The High Stakes of Hybrid UC&C

Hybrid Unified Communications and Collaboration Has Benefits and Drawbacks

Organizations today have many options when it comes to their UC services, and the devices they use to consume those UC services. No longer are businesses limited by the technologies located within their premise – they can now have their services hosted in the cloud.

Businesses taking advantage of this flexibility are blending on-premise UC deployments with public and private cloud offerings to orchestrate a best of breed hybrid communications architecture. This hybrid UC&C approach delivers high return on investment, and is fast becoming one of the best methodologies to efficiently and effectively leverage advanced communications and collaboration technologies.

But these hybrid UC architectures also add an additional level of complexity to support. Because hybrid environments typically traverse multiple platforms and technologies, such as Cisco, Avaya, Microsoft, HP, Juniper, and so on – they present challenges to the IT and Operations teams who are responsible for their service levels.

Hybrid deployments mean more complexity in the architecture, more devices, and typically less control by the IT and UC operations teams, as critical services are often hosted beyond their reach. In addition to supporting the devices and endpoints, these hybrid environments add additional overhead on the network requiring constant capacity analysis and fine tuning to deliver the expected service levels to users. Those same users are oblivious to these operational and support challenges – they simply want exceptional service, anytime, from anywhere.

Managing Service Levels in the Hybrid UC Environment

To successfully manage hybrid UC environments and service levels, UC operations teams must have the ability to manage and gain visibility across the entire domain stack that comprises the premise-based UC assets and transport layers, as well as the cloud-consumed services. To successfully ensure service levels in the hybrid environment, teams must capture analytics across the entire architecture, and have the ability to pinpoint the demarcation point of service delivery issues before services are impacted.

Service assurance solutions for hybrid environments must provide the right information, and the ability to analyze that information in context to understand where true root cause of service anomalies are occurring. Only then can UC operations teams can get in front of service issues, and resolve them prior to impacting end users or the business.

Unfortunately, most UC management solutions were built for traditional premise based configurations, and cannot provide a blended view.

Tone’s ReliaTel is the answer for hybrid UC&C environments. ReliaTel is a strategic management solution with extensive capabilities to proactively monitor the hybrid UC&C environment, with comprehensive capabilities that span numerous platforms from Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft, and many others.

ReliaTel Provides a Unique Approach to Hybrid UC Management

ReliaTel management is broad and deep, delivering the visibility and control needed for hybrid architectures to ensure service levels, improve quality and performance, reduce service issues, and drive higher UC adoption and ROI.

But broad and deep analytics and data alone aren’t enough for the hybrid environment. Because a network could have hundreds if not thousands of devices, routes and endpoints, the way the data is presented is crucial, and the way that data can be used determines success or failure.

The ReliaTel Visual360 management portal provides the necessary correlation of how assets relate to each other and the problem to speed root cause analysis in the hybrid environment. Through Visual360, correlated views are provided within the context of the issue at hand, equipping operations with the intelligence and analytics required to understand the true cause of the issue, and pinpoint it at the source.

Further, ReliaTel provides integrated analytics and metrics that enable operations teams to make the right corrections, once root cause is isolated and identified. Solving the issue correctly, the first time, in a very short time window results in much higher service levels, significantly reduced service interruptions, higher user experience, and lower overall support costs.

Through ReliaTel Visual360, UC operations teams can immediately see the relationships between devices, sessions, resources, and the transport layer – correlated in their view with interactive ability to drill down and isolate the true root cause of issues with end points and the transport layer, as well as quality and performance degradation. By combining correlated views with the ability to filter and focus in context on the specific assets related to the problem, root cause can be quickly determined and effort can be effectively applied to solving the RIGHT problem, every time.

Using ReliaTel, hybrid UC operations teams have the capabilities necessary to proactively optimize the environment, reduce the occurrence of service issues, improve the overall performance of their hybrid UC business communications, and deliver excellent user experience.

Learn more about how ReliaTel solves the hybrid UC service equation with the Telecom Reseller Educast with Gary Audin, here: http://telecomreseller.com/2016/06/03/solving-the-hybrid-ucc-service-equation/

Visit the ReliaTel page to learn more about ReliaTel for your UC environment.

Keys To MSP Survival In The Cloud Driven UCaaS And UC World

Unified Communications is quickly moving to a “per-seat, per-month” consumptive cloud and hybrid model, where barriers to entry and adoption are low—and the perceived value of “pay-for-use” is high. This shift to a UC-as-a-Service (UCaaS) consumptive model has broad implications for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) competing in this growing sweet spot.

For MSPs, understanding this shift will be critical in their efforts to gain new clients, and retain existing clients. The providers that offer the best mix of “pay-as-you-go-services,” price, quality, and ability to deliver on SLAs will win the day.

Successful MSPs must embrace significant shifts in their business that will impact service delivery, operational support, and service practice strategies. While the cloud changes the way voice, collaboration, and communication services are delivered, MSPs must continue to provide seamless accessibility and near flawless quality to their clients consuming these cloud-based UC and collaboration offerings.

To accomplish this, MSPs must have the necessary weapons in their arsenal to successfully compete and deliver cloud-based UC service assurance. Unfortunately, many service assurance solutions fall short, and do not provide the needed real-time diagnostic information necessary, or automatically correlate service and quality issues back to the root cause. A wholesale change in the MSP service assurance arsenal is necessary, focusing on solutions that incorporate advanced diagnostics, knowledge base data, remote access, QoS and QoE management, performance dashboards, automation, and reporting for the advanced UCaaS environment.

