Today, cloud services IT provider Intermedia is announcing Intermedia Unite Envision, a new analytics platform for their Unite Unified Communications-as-a-Service [UCaaS] system. It is a free component within Unite. Intermedia also announced the first two applications for the platform, a QoS [Quality of Service] Dashboard and a Partner Dashboard, with promises of more to come.
Intermedia launched Unite a year ago, to provide partners with a differentiated SMB-focused UCaaaS offering that can be white labelled. It integrates a full-featured business phone with web and video conferencing, team chat, file sharing, backup and other features. The company also says that it has been selling successfully.
“We have been in cloud voice for a long time, but when we launched this product, our growth rate there went up, from about 26 per cent to 30 per cent,” said Mark Sher, VP of Unified Communications Product and Marketing at Intermedia. “We are growing faster than the market as a whole, and faster than we were growing previously.”
The new Envision platform is designed to let partners visualize the performance of Unite, in real time.
“We have had a version of this in our own tech support,” Sher said. “For Envision, we rebuilt it and got smart with our data visualization, so the partner doesn’t have to dig deep.”
The two applications can best be understood as an overview of all customers with the Partner Dashboard, and the capability to drill down into a single customer with great granularity with the QoS Dashboard. While they are two separate applications, the transition for the partner is basically the same as if it were a single pane of glass.
“As far as the partner is concerned, it is one flow-through,” Sher said. “They just hit a green button in the one dashboard to get to the next level of data in the other.”
The QoS Dashboard aggregates Intermedia Unite phone call and video meeting quality metrics into visualized insights that identify issues or trends responsible for performance issues. It is very similar to the company’s VoIP Scout feature, which it has had for years, but which is a pre-sales tool for the partner.
“With VoIP Scout, the network sends out three-minute phone calls and measures it, and the partner prints out a report for the customer to show them the state of their network,” She said. “Some partners charge for this. That was the pre-sales version. The QoS Dashboard provides the same capabilities once the service has been sold and is in place.”
The QoS Dashboard’s premise reflects that with any voice service, some kind of problems inevitably will come up.
“The QoS dashboard will provide easily visualized and accessible data that will show what is causing any type of issue, whether it’s from power, Internet issues, or anything else that affects call quality,” Sher said. “The admin can set alerts based on thresholds, so that if any customer’s call quality drops below that threshold, it alerts the techs. They can also set an even higher threshold for valued customers. In addition, they can click into the customer account and see what’s going on, and can see both sides of a single phone call in case the issue was coming from the customer’s side.”
During the beta, Sher said partners had really liked this dashboard’s capabilities.
“We have gotten really high marks from partners on this,” he noted.
Sher explained the year-long delay between the release of the Unite platform and the analytics component by indicating that Intermedia has been adding other features to the platorm.
“We have been busy doing other stuff,” he indicated. “We build everything ourselves. This is open source. It isn’t third party integrations. We have been adding end user facing features, like instant messaging and team chat, and enhancing the PBX side of it.”
More applications for Envision will be forthcoming, Sher indicated.
“It is our mission to make it as easy as possible for partners to sell and support our service,” he said. “we have built this engine that pulls this great data and insights out. These kinds of tools really make a nice leap forward on the support side. It is our goal to continue to build more applications within this platform, particularly on the business side for customers, with analytics around how their usage relates to their business.”