By Gerardo Quinones, VP, Americas Channels and Service Providers, IR
Everyone likes a challenge, right? Having the right tools and a planned approach makes solving and preventing problems easier, even when it’s not a business where one hammer-flattens all protruding nails.
In today’s competitive environment, communications service providers are looking to build strong, long-term, mutually profitable relationships with their customers. A way for them to do so has been to develop a unified communications managed-services portfolio that lets their customers to do business better, faster, and more cost-effectively.
Doing this requires the integration of a complex set of multivendor collaboration, contact center, networking, IT, and video and audio-conferencing technologies in both dedicated and multitenant/cloud environments. This has raised some important challenges for several areas across the service providers’ organizations, including product management, engineering, operations, sales and customer service.
Managing efficiently across multiple customers, platforms and management and monitoring systems is one challenge. Service providers have many different customers, sometimes hundreds of them. Gaining visibility into all those customer environments and successfully managing across disparate platforms is no small task.
Another challenge is real-time monitoring of all the individual communications across each customer’s collaboration ecosystem to predict when things could go wrong before big issues arise, or in case of an unpredictable event, quickly troubleshooting and pinpointing the root cause before an isolated issue becomes a widespread or catastrophic outage — thereby ensuring a great customer experience.
Finally, service providers are challenged to keep pace with ever-evolving technology, which often requires managing the customer’s UC infrastructure migration from on-premises to the cloud.
Here are four ways service providers can ensure that their customers have a great experience every time, while minimizing service delivery costs and maximizing business returns.
1. Consolidate teams and tools. Customers want service provider partners to support their multiple UC and collaboration solutions and multivendor ecosystem components. However, service providers are at a distinct disadvantage when they can’t see the complete picture, especially inside their customers’ environments and networks. What they need is a holistic view of the entire UC ecosystem, including all the various applications, servers, endpoints and network devices.
They also need to gain visibility into multiple customers’ environments in a single monitoring and management view. Many service providers don’t have a centralized team or solution to manage their customers’ disparate UC environments and it’s not uncommon to have separate monitoring tools that deal specifically with each technology vendor (i.e., one for Cisco, another with Avaya and yet a third with Skype for Business).
It’s also essential for service provides to synchronize geographically dispersed teams and disparate tools across the organization to increase operational efficiencies and improve service delivery. The ideal option is a single management solution – powered with automation and integration to other existing management systems and processes – that monitors all environments and provides broad, multivendor support and deep performance insights. The ability to automatically manage all customer UC platforms from a single system will ultimately …