Blog · 02 Sep 2021

Why monitoring is critical to the collaborative experience

Collaboration tools are essential to the future of work, so how can organisations optimise the experiences that connect their people?

James Brennan
Head of collaborate products, IR

As we return to work, there’s no doubt that collaboration tools are going to become ever more mission critical.

Already, the average employee is currently using 3.5 different tools, and our dependence on them is only set to grow. As organisations introduce more mobile and distributed ways of hybrid working, a smooth collaboration experience is becoming central to their efficiency, by making sure employees stay motivated, productive and engaged.

So right now, it’s more essential than ever that organisations take steps to protect the user experience from disruption, by spotting and fixing trouble before it happens. Part of moving to the hybrid workplace needs to be adopting monitoring tools that increase visibility and control across every collaboration experience and are used efficiently for commercial benefit.

But why is monitoring collaboration platforms so critical now?

Every experience is driven by the worst experience

Chances are, we’ve all had an unsatisfactory collaboration experience. And, whatever the cause of the disruption, whether it was a poor-quality headset, a laptop that hadn’t been updated or a colleague’s poor network performance, it will have affected everyone else in the meeting as well. It slows the flow of the meeting down. People lose their train of thought and concentration suffers. If one person has a problem, it has a knock-on effect on everyone. In this sense, all our collaboration experiences are driven by the person having the worst experience.

It’s a multi-platform world

Organisations are aware of the importance of a universally great experience - and highly conscious that this needs to be available across any collaboration platform, too. It’s a complicated picture: during the pandemic, employees scrambled to use any collaboration tool available to keep working and this has left a legacy of complexity, where one platform might be used for all-hands meetings, for example, but another platform used for small group calls. Although organisations might now be moving their people along an adoption path to using just one platform, shadow IT is still rife, particularly when people use their own devices for work. It’s a headache for IT departments that need to deliver a high-quality collaboration experience every time.

Monitoring is key to a great collaborative experience

To deliver a consistently outstanding collaboration experience, you’d be able to monitor the experience and receive proactive alerts when call or video quality showed early signs of starting to deteriorate. End-to-end visibility would be critical, allowing you to remotely diagnose where your problems are, right down to the individual device or network that’s causing the problem. This would mean you could diagnose dropouts before they occur, fixing issues fast before they have an impact on anyone’s experience.

Monitoring a whole range of platforms wouldn’t be a problem either. You’d be able to bring together platforms from different vendors together to create a single pane view of your collaboration environment, making it easy for IT teams to support excellent collaboration.

Forward-thinking organisations are also looking for ways to use collaboration monitoring to get a better understanding of user experiences and system performance across their entire operation. They’re looking to be able to carry out a granular analysis of applications so they can identify areas for improvement and future investment priorities.

Because experience is everything

We know that customers expect the highest quality meeting experience, every time. That’s why we’ve integrated our solution, IR Collaborate, with BT’s Meetings services. It enables BT to offer unified, real-time, end-to-end visibility and control across its multi-vendor, multi-platform collaboration environments.

To find out more, watch a replay of our recent webinar with BT’s Andrew Small on the changes we expect to see in the digital workplace of the future. Alternatively, take a look at BT’s future of work whitepaper which focuses on the three crucial pillars of hybrid working - collaboration, infrastructure and security.