Tone Software addresses the evolving UC service delivery challenges facing today’s MSPs with the ReliaTel UC Service assurance solution. ReliaTel is the strategic technology of choice for MSPs looking for a competitive edge in a marketplace that demands an optimized mix of service, price, quality and ability to deliver service to customers in the consumptive, utility style of cloud-based UC.

visual360_hierarchy_thumb_150x112ReliaTel transforms service delivery through an integrated, single pane of glass portal that includes the revolutionary Visual360™ real-time graphical view of the UC environment. Through ReliaTel Visual360, MSP service delivery teams gain real-time quality analytics, performance metrics, CDR, traffic and capacity data all correlated and integrated into one real-time graphical view for every client, as well as the UCaaS ecosystem as a whole.   Using ReliaTel Visual360, service provider teams have the visual intelligence necessary to not only ensure client SLAs in today’s cloud-based, consumptive UC world, but also gain considerable competitive advantages to gain new clients, and retain hard-won existing clients.

For more information on UCaaS solutions from Tone Software visit:   ReliaTel Visual360.

Managing Today’s Complex UC Environments

As more and more organizations transition to next generation communication networks, they are quickly finding out that today’s networks are becoming more and more complex.  Today’s UC networks are built off of a multi-vendor architecture and enables multimodal communications that can be accessed from anywhere, corporate LAN, home network, mobile network or even public WiFi.  In addition to the various access methods, the users can choose the device or devices that they want to use to communicate with, hard phones, PC’s, Mobiles etc..  All this flexibility causes organizations to loose visibility into the network(s) to pinpoint where quality issues may be occurring which makes it harder for them to manage and ensure quality of service.


Many organizations today already have tools to help them manage their network and quality of service, but most solutions require the user, the operator, and the engineer to access several different screens or facilities to obtain data, and then remember those data points and mentally connect the dots to gain the real picture of what’s happening. When diagnosing quality and performance issues, it’s imperative to have visibility over the path of the call or session – for instance, you need to see how the application is traversing the network and what are the chokepoints or bottlenecks within the network.  Also, you need to understand if there are problematic routers, switches, and gateways that are critical to the delivery of that service.


The recently announced ReliaTel Visual360 addresses the challenges that organizations are having today managing their UC infrastructure.  It is a revolutionary new way for operations groups to visualize real-time unified communications quality, performance, and service level analytics, all correlated with operational network performance and the underlying transport layer throughout the unified communications environment.  It enables operations teams to visualize the relationships and dependencies between devices, applications and network segments involved in the critical application path of UC and collaboration sessions, and easily pinpoint the origins of quality degradation occurring when it comes to UC and collaboration applications.


To see how using ReliaTel Visual360 can proactively monitor and manage today’s complex UC environments to ensure your UC QoE, QoS, and service levels, click here.

How to Compare and Select a UC Managed Service Provider

The shift from traditional telephony platforms to Unified Communications (UC) has put organizations in more of a consumption model, which is causing a shift in how UC is supported.  The concept of a call server or PBX is really going away, as all the functions of a UC environment – voice, video and collaboration – are more and more distributed.  This trend causes server monitoring and availability to be de-emphasized.  It is Service Monitoring and Service Availability that is now of the highest importance in a UC ecosystem.  This is prompting many businesses to seek a UC Managed Service Provider (MSP), whether that’s a Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) provider hosting the entire solution, or an MSP that monitors the organization’s on-premise UC technologies through remote management services.  In either case, choosing the right managed services provider and program can be daunting.

Tone Software works with Managed Service Providers around the world, as well as the enterprise users they support, and we’ve gained valuable experience on the best practices out there. When evaluating a Managed Service Provider (MSP), it is important to understand how they manage the services they are providing and the visibility they have into your organizations infrastructure to ensure your UC Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS).   Do they pro-actively manage the UC service levels or are they reactive?  Do they provide a client portal with Dashboards and Reporting to keep their clients informed of their UC service levels?


For more about how to choose a Managed Service Provider, attend Tone’s IAUG Session 302: Managed  Services Matchup – Monday June 15, 2:15PM at IAUG Converge 2015 Conference in Denver.  For info click here.

To see how MSP’s using ReliaTel can proactively monitor and manage today’s complex UC environments to ensure your UC QoE, QoS, and service levels, click here.

MSPs and UCaaS Providers Face Key Challenge – Capacity Planning

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) Providers offer a lifeline for their clients, delivering unified communications and network management that ensures organizations can function and conduct business.  So, what is the most challenging aspect of ensuring communications service levels across clients’ ecosystems?  Many MSPs and UCaaS providers tell us they are continuously seeking better ways to perform Capacity Planning to ensure their clients have sufficient resources, quality, and the service levels necessary to support critical communications during fluctuations and peaks in business activity.

The recently released ReliaTel Version 4.5.0 provides key functionality that can address the need for better Capacity Planning, providing advanced Performance and Capacity reporting for Cisco Route Groups, including bi-directional call totals, simultaneous usage and Cisco specific utilization metrics on a per Route Group basis. Using these analytics, MSPs and UCaaS providers gain powerful visibility into peak busy hours, bi-directionally, to ensure their clients have enough voice pathways to run their business.  In addition, the advanced ReliaTel 4.5.0 capacity reporting can be scheduled, and periodically provided to clients as a value-add service that can drive higher revenue for the provider, while also ensuring clients never experience resource shortages that impede and impact unified communications and collaboration.  Check out more information about the ReliaTel 4.5.0 capabilities for MSPs and UCaaS providers here.