As Microsoft® Teams proliferates within enterprise voice networks, ISI UC Cloud Analytics give business managers and IT departments unmatched reporting visibility into Cisco, Avaya, and other on-premises UC platforms already in place.
In April, Microsoft reported that the number Microsoft Teams daily active users had climbed to a staggering 145 million. This followed last year’s exponential, pandemic-related Teams’ growth: to 44 million daily users in March 2020; 75 million by April 2020; and 115 million by last October. Not bad for a platform launched globally just four years ago.
Easing Microsoft Teams migration pain
For most organizations, migrating to Microsoft Teams remains a walk rather than a run. Even Microsoft’s own “FastTrack” adoption guide notes that once an organization decides to move to Teams, driving internal adoption is a constant cycle which doesn’t end with the platform’s launch.
Not surprisingly, and as Gartner noted in its most recent “Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service,” the COVID-19-driven remote workforce surge has meant that many enterprises are working at a significant clip to deploy Teams infrastructure as quickly as possible.
But this sudden and dramatic Teams growth, the analyst firm and others caution, is introducing serious IT challenges, not the least of which are internal technical and business leader concerns about legacy UC data clarity and its importance to informed decision-making across the enterprise.
Losing this critical voice, meetings, and user adoption insight is simply not an option.
According to Dan Mueller, ISI Senior Solutions Consultant, a key additive to any Teams deployment is cloud analytics software, especially that which can be deployed in Microsoft’s Azure cloud alongside Teams itself. ISI Cloud Analytics platform is just this: A platform-agnostic approach which facilitates collection, processing, and reporting of call data from Cisco, Avaya, and other UC platforms.
“ISI Cloud Analytics can assist enterprises at every stage of their Teams migration,” says Mueller. “So regardless of whether an organization is utilizing just a portion of the Teams suite initially – for example, meetings, chat, and peer-to-peer voice calls – or completing a total Teams migration to replace current infrastructure, companies will have a secure and platform-agnostic reporting solution that provides comprehensive, single-pane-of-glass voice network analysis of onsite, remote office, as well as home-based employee communications traffic.”
Enhancing hybrid workforce productivity
“Going Hybrid: The Future of Work is Here” reads the Forbes headline in a nod to what many, if not most, business leaders have already come to accept as the proverbial new workplace normal.
But what does “hybrid” mean to organizations deploying Microsoft Teams as a productivity enhancer when 73% of employees surveyed expressed a desire for flexible remote work options to continue in a post-pandemic world, while at the same time, 67% want more in-person time with colleagues?
The answer lies in ISI’s Cloud Analytics’ ability to measure both in-person and remote staff performance, as well as gauge staffing levels and customer-facing employee training requirements (which is very important in vertical industries such as retail). If such line-of-sight capability is presented to business leaders clearly, readily, extensively, and on a self-serve basis, the need for IT staff involvement can often be eliminated.
“Managers benefit greatly from accurate employee benchmarking, exception reporting, and call detail analysis,” notes Mueller. “Such critical information not only surfaces employee productivity levels – for example, the ability to recognize both high performers as well as identify poor performers – it is key to maximizing staffing assets and targeting employee coaching and training opportunities.”
Who’s in the Teams meeting and for how long?
Another gauge of employee capacity and effectiveness, as well as the adoption rate of Teams across an organization, is meetings data which ISI Cloud Analytics services can readily capture and serve up.
In this instance, meeting activity by both the session organizer and participants can be tracked. Also, event summaries and details – dates, times, durations, and names of participants who joined when and for how long – can be provided to organizers and managers, alike.
The ability to obtain meeting activity on such a granular level and usable form – for example, peak times; requirements for additional communications facilities such as outside trunks for external participants; session organizer and departmental identification and participation; and historic trending – serve to illuminate and confirm internal Teams adoption levels important to determining the investment return businesses receive from moving to Teams.
Cloud UC Analytics-fueled cost savings
Within the Teams environment, ISI Cloud Analytics can provide the basis for enterprise decision-making that dramatically lowers costs. Some instances include when Teams is utilized for PSTN calling; session border control (SBC) and PSTN carrier resource call tracking that facilitates trunk utilization, peak concurrent call (CCP); and truck facility right-sizing analysis.
In addition, having such analysis immediately available is essential to establishing and monitoring call routing and the impact routing choices are having on Direct Routing and MS Calling Plan costs. Moreover, ISI Cloud Analytics takes the historical guesswork out of carrier selection, calling plan choices, and right-sizing of trunk facilities for optimal bandwidth. In short, this intelligence can be utilized to assess potential cost savings moving forward and far into the future.
Chargeback, cost allocation, and tenant billing visibility
For many organizations, telecom expense allocation via chargebacks to specific users, departments, and cost centers is critical to how their businesses function. ISI Cloud Analytics offers a robust destination and route sensitive call rating engine for billable call events. Included is support for fixed and one-time charges to users to supplement variable usage expense chargebacks that may be required.
Compliance reporting, risk mitigation, and historic call archive analysis
ISI Cloud Analytics for Teams empowers Human Resources, corporate security and compliance officers, and other designated risk management officials to research and document call histories and secure proof of calls made or received data; assist in preparation for audit events; demonstrate proof of compliance; and investigate complaints.
Indeed, the breadth of ISI’s analytics capabilities in this area are extensive and include:
- Historic tracking of user- and organizational-associated peer-to-peer calls, meetings, inbound and outbound call activity; and
- Scheduled and ad-hoc call attribute search support to quickly find calls by originating or terminating party; phone number; caller ID; department; time of day; and more.
Abuse and misuse detection clarity
Implementing ISI Cloud Analytics ensures that a Teams migration extends an organization’s ability to track possible call abuse and misuse with such features as user-definable alarm parameters that automate detection and notification of undesirable call events.
As call detail records are received, activity exceeding acceptable thresholds triggers email, text message, or scheduled report generation to alert appropriate managers of events requiring action. Such instances may include international calls; after-hours call activity; potential Phishing; 911 calls; or identifying users that are still dialing into obsolete conferencing applications.
In addition, automated alarm detection and notification provide the necessary alerts and data intelligence companies need to be aware of before they negatively impact telecom costs, productivity, resource availability, or pose a security threat.
“Over the past year, no area has undergone more rapid transformation than the way we work,” notes Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in the Company’s “2021 Work Trend Index” Report. “Employee expectations are changing and we will need to define productivity much more broadly – inclusive of collaboration, learning, and well-being.”
The exponential growth of Microsoft Teams in the last year – including the more than doubling of employee time spent in Teams meetings according to the Index – lends credence to the critical need for business managers to have the communications application visibility required to make better informed business decisions about employee engagement and productivity – as well as the customer experience. ISI Cloud Analytics can provide just the clarity these business line leaders need to make this happen.