Thursday, 21 September 2017

Nectar helps speed Skype adoption for business/Lync deployments

Nectar Services
Thursday 29 January 15

Nectar Services Corp., a leader in the development of network monitoring and management software for voice, video, data, and advanced applications for the Unified Communications (UC) industry, today announced the latest release of its flagship product, Converged Management Platform™ (CMP™). CMP v5.3.1 coupled with Nectar’s Unified Communications Diagnostics (UCD) module is now the most complete network management and monitoring platform that completely integrates with Microsoft Lync’s Software Defined Networking (SDN) API v2.1. In the same release, Nectar also announced new functionality for its Perspective module. Perspective is a customizable software module within the CMP framework that provides advanced synthetic capabilities for network-pre-assessment…

Nectar Services Corp., a leader in the development of network monitoring and management software for voice, video, data, and advanced applications for the Unified Communications (UC) industry, today announced the latest release of its flagship product, Converged Management Platform™ (CMP™). CMP v5.3.1 coupled with Nectar’s Unified Communications Diagnostics (UCD) module is now the most complete network management and monitoring platform that completely integrates with Microsoft Lync’s Software Defined Networking (SDN) API v2.1. In the same release, Nectar also announced new functionality for its Perspective module. Perspective is a customizable software module within the CMP framework that provides advanced synthetic capabilities for network-pre-assessment, voice and video quality troubleshooting, and real-time problem identification and resolution.

Nectar is a certified Microsoft Depth Partner with the most comprehensive UC monitoring solution qualified under the Microsoft Lync SDN API Program. Additionally, Nectar is preparing its support for the newly announced Skype for Business release scheduled for this year. Microsoft Lync works in a multi-vendor network environment; however, its native encryption limits real-time quality measurement and network awareness. “As companies continue to deploy Lync and soon Skype for Business as their enterprise voice and video UC solution, the demands on network resources increase exponentially, as do user’s expectations of quality,” commented Tom Tuttle, Vice President of Nectar’s Microsoft Practice. “Lync’s architecture presents challenges for network professionals trying to identify problems and detect their root causes. Nectar’s unique integration of its UCD module with the Lync SDN API v2.1 allows enterprises deploying and service providers managing Lync, the capability to proactively monitor and manage Lync UC and meet end-user expectations.”

“Because Lync’s encrypted media needs to efficiently traverse network infrastructure from a variety of vendors, successful Lync monitoring is best performed using a combination of Microsoft and third-party tools, such as Nectar’s CMP platform and supporting modules”, said Jamie Stark, Senior Product Manager at Microsoft. With the release of the Lync SDN API v2.1 this year, the API will begin to deliver in-call quality updates and when integrated with Nectar’s network awareness application, will provide customers greater real-time insight of the user experience and help speed the time it takes to identify, isolate and remediate issues impacting Lync.

Nectar provides the ability to look across the entire Lync UC ecosystem and correlate critical data in real-time, which is necessary in delivering the best-in-class UC service, including:

Network Assessment - During the Lync planning and pilot phase, it is critical that a network assessment is completed. Nectar’s deep UC/VoIP expertise in conjunction with its Perspective module for synthetic calling enables enterprises and managed service providers to fully understand current network gaps and will alert on any issues that could impact Lync performance.

Health and Performance Monitoring – Providing visibility across the entire multi-vendor Lync ecosystem significantly reduces the time it takes to isolate and resolve issues. Nectar is able to monitor and report on every segment of the Lync ecosystem including Lync servers, Lync Quality of Experience (QoE), IP PBXs, SBCs, Voice Gateways, Routers, Premise Wi-Fi, etc.

Diagnostics & Root Cause Analysis - For Lync voice, video, and collaboration sessions, the ability to identify, isolate, and quickly remediate issues that may be impacting the Lync user experience are essential for any enterprise or managed service client. Nectar’s tight integration with the Lync SDN API enables our customers the ability to measure real-time media quality, as well as the path of the Lync session across the routed network for quick root-cause identification.

One of Nectar’s strategic partners, NACR, a leading global provider of business communication solutions and services, features CMP for advanced UC network monitoring and management as part of their Ovation Managed Services offering. The company recently deployed Nectar’s UCD module for CMP within their Managed Services and Support Center (MSSC), to enhance their Microsoft UC Day Two support services. “After seeing the live data that could be captured from a poor or dropped call, as well as the inherent alerting capabilities available with the Nectar solution, I realized that troubleshooting Lync Enterprise Voice calls could now be done efficiently and proactively” said Nathan Knaak, NACR Advanced Diagnostic Engineer. “Because Nectar’s software is completely integrated with the Lync SDN API, we can see an issue as it is happening, see the network traces, and even see a report that shows at what point in the network the issue has occurred. As a result of using Nectar’s monitoring tools, our time to resolution for Lync-related trouble tickets has dropped by 90%,” concluded Knaak.

As part of its Nectar CMP v5.3.1 release, Nectar also announced its newly enhanced Perspective module. As a synthetic traffic generation engine, Perspective provides the ability to easily emulate and efficiently monitor anticipated end-to-end voice and video sessions over IP, ensuring that the network is properly tested and configured for a high quality user experience. Within a distributed, converged network, traditional packet flow can cross multiple paths based on their source and destination. This makes it impractical, if not impossible, for traditional vendor solutions to proactively monitor anticipated voice and video quality. The Perspective module solves this problem by leveraging the power of the CMP real-time communications infrastructure with Perspective’s distributed agent technology. This advanced technology enables network support staff to simultaneously monitor QoS from different locations within their distributed UC environment – providing for a consistent quality level based on the enterprise’s QoS design.


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