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Is a UC user dashboard the same as a single pane of glass?

Vendors have many names for the user dashboard in a UC system. Expert Carrie Higbie explains how it compares to a single pane of glass.

When a unified communications (UC) vendor talks about a "user dashboard," what are they referring to? Is it the same as "a single pane of glass"?

There are various terms for the user dashboard, or interface, and these terms are all dependent on the UC vendor. The user dashboard itself can be a mix of what the user sees based on administrator permissions and options within the UC system itself. Dashboard has become the de facto term for user interfaces. In fact, the user dashboard carries over into more than just UC. 

Data center energy packages also include user dashboards. They are generally called dashboards as the widgets on the screen resemble the gauges on a car's dashboard. The contents of the gauges, how often they are updated and where the data is pulled from are generally quite customizable by the system administrator. 

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Single pane of glass is similar to a user dashboard and is often used as a synonym. But a single pane of glass integrates information from multiple components and generally contains more bar charts and statistical views of the information. It looks less like an automobile dashboard than a data center user dashboard does.

What is shown in the user dashboard and a single pane of glass is dependent on the software capabilities, permissions and configurations. Both of them typically will show the most pertinent stats users would need for monitoring whatever it is they are monitoring. For instance, a power distribution unit (PDU) display may show power used and power usage effectiveness (PUE). Network monitoring may show packets passed and errors. Here's an example of a user dashboard from SalesForce:

Learn more about user dashboards:

  • Natural user interfaces define the future of UC: Learn how the evolution of the user dashboard to include speech and gestures will change how we use unified communications.
  • What is a UC client? Learn why UC client is another term vendors use when they refer to the user dashboard in a UC system.


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