Most engineers understand how to configure a unified communications (UC) platform to get the best from it. Behind the scenes a myriad of moving parts must cooperate faultlessly to deliver the outcomes engineers have configured. But cooperation is rarely, if ever, problem-free, saddling UC engineers with the back-breaking task of sifting and decoding a mountain of data to diagnose problems and fine-tune customer experience.
The sheer volume of data is a big problem. A single customer platform can generate hundreds of millions of transactions – lines and lines of arcane alphanumeric and special characters captured in system logs that define in technical terms the quality of interactions. It is UC’s version of big data – the term popularly related to digital systems, denoting extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and association.
Tapping into the value buried in UC data requires a big data engine. System logs are huge and exist in pockets throughout your platform. You’ve got to know where to find them and arrange critical data in a logical sequence.
Doing the job eats up storage – in some cases upwards of 100 TBs. And to pick that up and turn it into something consumable is simply beyond the scope of manual handling or traditional, enterprise-based service management platforms. Scalable cloud storage certainly helps, but it must be coupled with a service management tool designed with the smarts and automation to connect the dots between transactional data captured in system logs, application performance, and the critical moments of truth that define customer experience.
Connecting the holy trinity of raw data, application performance and customer experience, paves the way for savvy proactive management of your UC platform. Managers sit at the controls, knowing that all the moving parts are monitored and managed at the correct level. The straight line of sight to root cause reduces mean-time to repair, and in many instances, automatic fixes happen invisibly in the background. That’s fewer places to look and much less to think about.
When a big data engine is the beating heart of UC management, managers direct more attention to customer experience – things like call treatment and workflow. Did the call get to the correct agent in the shortest possible time? Was voice quality clear and concise? Were callers told their calls may be recorded? And so on.
Answers to these questions also ends the blame game. Take, for example, media gateways. The gateway fails, and calls are cut off. Why, people ask. UC managers blame the network, so the network team check systems logs, but can’t find anything. Everyone sits at an impasse. However, deep down in the system log a trace route points to the source of the outage – a broken connection between the media gateway and its controller in the UC application. A simple, recurring ‘ping’ test confirms the problem. If only both teams knew.
UC managers must change the way they gather, verify, and learn from the torrent of information generated by their systems. Traditional UC monitoring systems aren’t up to the job. New cloud-based toolsets pack the horsepower to handle big data and the smarts to accurately track important aspects of UC configuration to ensure everything keeps working flawlessly.
Book a demo to see how our cloud-based UC service management platform, VSM, leverages big data to manage your UC environment.