Microsoft announced the acquisition of Event Zero’s UC Commander reporting and analytics technology in mid-January 2016, stating “This acquisition will allow us to expand and improve the built-in management tools for Skype for Business, and is the latest example of Microsoft’s commitment to deliver a complete, enterprise-grade communications solution at global scale with Office 365.”
Microsoft’s Skype for Business offering, rolled up in its new Office 365 E5 offering (Microsoft’s most comprehensive set of collaboration, analytics and security tools to date) is changing the game for telecommunications and cloud technology. Event Zero technology is filling a major gap in Skype for Business’ enterprise capabilities.
What is Event Zero?
Event Zero is a leading provider of management software for Skype for Business Online, developed to streamline the deployment and provisioning process and provide additional analytics and security features.
How will this affect Skype for Business admins?
The Event Zero acquisition removes a layer of complexity – while augmenting management capabilities – for Skype for Business admins. A centralized, GUI-driven dashboard provides powerful management capabilities so that admins won’t have to piecemeal several tasks in order to get things done. These features, which will be available to Skype for Business customers at no additional cost, will streamline and support the following aspects of Skype for Business management:
- Security and Reporting
What does this mean for the Skype for Business platform?
Microsoft’s new Office 365 E5 offering was undeniably voice-driven, with Skype for Business serving integral new features like Meeting Broadcast, PSTN Conferencing and Cloud PBX with PSTN Calling. This emphasis speaks to a significant shift towards voice in the enterprise, which means higher expectations from employees and customers around voice quality and flexibility. Event Zero technology, built into Skype for Business, will fuel growth and overall user adoption of voice solutions by giving admins the tools they need to optimize and analyze usage in order to provide employees with voice solutions at the highest possible quality.
Event Zero has actually developed a provisioning module designed specifically for Polycom, a SADA partner and market leader in Skype for Business optimized voice and video solutions. This will open up the ability to easily provision and configure Polycom’s VVX line of phones, and gain detailed management and reporting from directly within the admin panel.
Innovation in Voice Development
Overall, Event Zero technology developments are elevating Skype for Business as a mature enterprise voice solution. These innovations, along with the capabilities built into the Office 365 E5 suite, are another sign that Microsoft is dedicated to consistent innovation and investment into voice solutions.
Admin Capabilities Deep-Dive:
One of the most time consuming and highly technical tasks in managing Skype for Business phones is the provisioning process. Previously, admins would have to work through an antiquated FTP/TFTP or HTTP server and manually update XML configuration files to provision handsets.
Event Zero technology almost entirely automates the endpoint provisioning process with a simple, GUI-driven interface embedded natively into the Office 365 administration center. Admins will be able to create numerous configurations that can be applied at the global, site, group, phone or even individual device level in minutes. It’s not quite plug and play – but almost.
Analytics and Reporting
With the technology acquired, admins will have access to audio and video conferencing usage reports and instantly analyze aggregated call quality information using an integrated Call Quality Dashboard.
According to Microsoft, “In the future, using the technology acquired today, we will be able to add strong diagnostics and troubleshooting capabilities with even more extensive reporting and analytics for online audio, video conferencing and media streams — all within a unified management and admin system.”
These new capabilities will remove a layer of complexity, which means less opportunities for snags, errors or hang ups in the deployment process. This ties back to provisioning, which previously resulted in a highly technical and complex deployment process.
Overall, the deployment process will be much shorter and limit the amount that customers (or partners) need to “roll up their sleeves” and edit or manage raw data.
Also, simplified administration and enhanced reporting will contribute to greater insights around usage and quality, enabling admins to continually optimize their infrastructure.
SADA Systems, Microsoft’s 2015 Partner of the Year for Cloud Packaged Solutions, specializes in consultation and implementation of Microsoft cloud and voice solutions. For any questions about Event Zero, leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Skype for Business and Office 365 E5, click below for a free E5 assessment.