By David Leech, Vice President of Cloud and Managed Services, Logicalis US

You remember it well … the bead of sweat that ran down your forehead the day your company’s CEO decided to call a global video conference … and asked you to make sure the technology was ready for the challenge.  Even if your video collaboration solution had been working perfectly in the weeks preceding the big event, you secretly wondered if was up to the task of connecting to hundreds of end points around the globe and delivering the kind of service your CEO – and everyone else in your entire worldwide organization – expected it to have.  Handling the job was a big responsibility, and it likely took a lot of man hours away from your job and your teams’ jobs in preparation for the big event.

Still, when you consider how significant it is that your CEO was able to address hundreds of people throughout the world without ever setting foot on a plane or missing his son’s soccer game, you can see why video has become a staple in today’s modern business world.  It saves time and travel expenses, enhances productivity and facilitates deeper levels of communication within an organization as well as externally with partners and customers – as long as it works properly.

While video has become a must-have business tool, its use has placed strict demands on the underlying infrastructure. Transmission delays, packet loss, storage issues, and bandwidth capacity can all adversely affect video quality and frustrate users. That’s why Logicalis recently rolled out a brand-new Managed Unified Communications/Video Collaboration service designed to ensure your organization’s enterprise video collaboration systems perform optimally while relieving internal IT staff from the burden of monitoring, managing, and maintenance required to deliver the smooth service corporate users – like your CEO – need and expect from these important collaboration tools.

As businesses begin to rely more heavily on video for competitive advantage, this kind of collaboration quickly becomes a critical resource for them. Even if it hasn’t happened to you yet, most IT professionals can imagine themselves being the person held responsible for their CEO’s company-wide video conference – and in a worst-case-scenario, they secretly fear it will fail – a position everyone would like to avoid.

With Logicalis’ new Managed Video Collaboration service, you can shift the burden of that responsibility onto our shoulders.  Through this service, our experts can monitor, troubleshoot and maintain your organization’s video collaboration environment on your behalf.  Our reporting allows us to see all the way down to your solution’s end points, so if there is an issue – whether it’s a resource issue on the network or a quality-of-service issue – we can address it proactively before it causes a problem. And because we have considerable experience in this area, we can also assist with moves, adds or changes of even very complicated video collaboration equipment.

Clearly, there are a number of advantages to be gained by allowing an experienced partner to take over the monitoring and management of your video collaboration solution:

Management of End Point Devices

Video collaboration systems have their own underlying hardware and end points which need an advanced level of knowledge to operate and maintain. End-point devices must be properly configured, monitored and managed so they can correctly interact with the rest of your video collaboration solution.  By outsourcing this management, internal IT staff are free to focus on the myriad of other support functions they provide to the business.

Monitoring and Alerting

Proactively monitoring the overall health and well-being of the video collaboration solution’s hardware and resources could literally take a team of people.  By allowing an experienced partner to take over these time-consuming tasks, potential problems can be avoided before they become issues, and our collaboration experts can make recommendations to your internal IT staff about configuration changes that can enhance your users’ experience.

Historical Data Collection

If you have a video collaboration solution in place, you probably spent a lot of money installing it.  And if you don’t have one yet, you will soon, and your C-suite will want to know exactly how that system is being used.  You’ll also want to identify any quality-of-service adjustments that should be made to deliver a consistent, high-quality collaborative experience. Having access to historical data gives you the answers to these questions, and it helps your IT team see trends, identify potential bottlenecks, and proactively resolve issues before they become problems.

Maintaining External Security

Communicating via video with partners, clients and prospects – and interfacing with their systems and end points – adds an additional layer of complexity to the solution and the security risk this kind of open collaboration might pose to your organization. To be certain security protocols are followed, it becomes critical to use the right version of key software programs, and it may also be important to monitor your company’s firewall for unauthorized communication attempts, things which should be a natural part of a thorough managed video collaboration strategy.

Now, let’s revisit that company-wide, global video conference your CEO was planning; how many of your IT people would raise their hands to take responsibility for that kind of live, real-time event?

Large or very important video events – no matter how well the system is running before the event takes place – can cause internal IT teams undo stress and concern. To help, Logicalis also unveiled a complementary new Service Desk Unified Communications/Video conference Event Support offering to handle everything from booking the devices and resources for an important video event to reserving bandwidth, capturing real-time quality statistics, having an operator stand by to assist anyone having trouble joining the call, and performing advanced troubleshooting on the fly, all of which ensures the solution has all the needed resources to deliver an exceptional performance.

Want to know more? Learn about five important steps in video collaboration planning, then download a Managed Video Collaboration data sheet.  Then, learn what it takes to support business-critical operations with mature managed services in this brief video, and explore the six surprise benefits of managed services.  How does managed services work and why would you want it? Find out here: http://ow.ly/ZMU9D, then schedule a consultation to see how a Managed Video Collaboration solution can benefit your organization: http://ow.ly/ZMXkw.