July 25, 2012

Solve the Multiple Dilemmas of UC Management

For many years local and wide area networks have meant that people can work as if they are co-located, even though they are geographically separate. And with UC applications now deployed on these networks enabling greater real time collaboration there is less need for bricks and mortar investment. The concept of a location now includes people working from home, the mobile workforce and of course those working from the cloud.

In the final part of this 3-part white paper we look at managing the performance of hybrid technologies, time zones and 'tin', spread across multiple locations.

As these locations extend across servers, devices, local and wide area networks and into the cloud this creates a UC management dilemma that requires specialized performance management to resolve.

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This is the final paper in IR’s 3-part series covering the dilemmas of UC management. In it, the paper’s author Sue Bradshaw, examines managing the performance of hybrid technologies, time zones and ‘tin’, across multiple locations.

Sue, you begin by saying “It’s not just managing geography any more: it’s about managing locations”, can you explain why you make the distinction?

The concept of a ‘location’ no longer has to equal a geographical one. Increasing office costs and under-used space are driving businesses to encourage employees to 'check in’ in to secure a desk. Although for some people this can be an unsatisfactory work practice, many fully embrace it.

This means that locations include mobile users, those working from home and from the cloud. The location is defined as where the user is, and what their job is. Add to that the exciting options for mobilizing the power of UC across smart devices from Microsoft, Apple, Google and others, and the definition of a UC location is potentially as broad as it is long.

What does this mean for the CIO and the UC team?

This certainly creates a management dilemma. On the one hand to ensure the success of UC across all these disparate technologies and locations and on the other the BYOD wave and the security implications that has.

In this paper I look at locations extending across physical and virtual servers, devices, local and wide area networks and into the cloud. The CIO’s global view now needs to extend into the stratosphere! Although that may not include actually inside the cloud, the CIO needs to know that the service levels being invoiced are in fact being delivered.

The combination of devices, technologies, vendor platforms and versions located across physical, virtual and cloud platforms are big contributors towards performance management complexity.

How does the team manage this complexity to deliver smooth operations on the surface?

A way to address this complexity is to put in place a hierarchical performance management model that allows the flexibility of local monitoring autonomy that can also be rolled up into a centralized ’60,000 foot’ or ‘bird’s eye’ management view.

In this way you get the best of all words. High level views provide the big picture. And deep drill down details enable IT staff to observe any degradation, delays in processes and communications and allow them to deal with issues immediately.

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