Don't roll that truck
Anyone that works in the communication space knows that VoIP has been transformative, and with the evolution to SIP, the features and scenarios that can now be deployed are amazing and great for productivity and cost savings. Now, ask anyone who supports this brave new world and we’ll tell you how things got exponentially more difficult. To offset this complexity, Avaya is evolving our toolset to provide screen shots, packet sniffing, and call replication on our IP phones: all without rolling a truck.
In the previous analog and digital space, voice systems were closed, meaning that the phones and other adjuncts communicated privately over their own wire directly back to the PBX. If there was a voice quality issue, the problem was either with the phone/gateway/PBX or less likely, with the cable itself. In our new world, those same communications now not only take place over a distributed data network, but the collaboration services themselves are distributed across multiple application servers. That is a dramatic increase in the possible failure points.
This evolution has resulted in support engineers having to further step up their game with their product knowledge, and leverage their natural Knack. But to really be successful these engineers need tools to automate their work and do things they could never do themselves. Over the years, Avaya has developed some quite powerful tooling that not only allows for improved time-to-resolution, but also enables us to do that resolution remotely, no truck rolls needed. This is no small thing as truck rolls take time and, according to Ravi Naidu of TSIA, in the US, this can cost upwards of $1,000 a visit.
This month, we began rolling out those Avaya-developed diagnostic tools to our partners and customers and I really think this is going to change the game for our end users. For our major products (CM, Session Manager, System Manager, and System Platform, we’ve built validation scripts that check for known problem scenarios and made them available online at our Diagnostics Portal for registered customers and partners to use to self-diagnose issues they are experiencing. We’ve found that proper use of these tools dramatically speeds up issue resolution and I encourage all of you to start using them. We will continually be adding more with time.
We’ve also released the new evolution of our Secure Access Link (SAL) Gateway, the Avaya Diagnostic Server. As anyone involved in supporting Avaya products is aware, SAL is our secure remote access solution that has been proven to dramatically speed up resolutions of customer issues by providing the engineer secure access to the product for analysis and log gathering. With SAL evolving into the Diagnostic Server, you now have additional industry-leading abilities, all from the comfort of a desk.
- Capture a screenshot the IP phone’s screen without involving end users.
- Professional-level packet sniffing to monitor everything coming in and out of a phone’s network interface, pinpointing bottlenecks, and diagnosing intermittent quality issues. This no longer requires expensive equipment deployed manually onsite.
- Reproduce a problem scenario by generating phone calls between locations, including virtually pressing buttons on a phone.
- Load test the infrastructure to simulate extreme performance situations and measure scalability.
The price? Wait for it … free. That’s right; any customer with a Support Advantage Preferred maintenance contract is entitled to this software solution.