Technology Blog

Make your Skype for Business work rock solid

by ‎02-27-2017 09:00 AM - edited ‎02-27-2017 10:43 AM

Every day we use one of the Mobile Unified Communication (UC) tools either for business or personal use. I, myself, use Skype for Business at work and use FaceTime for my personal use.  And what do I want from these applications? I just want it to work like magic with no glitch!

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I have discussed how Mobile UC market is growing and what challenges we face in one of my blogs (Can you hear me now?”…don’t let your network be the cause of this!).

 

In this blog, I’d like to address how we can overcome Mobile UC challenges with the Aruba solution. Our technical team just published a new Validated Reference Architecture Design (VRD) for Skype for Business that can help you deliver a rock solid Skype for Business experience for your users.

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The Aruba Mobile UC solution provides an enhanced user experience with a comprehensive offering to prioritize the Skype for Business application traffic—for both wired and wireless—as well as offer deep visibility and monitoring to call quality.

 

Optimize Skype for Business traffic for wired? Check

 

The Aruba Network Optimizer SDN Application for Skype for Business dynamically provisions and applies Quality of Service (QoS) to the network. You can prioritize traffic based on user, device and type of traffic. Maybe you want to prioritize Skype traffic for all employees other than contractors, or you only want to prioritize traffic for voice, not video. If I am on an important call with a customer and I get a bad user experience because my coworker is watching a video on YouTube don’t you think my call is more important to get prioritized?

 

 

Optimize Skype for Business traffic for wireless? Check

 

Aruba, with its close partnership with Microsoft, co-developed the Skype for Business SDN APIs that feeds diagnostic information about voice and video calls, desktop sharing and file transfer to the Aruba Controller. AppRF, part of ArubaOS, then uses this intelligence to prioritize Skype traffic and provide information on the usage of the Skype for Business applications on the wireless network.

 

Aruba ClientMatch and Adaptive Radio Management (ARM) provide an optimized Wi-Fi for Skype for Business.  Aruba ClientMatch continuously scans the wireless environment and steers clients to the best available AP.

 And Aruba Adaptive Radio Management (ARM) take into account active voice and video calls and prevent disruption to the call.

 

Mobile UC health monitoring? Check

 

If my Skype for Business fails to work or I get a bad call quality I automatically switch to using the cellular network.  I may or may not report to our IT team about what my experience was. The frequency of me complaining to our IT department probably depends on my mood or whether I even have time to raise a ticket before finishing up my projects for the day.

 

This is actually not good. My company already invested in Skype for Business and we may or may not utilize it.

 

Real Time in-call quality monitoring

 

The Aruba AirWave network management tool has a unique and powerful UCC dashboard (Figure 1) that provides deep visibility and monitoring of Skype for Business. Aruba AirWave offers reports on overall UC call volume, delivering per user and per device historical and real-time quality metrics. It also allows an administrator to click on a specific call and display a diagnostic trace from the wireless through the wired devices to identify areas of potential problems, even identifying potential issues across the network even in the case of multivendor networks (Figure 2). The Airwave UC dashboard might reveal that my bad call quality might be because I was entering a dead zone in a building or it was due to a $2 headset that I was using for my call.

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Figure 1: UCC dashboard 

 

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Figure 2: End to end call visibility

 

Strong technology and business partnership with Microsoft

 

Aruba collaborates with Microsoft and influences the direction of the SDN API as it evolves, having originally co-developed the API with Microsoft. This allows us to get a head start on product development for new SDN API implementations including dashboard enhancements.

 

Microsoft deploys and trusts Aruba for their own deployment (see case study) and all of our Mobile UC solution is Microsoft certified.

 

Again make sure to check out our new  Validated Reference Architecture Design (VRD) for Skype for Business.

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