Weaving Together the Components of a Comprehensive Monitoring Solution

Today’s communications environments are very complex. If you’re not monitoring your systems on a consistent and constant basis, you will undoubtedly run into trouble. At the same time, a comprehensive solution has to have a variety of functionalities in order to successfully monitor this type of environment.

A Monitoring Use Case

A service provider recently came to us at Empirix with the need for a comprehensive monitoring solution. The project involved upgrading the communications infrastructure for a large, multinational customer with 250,000+ traditional Centrex lines deployed. The entire system was to be replaced with an all-VoIP infrastructure which would be managed by the service provider.

As you might imagine, with an upgrade of this magnitude, a comprehensive monitoring solution was mandatory. Requirements included:

  • End-to-end monitoring of the entire environment
  • Multiple reports on system performance, nationally and by specific departments
  • An extensive list of Key Quality Indicators to be reported
  • Robust session detail records
  • Active validation of call quality and the user experience
  • Troubleshooting and root cause analysis for any service disruptions

A Comprehensive Monitoring Solution

The kind of monitoring solution this type of environment requires consists of multiple components for gathering data. Passive monitoring components, including query-based monitoring as well as DPI probes, provide a detailed view of end-to-end performance and user experience. Active components, spread across the network, generate test calls on a 24×7 basis in order to alert the service provider of an outage or degradation of user experience.

But gathering data is just the beginning. The most important part of a comprehensive monitoring solution is the underlying architecture that ties it all together. The architecture enables collection of data from multiple sources, mediation and correlation of the data, and presentation of information in the form of dashboards and reports.

Read: Are Customers Seeing Your Problems Before You Do?

It’s also a game changer when it comes to trouble shooting. A user can be notified of a service degradation and quickly drill down through layers of increasing detail in order to determine the root cause and location of the problem.

The End Game

Ultimately, active/passive monitoring coupled with the supporting architecture, meets or exceeds all of the requirements of even the most complex monitoring needs. It also allows both the service provider and the customer to rest easy knowing that the new communications infrastructure is being closely watched.

Do you monitor your communications systems? Surprisingly, recent research shows that only 31% of companies invest in monitoring technology to keep their customer service systems running smoothly. (For the complete survey results, check out Ensuring Quality Customer Service: To “Pray” is Not the Way.) The upshot of this is that those who do invest in a comprehensive monitoring solution have a distinct competitive advantage.

Looking for more information about how a comprehensive monitoring solution can benefit your organization? Read Perform – Monitor to Assure a Great User Experience.

If you’re considering a well thought out stress testing effort before going live in order to reduce your initial headaches, check out Quality of Service Testing in the VoIP Environment.

Written by Tom Lynch – Tom on LinkedIn | Posts by Tom
Tom is an Empirix veteran who is an expert in VoIP, Unified Communications and Contact Center systems. He has nearly twenty years of experience in the technology world, and has spent much of his time successfully developing testing and monitoring solutions for Enterprises and Service providers alike.

3 thoughts on “Weaving Together the Components of a Comprehensive Monitoring Solution

  1. Candace says:

    Nice post. I would even add two more requirements of the most complex monitoring systems: a way to analyze all this data and a way to implement the business intelligence to followup on issues automatically.

  2. Dan Enthoven says:

    Great points Candace. Having the data is great but you have to do something with that information, otherwise what good is it really doing you? Actionable insights have to be pulled out from what you observe and used to improve the system as a whole.

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