Unified Communications Nation

Nov 28 2012   9:54AM GMT

Don’t hog the network: Monitoring UC for a smooth user experience

Gina Narcisi Gina Narcisi Profile: Gina Narcisi


Upgrading to unified communications is similar to making the switch from a standard cell phone that just makes calls and sends texts  (the horror), to a smartphone with all the bells and whistles — like an app-filled iPhone or Android. Once you have access to important capabilities all in one place, there really isn’t any turning back.

Having the ability to make a quick phone or video call, check someone’s presence status or send an instant message from an integrated system can change an employee’s job experience quickly. And once a business decides to go all out and implement UC or collaboration tools into the workflow, they are in it for the long haul.

But new tools, especially those that are infamous for hogging bandwidth — like video — can wreak havoc on an enterprise network. The good news is that many network monitoring vendors have noticed this new blind spot that real-time UC traffic causes for IT.

Tone Software Corp, a provider of network monitoring and management for converged telecommunications and IT infrastructures, recently announced a free, downloadable monitoring tool for Microsoft Lync UC environments. Once downloaded, the ReliaTel Lync tool offers IT a full view of Lync quality issues, call quality statistics, and QoS dashboards to help pinpoint the root cause of developing and historical Lync quality problems, according to the company.

Tone Software’s ReliaTel product suite supports many different UC environments, including Avaya, Nortel and Cisco. The latest version of the provider’s ReliaTel VoIP and Unified Communications (UC) Service Assurance solution, 4.1, was the first version to offer proactive monitoring and management for Microsoft Lync UC environments — something that many enterprises are asking for.

As Lync adoption continues, organizations are realizing they need greater  visibility into the voice quality of their Lync UC services, which can overload their IP network and put additional strain on each Lync users’ desktop resources, Tone Software noted in a recent press release.

“The free ReliaTel Lync Monitoring Tool builds on that premise to provide Lync users with a quick and easy methodology to monitor and manage critical QoS across their Lync UC environment,” said Amit Kapoor, director of strategic technology for Tone Software.

Just like with any new network application, monitoring is key. And since enterprises can’t stop UC and collaboration once they start, being able to quickly identify performance degradation culprits and smooth out potential bottlenecks along the way will be essential to helping users take advantage of all the unique (and pretty exciting) features that UC tools have to offer.

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