UC by ‘stealth’ a growing headache for IT managers

— Expect business comms crash rates to increase as UC flies under the IT radar, says UC service management provider Virsae

Auckland, 15 September 2015 – IT managers can expect more end-user complaints related to dropped calls and garbled telephone conversations thanks to UC’s (unified communications) growing footprints going largely unmanaged in IT environments, says Virsae.

Discussing conclusions drawn from a straw poll of businesses and partners in North America, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, Virsae said most organisations had adopted some aspects of UC, but they struggled to manage all the components and connections critical to its performance.

“The majority of businesses already use components of UC and expect to adopt even more. However, configuration, capacity and other data essential to UC uptime doesn’t flash on the IT radar,” said Ross Williams, Virsae’s Chief Operating Officer.

“UC is an ecosystem, and understanding network interdependencies is essential to uptime,” he said. “Capacity matters just as much here as it does in IT, and network managers must be sure that every component is working within manufacturer specifications and that there are sufficient resources to support workloads.”

Poor visibility of UC’s relationship with the IT network was behind a rising number of issues, including dropped calls, garbled speech and slow uptake of UC applications, said Williams.

“There is no UC without a network, and when network managers can’t see what’s happening at the application level they’re unable to adapt capacity and configuration to the requirements of users. That’s when calls drop and UC applications turn to sludge,” he said.

Williams said UC’s legacy was partly to blame. “UC isn’t rooted in IT – telephony grew up outside the IT network. But PABXs have migrated to IP and yet often remain unseen on IT networks. And as more communication services and UC applications find their way into IT environments, the job of managing them gets tougher, because network managers don’t have access to tools that can see all the elements critical to UC performance.

“And that’s why break-fix behavior dominates UC operations, and why IT best practices – like automatic problem analysis, problem recovery processes, predictive capabilities and root cause analysis – remain out of reach,” he said.

Auckland-based Virsae provides cloud-based applications that manage unified communications and call center environments.

Earlier this year Virsae cemented re-sales agreements with large international technology providers, including Arrow Electronics subsidiary Arrow SI, California-based communications provider Altura, and UK-based Azzurri Communications.

The company also signed up global distributor Westcon Group to distribute Virsae Service Management to resellers in Europe, the US, Middle East, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

Local customers include government agencies, large manufacturers and retailers, and insurance provider IAG.  However, Virsae’s sights are firmly set on the global Unified Communications Services Management market, worth an estimated US$2 billion according to Virsae.