New tools support hybrid working environments and help maintain diversity in enterprise UC environments
For many, 2020 was a year to forget as the pandemic slowed growth, shelved plans and grounded workers. However, it changed attitudes towards remote working as enterprises proved they were able to remain productive and achieve business continuity with fewer or no workers in traditional offices. This shift was enabled by the near-universal adoption of cloud-based collaboration platforms, such as Zoom, which have empowered workers with the tools they need to enable a new culture of remote working.
It’s now clear that when lockdowns lift much of this new culture will remain. Significant proportions of the global workforce have become familiar with being separated from their traditional in-office working environments and have welcomed the flexibility that cloud-based collaboration tools have enabled. A hybrid environment of working from home (WFH) and from offices is emerging and organisations are looking to make the temporary permanent.
Cloud-based solutions are the priority because of the flexibility and universal accessibility they provide and Zoom is proving to be a major contender as a popular tool of choice. One of the reasons for this is that Zoom plays well with others. It integrates easily with other platforms and services such as Microsoft Teams, Google apps, Slack, Evernote, Skype, Firefox and many more.
Unified communications and collaboration has become a crowded market as everyone has jumped on to at least some form of conferencing solution in the last year but the need to make hybrid working permanent is now causing enterprises to crystallise their policies and decisions. Specifying the UC tools they want to use is central to organisations’ UC strategies.
In a recent article, we touched on the debate between ‘Best of Breed’ versus single vendor UC solutions, and businesses are choosing to deploy multiple vendors to drive their communication technology decisions and deliver flexibility. Part of this drive has resulted in communication and collaboration no longer being confined to IT silos. They have become software capabilities that are easy to consume from the cloud and ready for integration with business applications and processes.
However, diversity can mean greater complexity. User expectations are rising from the good enough hopes of early on in the pandemic to professional, robust solutions. Users want to access email, video, messaging apps, files sharing and more regardless of their location. To assure this comprehensive monitoring, troubleshooting and analysis of service health and success metrics are required.
Deployment of individual performance management solutions to gather these metrics adds further complexity and delay in pinpointing service affecting issues, making it take longer to resolve issues. In addition, managing multiple systems puts additional strain on IT teams, causing further downtime, negative user experiences and ultimately resulting in lost clients, productivity or revenue.
To address these challenges, IR has announced its new Collaborate suite of solutions that includes new vendor support for Zoom. The IR Collaborate Suite offers comprehensive management solutions for Microsoft Teams, Cisco, Avaya and others. With support for Zoom, the suite provides access to data and analytics that provides: real-time insights on call quality, usage and user experience; alerts on important metrics; data correlation across metrics; root cause identification; and flexible options for multi-vendor visibility across all environments.
IR’s support for Zoom offers user-friendly dashboards and out-of-the-box and customisable solutions to support best of breed, on-premises or hybrid cloud solutions. IR Collaborate has been designed to provide the third-party monitoring and troubleshooting tools organisations need to simplify complexity while maintaining diversity in your UC environment and enabling new, hybrid modes of working.