Demand for video communication is exploding. Usage is growing 27% per year and a majority of users site video as increasing their productivity over 20%!
But let’s face it, managing an enterprise video network can be hard. If it were easier, it would be used all over the place like in science fiction movies. Most video collaboration networks are complex, made up of many different technologies from different vendors, and users have trouble making and scheduling video calls.[bctt tweet=”#videoconferencing usage is increasing 27% every year” username=”vyopta”] The good news is there are several things you can do to improve video collaboration at your organization and take advantage of existing video resources.
STEP 1: MEASURE CURRENT PERFORMANCE AND ISSUES
In order to take a good hard look at what you CAN do with video, you need to find out exactly what you ARE doing with video. You should take time to figure out your current capacity, performance, and usage across your entire network. A few key insights can help you get started:
- Figure out what types of video communication your employees like to use, so that you can focus more resources and investment in those types of technologies in the future.
- Determine where video collaboration tools are not being used, so you can make some hard decisions about how much more to invest in these resources.
- Identify constraints and bottlenecks in the network such as older equipment, MCUs, bridges or servers to be upgraded.
- Become aware of any performance issues that you might not have been getting complaints about.
STEP 2: DIAGNOSE ANY PROBLEMS
Once you know what is going on, you can start to correlate data and link user problems to network issues. For example, if you have call failures that coincide with capacity peaks, you can determine if you are running out of video call capacity and/or bandwidth.
Another common problem that network managers find when they look really closely at video is that they have unbalanced capacity. This could be something like they purchased a ton of traversal call ports, yet they don’t use nearly any of them, while they are running out of non-traversal ports.
These are just two examples of typical problems that network managers encounter. Frequently, they uncover several problems that are interdependent, and then they have to figure out the common causes. This is where it becomes important to develop a comprehensive plan to attack all the problems at once.
STEP 3: CREATE A TREATMENT PLAN
If there is one consistent feature of video networks across all organizations, is that they are complicated. Whether you have HD, mobile, desktop, soft client, cloud, on premise, encrypted, traversal or non-traversal calls, there are a lot of moving parts. This means there is hardly ever a single simple solution to an unhealthy video network.
I mentioned a couple typical problems to look for above, and it might be possible to work within existing resources and make small changes over time to fix the network. However, this could also leave you falling further and further behind as growth video usage compounds the problems and outpaces your small changes. On the other hand, making big changes requires getting buy-in from several layers of management across multiple organizations. The fastest way to convince this busy crowd is to give them data that they can’t ignore in a format that is easy to understand.
Unfortunately, without a good video network management and analysis tool, generating this data is tedious and time-consuming. Existing vendor analytics tools ignore incompatible technologies from other suppliers, focus on too few metrics, or don’t summarize information from a high level. You need a comprehensive video analytics tool to create a multi-faceted treatment plan for your video network.
STEP 4: ONGOING MONITORING AND MAINTENANCE
Once you have the big issues resolved and have implemented a treatment plan, you can use daily monitoring tools to help prevent your video vitals from flatlining again. Eventually, you can even start to get out ahead of any trouble tickets with real-time monitoring of all your network parameters.