to whet your appetite a bit more, we do have an out of the box dashboard for service health. So you as an end user, if all of a sudden Teams stops working, you're not really certain whether it's the app, your PC, your connection or the service. Well, this is our visibility to whether it's the backend service. 

Much as what we had in the other UX, we have user insights. So here's how users are using this, the accounts, and here's the phone book. 

If we go down and we look at Interactions Quality, very much a roll-up or an aggregate of what's going on in the environment, by streams and media, things of that nature. 

Network Impacts—this is that network silo. So what we're going to be looking at is ISP, drop failures. We're looking at the users who are struggling in terms of bandwidth. We're looking at the top subnet failures. 

And then the last thing I want to show you here is—once again, near and dear to Dave's heart—is the endpoint readiness. So this is where we put focus on who's using what endpoint and what capture and render. 

With that, I'm going to show you one dashboard that I built. No coding—it’s essentially defining some Explores and packed them all into one dashboard. And there's four stories I'm trying to tell here. 

I wanted a table showing me anyone in the last seven days, who had a minimum MOS of less than three. They may have had an overall good experience, but it may have been completely unacceptable for 30 seconds, and that's probably going to make a mental note for that person. What I'm starting to see is who this is, how they were connected and what they were using. This is the kind of data I want to see at basically a high level. 

But I also see here Frankie appears to be a problem child or a habitual offender. I can start seeing who's struggling. 

The second explorer I created was non-compliant. So I said, just in a hypothetical world, Dave's a CTO, and he says everyone's going to be using a Jabra SPEAK 510. And I want some representation of anyone who's not using that. 

And I would remind you, you can always drill in and explore this data to find out exactly who that is here. 

The third frame here is keeping eyes on those four executives that are really vocal. If we take a look at Seka here, we can drill into her details here. 

And I know this is basically—I'm running out of time here, Skip. So essentially, you could drill down to what she's using, who she called, what her overall experience was—things of that nature. So here, we're down to a specific call, and you're starting to see the aggregate data about this. 

But when you drill into this one call stream here, now you're gonna see essentially—the caller on one side, the callee on the second side, and now you're going to start seeing all the details about—oh my goodness—148 milliseconds. You can also see what ISP she's on, the subnet and so on. 

I'm going to go back to my desktop. And the last thing I promised Skip here is—this is a bar chart of how the traffic over these four reflexive IP addresses are. Why am I interested in this? Because, as I mentioned, in IR’s context, we have a Denver office. 

All the traffic for people working in the Denver office goes to a Denver colo. When the traffic goes from the Denver colo to our carrier, it has to travel across one of these reflective IPs. If I keep eyes on the quality of the data going over that, now I have a representation of how those folks in the Denver office are experiencing the call quality. 

I just gave an example of—here's four reflexive IPS I want to put eyes on at least I know, this relates back to the end users in these specific environments. So Skip with that, I'm sorry, it's tough to pack all so much in a short timeframe. 

So handing that back to you.

Skip Chilcott

No worries at all. Both of us like to talk. 

SfB and team insights

Skip Chilcott

So this is a graphical picture of what we're doing here. We've got premise-based equipment that we're—premise-based environments that we're pulling data from. This has been our bread and butter for many years. We've built out our Cloud service, where we're pulling information in from—at this point—the Microsoft Cloud. 

And we're also pulling in and pushing that data down to a server on-premise, if needed. Where all that other data is being collected on-premise. And we can merge it together. And Dave also showed the IR cloud up here, where we're pulling information in, so just follow the colored bars and you start to see the data flow. Very soon here, we'll be taking premise data and pushing it up to our Cloud service, as well. So we can basically do a complete Hybrid model, Hybrid visibility. So it's our Hybrid model for your Hybrid model. 

And so this continues to build out at a very rapid pace. So just a quick insight into how we're doing this. 

IR solution flexibility

Skip Chilcott

And then, again, On-Premise, Cloud or SaaS, we have a lot of different solution flexibility, and deployment models. If you wanted to put it On-Prem and your own datacenter in a private Cloud, or our SaaS service, this is what we're doing. 

webinar suggestions

Skip Chilcott

So with that, we'd love to hear what's on your mind. There is a poll out there for other topics you'd like to hear about. So please submit a question and we'd love to know what you want to hear about. This will be an ongoing series. With more to come in the future. We'll dig into certain topics on different use cases in demos and things of that nature, as well. So with that, Dave, any parting thoughts?

communications and collaboration assurance

Dave Bottomley

No, not really, I'd really love to get more people to participate in that last poll so we can have a more targeted discussion on the next webinar. And this slide here will be available—I guess, the whole deck will. Right, Skip? As a refresher, and as a takeaway.

webinar reminders

Skip Chilcott

Yeah, these presentation slides are available for download in the Attachments tab. We also have provided everybody here today a copy of the Wainhouse paper that summarizes some of these key findings. And we can dig into more of that in detail. You just need to connect with us. This was great today—had a lot of fun. We are actually 20 minutes over our original 30-minute target. But I think that—we haven't done this in a while. So I think we're having a good time. 

We're glad to share this information. We're really wanting to connect with as many people as possible about this. So let us know what you want to hear about and let us know how we can help. With that, I think we're done. Dave?

Dave Bottomley

Thank you for your time. Appreciate it.

Skip Chilcott

Thanks, everybody, for your time as well. And with that, we will sign it off. 

Thank you.

IR | BrightTALK

Topics: Webinar UCaaS management MS Teams

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