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Q&A: Why UC Performance Management is Important for Schools

September 3, 2014

Mitel unified communications (UC) equipment is popular in the education community, favoured for its flexible and budget-friendly business communications tools. Mitel authorizedPARTNER MXN Corporation works closely with a number of school boards, colleges and universities. MXN uses Mitel Performance Analytics (MPA), UC Performance Management solution to simplify monitoring and management of Mitel UC systems in schools. We asked MXN VP of Product Development Michael Lippman for his observations.

Q: Why have you deployed Mitel Performance Analytics for your education customers?

MXN: Everyone wants to save money, but schools are really working with lean IT teams. MPA makes sense from this perspective. It’s a fairly low cost way to let the software do the legwork of monitoring multiple devices, alerting IT staff quickly when a problem is detected. Then, with secure remote access, you can troubleshoot equipment without leaving your desk – eliminating the cost of travel to multiple locations.

Q: What sets MPA apart from other UC monitoring and monitoring solutions?

MXN: We’ve used competing solutions in the past, and we’ve found MPA to be the better solution for management of Mitel systems. MPA gives us greater visibility, empowering the customer with key data such as voice quality ratings, CPU and memory utilization, ping time and license usage. A key drawback of other solutions is their complexity – the presentation of information is overwhelming and it’s difficult to use the data effectively. MPA offers simplicity – the right information, presented in the most useful way. In fact, we like it so much that we’re including the dashboard as part of our ePortal program. Customers will receive secure tablets that include the MPA dashboard alongside other tools, such as HVAC and video. This gives IT and Facilities staff a simple way to access information on their systems.

Q: How is the education sector unique in terms of its UC management needs?

MXN: I’ve touched on the subject of budget. Another consideration for schools is emergency preparedness. Voice lines and other communications such as SMS can become a lifeline in emergency situations, so it’s important that these systems are there when they are needed most. MPA helps keep them running optimally around the clock. Also, school boards and universities tend to operate across multiple locations and campuses, making network management an even greater challenge. MPA not only simplifies this with 24/7 monitoring, alerts and remote access, it helps with planning.

Q: How does MPA help universities and schools with planning and forecasting?

MXN: Interestingly enough, the reporting feature of MPA recently helped us make the sale to a university. After viewing the reports we can generate from MPA  – showing voice quality, device availability statistics, alarm trends, and memory utilization over a period, the customer was sold. For schools, the MPA reports can help with capacity planning – knowing when to move to SIP, for example.

From cost-effective troubleshooting to capacity planning, MPA simplifies the task of managing UC service quality and maintaining uptime in schools.


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