MNS Providers That Understand Collab Will Provide Outstanding ROI
Remote work is now the new normal. The use of Microsoft Teams, Webex and similar communication and collaboration tools is now widespread.
These tools provide the unified communication capabilities to facilitate working at the enterprise level, not just for internal calls but also for interaction with customers. As a consequence of the move out of the office, the demands on the enterprise’s network infrastructure lessened.
The trend is slowly shifting to a hybrid work model. Some employees are expected to be in the office for at least part of the week. Many enterprises took measures to ensure their infrastructure was engineered to deal with the increased demand. Managed network service (MNS) providers are deeply involved in this transition.
From a user experience point of view, results have been mixed. Take for example the experience of using MS Teams. The average knowledge worker got used to the experience they had at home. Teams, being a robust application, ran quite well on the bandwidth available to the typical home office.
Back in the office, things are different. Workers are mostly using Teams on cell phones and laptops connected to the Wi-Fi network at the office. And this burden on the network is causing a less than satisfying user experience.
From an MS Teams point of view, the application is working fine. It’s the network infrastructure that is causing the problems. Since so many are connecting to MS Teams at the office via Wi-Fi, they are overburdening that transmission medium. Alternate options such as wired connectivity might ease the load.
The net outcome is that workers have an excellent experience using MS Teams at home, but when they get back to the office, they are experiencing issues. The question then becomes, can your MNS provider help you address these kinds of problems?
Microsoft Teams provides a dashboard, but what you really need is analytics that looks at your totality of use of Teams across your environment. Analytics will give you the ability to understand if your experiences are good or bad, based upon location, type of equipment in use, and so on.
Your MNS provider should have the staff and analytics tools to manage VoIP and Collaboration technology. They should be able to identify problem areas of locations or access types, such as Wi-Fi versus wired. Or whether certain types of equipment are having problems versus others, based on codecs and drivers. Make sure your provider has an understanding and can report on that level of detail, not just on the network.
In addition, MNS providers need to have the ability integrate synthetic transactions to make sure the network is positing the traffic correctly between your network locations and the demarcation with Microsoft. This provides the level of visibility into the end-to-end path of the digital supply chain, revealing the true nature of MS Teams’ performance.
Not all MNS providers have the capabilities needed to manage adjacent technologies such as MS Teams and collaboration tools. Those that do, can provide a significant ROI on your enterprise dollar.
Make sure your MNS provider can offer Teams support, performance analytics, and remediation as a standardized offering. It is a major indicator of their maturity and ability to deliver in this area, since it proves they do it every day. If they only offer this as an add-on to their regular offerings, be wary of any level of customization involved – that can add to the cost and quality of the service.