Blog Post

Video Observability: Videoconferencing Runs the World—Here’s How to Make Sure Yours Keeps Running

Video observability is a key part of ensuring a great remote employee experience. Here's how to do it.

When it comes to work, we all know to put our best foot forward. However, as we increasingly rely on videoconferencing in our everyday work life, success also depends on being able to put our best face forward. Unfortunately, that can add up to a headache for IT when it comes to delivering flawless video experiences to a widely distributed workforce.

3 reasons why video observability is key to employee experience today

Video observability is a key part of ensuring a great remote employee experience. Why? Well, there are several factors at work. Let’s take a look at each of them.

1. Remote work reigns.

According to Ranjit Atwal, senior research director at Gartner, 51 percent of global knowledge workers are expected to work remotely either full time or as part of a hybrid model by the end of 2021. This drives an enormous increase in the adoption of video and web conferencing tools.

Zoom’s 2020 sales ballooned by 326 percent to $2.6 billion in 2020. Although growth has since slowed, the company has become a household name in our video-first work world, along with Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex.

At the same time, remote workers have lofty expectations when it comes to accessing and using business applications. They require instant connections that work smoothly and continuously, keeping business running as regularly as it did when they were located in the office.

2. Companies have accelerated digital transformation plans.

The lasting impact of remote work is resulting in a reassessment of the IT infrastructure. Buyer requirements are shifting to demanding work-anywhere capabilities.

“Through 2024, organizations will be forced to bring forward digital business transformation plans by at least five years. Those plans will have to adapt to a post-COVID-19 world that involves permanently higher adoption of remote work and digital touchpoints,” said Mr. Atwal.

3. Digital transformation adds rocket fuel to cloud adoption.

During the pandemic, organizations deployed their environments to the cloud to quickly enable remote workers. Gartner forecasts worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services will grow 23.1 percent in 2021 as CIOs (Chief Information Officers) and IT leaders continue to prioritize cloud-delivered applications. For example, businesses will continue to invest in software as a service (SaaS) applications, which are designed for remote access. They are not constrained by the location of the workers using the application.

Social and collaboration tools are also of high importance for keeping remote employees connected. They will continue to be a “must have,” which will lead the worldwide social software and collaboration revenue market to increase 17.1 percent in 2021.

In other words, as users increasingly rely on Zoom, Teams, and Webex, IT teams must deliver that service across an exponentially more complex digital infrastructure. That’s not a simple task, as degradations in quality diminish the usefulness of these powerful connectivity tools.

The network remains a top concern for video call performance degradation. With the increasing volume of IP-traffic traversing your network, regular delivery of high-quality voice becomes a real challenge. The most common issues—dropped calls, dropped packets, jitter, one-way audio, and latency—can ruin the entire end user experience.

Finding the root cause across a modern digital infrastructure can be challenging, however. Where does the problem lie? Is the issue with the Internet edge, or last-mile connectivity provider? Or is it with backbone service providers, or cloud services, SaaS provider, or other third-party vendors? Too often, IT does not have an end-to-end view that reaches across the entire service delivery chain.

To build that view, IT teams need a strategy designed to support a next-gen infrastructure. At Catchpoint, we believe that the concept of observability is vital to delivering a great video experience.

Two Words for Video Observability: Proactive and Preventive

Video observability is designed to monitor complex video streaming platforms from end to end. This journey encompasses many different moving parts to deliver a good video experience, a journey that includes a requirement to observe device, network, internet, and application behavior side by side. This gives IT two key advantages:

1. Video observability provides a proactive approach.

Simply reacting to user complaints results in a bad experience for both those hampered by video issues and those trying to solve them. Instead, video observability helps IT eradicate issues before users may even notice. Holistic observability helps IT swiftly figure out the root cause of an interruption. Is it the device, application, or network?

Meanwhile, a single dashboard for teleconferencing performance gives businesses a comprehensive view of metrics that highlight the various aspects related to delivering voice and video calls, making it easy to triangulate and identify potential areas of concern. Finally, automated alerts about performance degradation for end users speeds troubleshooting, which cuts the mean time to repair (MTTR).

2. Video observability offers preventive measures.

There are several ways that observability can prevent service interruptions by getting ahead of your end users. The inherent nature of video observability means that blind spots are eradicated. This gives IT comprehensive visibility into network dependencies and allows them to visualize peering and interconnection issues impacting users.

Moreover, active observation techniques emulate videoconferencing calls under conditions that mimic those of end users. This helps IT pinpoint and solve performance issues before end users are impacted.

One additional point you should be sure to follow: provide end users with a failover option to use for backup, should the service be interrupted.

Video Observability Equals a Required Business Practice

In the end, the best bet is to find a video observability tool that allows you to monitor and build an observable environment. After all, in today’s Zoom-driven world, it’s a pretty sure bet that corporate video use will continue to rise. Don’t you want to make sure you can see everything?

Want to learn more about monitoring your SaaS tools? Check out the on-demand Webinar: SaaS Performance Management for your Distributed Workforce.

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