The University of Massachusetts Boston, also known as UMass Boston, is an urban public research university and the third-largest campus in the five-campus University of Massachusetts system. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, UMass Boston is the only public university in Boston and is home to 16,164 students (2018) from over 113 countries. In 2019, Forbes ranked UMass Boston No. 247 in its fourth annual ranking of the 300 Best Value Colleges. Martello’s network monitoring software for education helped this university deliver top-notch user experience.
Every Thursday at 8 a.m., a MiVoice MX-ONE generated an alarm, which resulted in calls not being sent to the university’s call billing system for about 10 minutes. This weekly event caused a loss in revenue, due to the fact that these lost calls could not be billed. This outage is a common symptom of the larger problem often faced by the IT and telecom teams in universities: the lack of visibility into the performance of their systems – and the underlying network events that could be causing performance problems. As UMass Boston’s example shows, this can have an impact on the bottom line: should the university’s MiContact Center fail for some period of time this could result in revenue loss from student registrations. Larry McKeon, the university’s PBX Telecommunications Engineer, knew there was a solution to UMass Boston’s challenge: Mitel Performance Analytics (MPA).
MPA wasn’t new to McKeon, he’d gotten to know the solution in a previous role and soon learned that UMass Boston already had Mitel Premium Software Assurance, which entitled the university to the MPA software. UMass Boston then purchased the advanced MPA service tier, called MPA Plus. Once implemented, it began monitoring the performance of the university’s MiVoice MX-ONE and MiContact Center which soon detected its first problem: the weekly early morning outage. The email alerts in MPA Plus began to show the weekly outage pattern, and some troubleshooting identifi ed the cause: a weekly port security scan at 8 a.m. every Thursday was interfering with the MX-ONE’s calls.
Beyond solving this mystery for UMass Boston, the MPA Plus solution has given the university the deep visibility it needs to prevent voice quality problems and understand what’s happening on their UC network.
“Martello’s software tells us the voice quality of every call for every user, making it faster and easier to troubleshoot reported problems,” said McKeon. “Our MiVoice MX-ONE and MiContact Center are mission critical to the successful operations of the university, and with MPA Plus we can stay ahead of voice quality problems to ensure every call is a successful one for our more than 5,000 users. MPA Plus gives us the ability to be proactive and not reactive to issues, many times we can solve a problem before any users are aware.”
UMass Boston has email alerts configured so that the IT team can be notified around the clock if a problem occurs. The university makes good use of the IPT dashboard to troubleshoot problems reported by users. This dashboard allows the telecommunications team to see the quality of all calls for a particular user and the interface makes finding and fixing a bad call easier and faster, rather than combing through massive call logs for all users. The trunk utilization reporting in MPA Plus simplifies capacity planning for the university – giving them insight into how trunks are being used, and whether more trunks are needed to serve their users effectively.
MPA Plus now plays a key role in ensuring that the university’s Mitel unified communication systems perform reliably around the clock, preventing revenue losses and delivering a top-notch user experience.