As the use of video and collaboration technology proliferates – this has increased exponentially in the last 12 months – there is a rising focus from many businesses on the importance of outstanding user experience.
To ensure that the technology provided is doing its job, it is essential that all users can be seen as a ‘first class participant’ regardless of where they are physically located – in the multi-million-dollar HQ boardroom or the spare bedroom at home.
Historically the user experience for many organisations has been less than stellar. The causes of these inadequate experiences is due to confusing UI’s, over complex room designs, and equipment that is not managed, monitored or understood so, if there is a problem the support provided is at best the ‘hero based’ break/fix type.
Many organisations are taking a serious look at how they can deliver a great experience and are consequently reviewing their UC and AV estates. With many companies planning a migration to more simple environments such as MTR’s and Zoom Rooms these IT centric solutions are swiftly becoming the responsibility of the IT team.
The IT staff are used to delivering great experiences and are well versed in ITSM (IT service management) and the ITIL Model (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) which is a set of detailed practices for ITSM that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of the business. For the most part, all your traditional IT products and services align to various ITIL practices and ITSM policies and of course, integrate seamlessly with whatever ITSM stack is being used in your organisation.
Unfortunately, the world of UC and AV is a little different (some may say peculiar!); the equipment does not follow ITSM norms, the proponents speak a different language and many of the systems do not behave like other IT equipment. On top of this, there is no standard reporting or ITSM integration for overall visibility. To make things worse, there are no stock metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), which means there is nothing you can benchmark performance against. And through all this, the industry continues to design its own silo’s for ticketing, data collection, and performance reporting.
Going back to the opening statement that UC/AV technology is now ubiquitous, is one of the biggest portions of the technology portfolio, has capital requirements that are near the top of the budget line, visibility like no other and consequences that are now considered mission critical presents a major challenge to its business owner the IT department. This ubiquity and the requirement to delivery an outstanding user experience has driven the need for a UC and AV Service Management toolset that provides the essential visibility that IT departments expect and that is imperative to deliver great outcomes.
Ideally the toolset should address the needs of a number of stakeholders including:
- Users: Literally everyone in the company along with customers and vendors that visit as a normal part of daily business. They just want it to work and add value to their working day/life
- IT Management: All the way up to the CIO and beyond in some cases. They want to know that users are getting the best experience and the tools are allowing them to work better. They demand benchmarked metrics and KPI’s
- Real Estate Team: they go by many names, facilities, Real Estate, Workplace, etc. but it is the people who are in charge of the physical space where things go. They need to know HOW (or if) rooms are being used
- Finance Director: The folks that care about budgets and depreciation. OPex vs CAPex and all the stuff you now have to learn about in the world of finance. They need regular snapshots of the value of your AV estate as well as an ongoing view of the overall ROI and TCO of that investment
- IT Support Team: The help desk and IT team know how to reset an AD connection, what about when the TV drops the audio connection? They need to be able to support the users quickly and efficiently
- AV Partners: External partners to supply and build and maintain systems. They need to be a part of the full lifecycle to ensure compliance
Joining the needs of ITSM with the peculiarities of the UC and AV world is a unique challenge and then adding value to a diverse range of stakeholders adds a further layer of complexity.
Many organisations with large and complex UC and AV estates are going to market and looking for a software platform that will manage, monitor and control their new and legacy equipment. They need a platform that is agnostic to both manufacturer and integrator and can take care of the complex (often proprietary) legacy estates and also their next generation of IT centric deployments. They also need the platform to evolve to help understand and manage the broader workplace and help reduce the total cost of ownership of the technology and the space itself.
Organisations need a tool that will help provide a better working world by using actionable insights and data driven decisions.
Utelogy has evolved from a software-based control platform with a Management and Monitoring to a truly agnostic enterprise grade Management, Monitoring, Control, and Automation platform that meets the many pain points identified above by delivering all the data needed to a single pane of glass. We’d love to tell you more or better yet, show you.