SteelCentral UCExpert 5.0 streamlines phone system move to new Riverbed HQ

Heidi Gabrielson


Things are always on the move at Riverbed, but this month we are literally moving – to our new corporate headquarters at 680 Folsom Street in San Francisco. As anyone responsible for corporate facilities knows, relocating 560 employees and more than 1200 phones to a new office building is no minor task.  This is especially true for our telecom team.

Meet Carson Weaver, global telecom manager and Jerico Chua, senior telecom engineer. Together these two rock stars are responsible for 2600 Avaya phones throughout the company, as well as conference room phones, switchboards, and all other aspects of making sure you can reach us by phone at Riverbed.

Carson and Jerico have been moving 250 phones at a time, floor by floor to the new building. The team decommissions phones at the old office on Friday, installs them in the new building on Saturday, runs automated testing overnight, troubleshoots on Sunday, and amazingly has everything ready for work Monday morning when the employees move in.

What better time, we thought, to drink our own champagne and test our upcoming release of Riverbed® SteelCentral™ UCExpert, which introduces support for Avaya unified communications (UC). UCExpert monitors and supports the entire UC lifecycle for both Cisco and Avaya deployments with configuration management, automated testing using actual phones, remote troubleshooting without end-user involvement, and performance management.

Automated testing ensures flawless deployment

Within the extremely tight turnaround times required for the Riverbed headquarters move, UCExpert has automated and streamlined the testing process, allowing us make sure the new office was ready for business as usual on Monday. UCExpert’s automated testing feature uses real phones to verify voice service availability and takes about two minutes per phone. It allows you to:

  • Detect all call routing problems, including those caused by service providers
  • Test for security and compliance violations (for example, 900 and toll fraud)
  • Proactive test from the end-user perspective inbound and outbound local, long distance and international calls
  • Check overflow routing and capabilities
  • Perform regression testing after daily changes are complete

‘UCExpert gives us more time for analysis and lets us spend less time on data gathering,’ Jerico Chua, Sr. Telecom Engineer

The Riverbed telecom team has also been using UCExpert for monitoring phones in all other global Riverbed offices and has experienced quantifiable benefits in several specific situations. In one case, UCExpert’s proactive nightly testing revealed a weekend power outage that had knocked phones offline. Without UCExpert, the team would not have known that SIP conference phones were unavailable until users complained.

‘Since we started using UCExpert, we have more confidence our phones will be ready when our users need them,’ Carson Weaver, Global Telecom Manager.

Remote hands functionality accelerates troubleshooting

In offices where there is no telecom manager on site, the team frequently would rely on sales engineers to help. Riverbed SEs, like most, are extremely busy and it could often take an hour or more to schedule their time for a five minute troubleshooting issue. UCExpert remote hands functionality significantly accelerated troubleshooting by eliminating the need to dispatch technicians to remote sites. Not to mention the benefit of keeping our SEs focused on delivering value to our customers. UCExpert remote troubleshooting functionality allows you to:

  • Take control of phones to correct issues or for training purposes
  • Display the phone screen as the end user sees it to replicate issues and confirm fixes without end-user involvement.
  • Compare troubled user with working reference phone or previous version of troubled phone

Simplified reporting and analysis

Finally, UCExpert has given our telecom team simpler reporting and analysis across all types of phones. Previously, an undocumented problem with an Avaya phone in our Tokyo office required time-consuming manual tracking because it did not use the standard configuration.  With UCExpert, we are able to use a single status command across all stations that shows actual phones versus aliases.

UCExpert has been a valuable addition to the native Avaya monitoring tools for managing UC more proactively and accelerate troubleshooting at Riverbed and we are pleased to release the product for general availability today.  Learn more about SteelCentral UCExpert.

Related reading:

Riverbed telecom pros put SteelCentral UCExpert 5.0 through real-world test

Feature Brief: What’s New in SteelCentral UCExpert 5.0

Riverbed Celebrates New World Headquarters in San Francisco


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