MNS Providers that Understand Teams Will Provide Efficient IT Guidance

The pandemic precipitated the wholesale move of the workforce to a remote work model. Almost overnight, collaboration technologies such as MS Teams became the lifelines of communication. This placed immense pressure on network operations teams to ensure that they could support their workers’ remote needs – especially when it came to collaboration.

The initial challenges were related to security. Remote work essentially did away with the perimeter-based security policies associated with containing the workforce within the office and applications within the data center. Another side effect was that enterprises economized by reducing office space, since there was reduced use of existing capacity.

Now the tide has turned again. Enterprises are facing the challenge of bringing more workers back into the office.

Since most organizations downsized their premises, they are compensating by resorting to paradigms such as hoteling, where office space is shared among the user community on a rotating basis. Since they really do not have the office space to accommodate everyone simultaneously, this has led to hybrid work models where employees come in a few times a week.

These trends have driven more use of Wi-Fi, and, as Wi-Fi technology improves, enterprises have made greater investments in their wireless infrastructure. Network architects are moving toward switch-powered high-density access points across the campus. And increasingly, laptops, tablets and mobile device are acting as the universal LAN endpoints.

Blame the Network

One thing that has not changed, however, is the expectation of workers that their MS Teams and other collaboration tools will continue to deliver a satisfactory user experience no matter where they are.

But the quality of MS Teams experience can be affected in many ways. Quality can degrade from a lack of network engineering for Teams real time protocol (RTP) requirements, underperforming Wi-Fi, endpoint issues, OS issues, driver patching, and so on.

There are many variables in play. But when users experience Teams issues, everyone immediately points at the network infrastructure. It’s always the first place to lay the blame.

This is where a capable managed network service (MNS) provider can help by identifying the root causes, effecting remediation, and providing the guidance to improve the overall Teams experience.

MNS Provider Capabilities

Hybrid work environments pose unique challenges from an MNS perspective. To start with, your MNS provider needs to have a deep understanding of MS Teams.

This includes an understanding of the end-to-end and top-to-bottom layout of the infrastructure comprising the Teams service delivery supply chain. Part of this is the ability to monitor the supply chain to identify where issues are occurring by leveraging MS Teams streaming telemetry. This provides the capability to capture near-time call statistics by individual streams (e.g., voice, video, content sharing).

This data can then be leveraged by machine learning to derive insights regarding abnormal call qualities and thresholding to better project end-user experience. When degradations occur, this analysis makes it possible to understand if endpoints, drivers, versions, connectivity (e.g., Wi-Fi, wired, mobile) or network engineering are the root cause issues.

On top of that, MNS providers need to be able to understand the true nature of the user experience. Is it a particular community of users facing issues? Is there a particular location that is facing service degradation?

In order to address this, make sure your MNS provider has synthetic transaction processing capabilities integrated into their service delivery platforms. Synthetic transactions can mimic Teams usage to create statistical samplings of end-user experience. This helps to identify areas of degradation or substandard performance in real time.

Success stories


“The Optanix single unified platform replaced multiple point tools, reducing the TCO.”