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Monitoring Skype for Business Online to Ensure Excellent End User Experience

Mike Marks
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Digital Experience ManagementAs the unified communications platform of Microsoft Office 365, Skype for Business Online is used by millions for messaging, conferencing, online meetings, and collaboration. But effective communication and collaboration depend on ensuring excellent end user experience. So, IT must have a plan for monitoring Skype for Business Online. That’s where SteelCentral Aternity End User Experience Monitoring comes in.

 

Certified as Ready for Windows for Office 365 ProPlus, Aternity augments Microsoft’s monitoring and reporting tools to help IT ensure the excellent end user experience that is so key to effective collaboration.

Watch this short video to see Aternity in action for monitoring Skype for Business Online.

Microsoft Skype for Business Online reporting

If you’re the Office 365 administrator or Skype for Business Service administrator for your company, you can access a variety of Skype for Business Online reports from the Office 365 admin center. These reports provide key information on Skype for Business usage across your company. The activity report shows how much your users are using peer-to-peer or organized conferencing sessions. And you can track conference usage at a deeper level. For example, you can analyze the features used in conferences, such as IM, audio/video, application sharing, Web, and various dialing options. You can also view reports that help IT and finance to track usage and billing of calls through the old-fashioned phone network.

The challenge of monitoring Skype for Business Online

Tracking usage is one thing, but monitoring Skype for Business Online performance is quite another. When Skype for Business runs in your own data center, you have access to the databases to collect call quality performance data. But performance monitoring for Skype for Business Online is more complex. You don’t have access to the servers on the back end. So, you either need to extract the data via API, or use Microsoft’s Call Quality Dashboard for daily and monthly trends of the quality of call streams.

Monitoring Skype for Business Online like any other business critical app

Part of the SteelCentral Digital Experience Management platform, Aternity treats Skype for Business Online like any other business critical app. Aternity monitors IT from the point of consumption—the end user’s device. It enables IT to see exactly what users see by monitoring the “click to render time” of applications. And Aternity tells IT exactly how long it took to send an email, start a Skype for Business session, open a presentation, or upload a file.

For monitoring Skype for Business Online, Aternity provides call quality metrics, like Mean Opinion Score (MOS), as measured from the end user’s device. With Aternity in your monitoring portfolio, you don’t need a specialized reporting tool for unified communications. It enables you to monitor Skype for Business Online using the same workflow, dashboards, and drill-downs as you use for any other app in your portfolio.

Monitoring Skype for Business Online adoption AND performance

With SteelCentral Aternity, Skype for Business owners can analyze performance to identify key trends in call usage and quality. Aternity provides call usage and performance trends, by department, geography, device type and OS across the organization. Aternity tracks failed calls, dropped calls, and MOS over time so IT can identify the impact of busy hours on performance.

Monitoring Skype for Business Online, End User Experience Monitoring, Digital Experience Management, Aternity

Troubleshooting Skype for Business Online

When it comes to troubleshooting, Aternity treats Skype for Business Online like any other business critical app. With Aternity, IT can analyze the common characteristics of users affected by poor performance, by using the Calls Commonalities Analysis dashboard below.

Monitoring Skype for Business Online, End User Experience Monitoring, Digital Experience Management, Aternity

SteelCentral correlates call quality to the underlying device performance and user attributes, so you can analyze the common characteristics of poor performance to isolate the likely cause. In this case, a specific device configuration appears to be the potential cause.

Troubleshooting end user issues quickly

Monitoring Skype for Business Online, End User Experience Monitoring, Digital Experience Management, Aternity

SteelCentral Aternity collects detailed metrics on Skype for Business Online device equipment and performance.

Service Desk teams are on the front line for dealing with end user complaints of poor call quality. Aternity enables you to handle these issues just like any other. With Aternity, the service desk can review the performance of every application running on any monitored device – immediately, remotely, and non-invasively.

Aternity reports the response time of business critical activities, color-coded by performance, relative to automatically calculated baselines. And Aternity notifies you when baselines are exceeded, through email or alerts to 3rd party systems, like ServiceNow.

Aternity monitors a variety of performance parameters for Skype for Business Online. This includes details on the device headset microphone and speakers, and call performance metrics, like packet loss and jitter.

Unlike other unified communication monitoring tools, SteelCentral enables you to drill down into the details of the user’s device to determine its impact on call quality.

Take the next step

Free Trial Aternity End User Experience MonitoringUsing SteelCentral Aternity for monitoring Skype for Business Online enables you to ensure excellent user experience. You can try Aternity running in our cloud environment by registering for Instant Access. You’ll get access to all of Aternity’s use cases. And you can read the blogs below to learn more about using SteelCentral Aternity with Microsoft Office 365 solutions.

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