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Taking a top-down management approach to UC

Management is a necessity for any unified communications deployment. UC systems are more complex than legacy systems, and organizations can struggle without the right management tools. But UC management can be just as complex as a deployment, according to Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research.

Most organizations are in a multi-vendor UC environment and require interoperability across vendors and platforms. The growing popularity of the cloud also adds to the complexity of UC management, rendering traditional management methods ineffective, he said.

"This bottom-up management strategy was great when we focused on things that went up and down," he said. "Today, frankly, the infrastructure is built so robust that almost any outage on any device can be withstood."

This is where a top-down management approach to UC comes in.

Top-down management shifts the focus away from device management and onto user experience, proving a holistic, end-to-end visibility in a UC deployment, Kerravala said. The key to top-down management, according to Kerravala, is that management tools "understand" the components that make up a service and the baselines for normal performance.

"Any deviation from the norm or baseline will trigger a service alert message, allowing IT to start the troubleshooting process to understand the problem occurring," he said. This leads to a more proactive management of UC and allows IT to address issues before they disrupt the end user experience.

Watch this video to learn more about how UC's complexity affects an organization's management requirements and the other benefits of a top-down management approach.

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