Author: Regina Moore
IT Admins to the Rescue
The IT Administrator’s job can be quite daunting. Ensuring quality of service for collaboration tools is probably the toughest part of the job. Making sure that all employees, from the most demanding senior executive to the multi-tasking millennial, are happy with the quality of service they receive, at all times, can feel like a herculean task. And when users report issues, they expect the IT admin to have X-ray vision and to just fix the issue immediately without a lot of questions wasting their precious time.
Heroes Have the Abilities to Innovate, to Remain Flexible, and Adapt
High expectations are compounded with increased complexity of our new fluid and flexible work environment. Employees are working from home, from hotels, from coffee shops, joining meetings from their car, from the train, and even from planes these days. They can BYOD (bring your own device) and BYOH (bring your own headset) and BYOA (bring your own attitude). This flexibility increases the variables, and thus complexity, that can impact a user’s experience for any collaboration solution from the end users environment (laptop resources, headset type, speaker quality), location (home worker, coffee shop worker), connection type (mobile, Wi-Fi), to the company network, to the Internet and audio service provider to the cloud vendor.
New Advanced Diagnostics in Cisco Webex Control Hub
At Cisco, we want to make it easier for the IT Admin by providing all the rich insight we have in our internal Technical Support organization directly to the customer IT Administrator. We’re sharing our superpowers with a new Advanced Diagnostics in Cisco Webex Control Hub (our IT Admin management portal).
In Abhay Kulkarni’s June blog “Cisco Webex – Building and Maintaining Trust with IT Administrators” he talked briefly about our Webex Meeting diagnostics and that we’re investing heavily in this area. Our Advanced Diagnostics experience in Control Hub is now available – which provides that simple R/Y/G visual quickly helping IT admins narrow in on participants with potentially poor experiences. But in addition, we’re providing drill down into each participant with granular details about their environment, the device, the client, the peripherals, how they connected, and dozens of service quality metrics trending over time across voice, video and sharing updated near real time. We even show quality metrics trending over time about the laptop itself, as inadequate laptop resources or contention for resources on the laptop are a very common root cause of issues. Thanks to this recent work, it’s truly X-ray vision!
Heroes Struggle to Overcome Challenges
One of the challenges of designing diagnostics software is building it in a way that meets the most sophisticated IT Administrator’s needs, but to also make it easy to understand for Help Desk personnel who need to process a lot of calls and just get to the root cause fast. We have customers in the small-medium range, but we also have to meet the scale and sophistication of some of the largest corporations in the world who have chosen Cisco Webex and are running in excess of 100,000 meetings every single day! Add to that most meetings involve participants that are quite far apart globally.
To bring per minute, per participant insights for every meeting taking place in the Webex Cloud required us to build analytics infrastructure at scale that has never been done before.
X-Ray Vision to the Root Cause
Our design approach is a simple–we use a color-coded user interface to highlight the problem participants in the top-level view and allow drill-down to get more detailed metrics about that user with a single click. This enables the IT Admin to immediately see where the issue lies in a meeting, and then can drill down for more detail for that particular participant. In a BYOD world, it could be any number of variables, including the participants choice of machine that is causing the issue. The drill-down provides a scrollable view at a glance of all the health metrics for that participant for voice, video, sharing and CPU utilization for the duration of that meeting.
With the above view in Webex Control Hub, the Help Desk personnel can immediately see in the blink of an eye the number of participants in the meeting, when they joined and how, who hosted the meeting and most importantly which participants had quality of service issues. Take a look, how long does it take you to point where there may be issues. Uh, the red? Maybe it’s the red. Yep, but that’s the easy part, how do you get down to the root cause? That’s where the drill down comes into play. Just click on that participant with red and wow, X-ray vision!
With our latest release, you’ll see lots of rich insight about each user including:
- Client type and version, browser and OS
- Device type, make and model
- Peripherals (speaker, headset, camera)
- How they joined
- Quality of service metrics over time across voice, video and sharing updated every minute
- CPU utilization for both system and application over time
All of this insight helps you get to the root of the issue on your first call. Our early beta and definitional customers have given us feedback that we’ve hit the mark.
“At CenturyLink we have a large group of IT Admins supporting our customers. This new insight helps us pinpoint quality of service issues which could impact customers and guide them on improvements they can make in their environment to improve user experience. Advanced Diagnostics reduces our first call resolution time and helps us provide our customers a better experience.” – James Sommers, UC & C Product Manager, CenturyLink
How to Get Your Superpowers
Advanced Diagnostics in Webex Control Hub is available August 30th to all Webex customers in the standard offer—we want all of our customers to have these superpowers. Try out the new capability after August 30th and tell us about your superpower story in the comments below!
And rest assured, there is so much more coming in Control Hub. Stay tuned!
Used with permission from Cisco.