Unified Communications Featured Article

Unified Communications is a Must- and So is Reliability

June 03, 2013

Unified communications (UC) is rapidly becoming essential for businesses throughout the globe. The days when phone and e-mail were enough is obviously past, and increasingly business partners and clients are expecting video conferencing, chat and ideally presence from organizations.

Contact centers are meeting this challenge and now texting, chatting and interacting with customers in a number of ways. Companies in general needs to make sure they also embraces UC. Not having a way to video conference with partners, for instance, shows a dramatic gap in the company’s ability to stay current.

“This is a position that no professional wants to be in. Not only does it hinder production, it can be embarrassing and may come off as unprofessional, even if the failure in technology isn't caused by a lack of planning and dedication,” noted a recent Teo blog post.

Even if a business adopts UC, however, there’s still the issue of making sure the UC solution is reliable.

Because having to call off a meeting with an important client due to “technology issues” just doesn’t cut it. Neither does trying to conduct business and having poor VoIP call quality. It may not be the fault of the business, but it reflects poorly nonetheless.

Some experts are starting to recommend that businesses adopt UC applications performance monitoring (APM (News - Alert)) to make sure the UC is performing adequately.

“In addition to helping companies monitor performance standards, the use of application performance monitoring will help companies identify operational issues with UC platforms before executives and employees collaborate with clients,” according to the post. “Also, remote troubleshooting services provided by APM outlets can help IT staffers address situations, even when they are away from the office.”

APM can watch network traffic and VoIP call quality, among other monitoring, and uncover bottlenecks in the network. It can help show if a UC component is struggling, and if it is the company’s equipment that is at fault or network issues outside its control.

It also, crucially, can help ensure that dropped calls and poor video conferencing don’t occur during interactions with important clients by testing the company’s UC setup prior to mission-critical interactions.

Because businesses not only need to have UC capabilities, they also need unified communications that work as reliably as old communication stalwarts such as PSTN phone and e-mail.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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