Cisco Prime Collaboration (CPC) is based on years of partnership and collaboration between Cisco IT and the Cisco Network Management Technology Group (NMTG). Today CPC is a critical part of our internal video operations process, with useful capabilities like
- Proactive monitoring and alerts for video endpoint faults
- Real-time monitoring of live sessions and call session statistics reports
- End-to-end network path troubleshooting
- Endpoint and system inventory reporting
Figure 1: CPC Provides proactive monitoring of endpoints, sessions, and ports.
Video calls and TelePresence meetings in Cisco IT have become part of the Cisco global business culture. Utilization of video is high (for example, utilization of the shared 3-screen TelePresence systems has remained at about 68% for the past few years). One reason for this success is that, at Cisco, these critical video sessions run smoothly, without disruptions or noticeable drops in video or audio quality. High availability and high quality is essential for user adoption of video: all the components (endpoints, network infrastructure, backend systems and etc.) need to run smoothly without causing any frustration for users and distracting them from the communication effectively of the meeting. These disruptions are particularly unacceptable for high visibility events or sessions that involve executives and customers. Cisco IT uses CPC to keep video running smoothly when it really counts.
Sometimes, even the smallest things can cause the biggest problems in a video session. For example, at the Cisco House during last summer’s Olympics, a disconnected microphone went unnoticed until employees tried to use the connected video system. CPC alerts us to those problems before they happen.
Today, Cisco IT uses CPC to help in proactive monitoring video endpoints and detecting faults for all important video meetings and locations. UCVS OPS Command Center is using the CPC to perform real-time monitoring, management and troubleshooting of video endpoints that range from room-based Cisco TelePresence systems, to small group and personal video endpoints, to Cisco Jabber clients.
Figure 2: CPC supports end to end monitoring and troubleshooting.
For day-to-day video operation, CPC can help IT in detecting hardware and peripheral related problem where we need to fix or replace. Most important, CPC gives us the capability to monitor live call session quality and end-to-end troubleshooting to isolate a connectivity problem that needs to be resolved by the network team.
For those important executive meetings, my support team can use CPC beforehand to remotely check all of the systems and peripherals involved to make sure everything is connected and working correctly. We have also created alarms for certain VIP video endpoints so that if they have a problem, it automatically escalates to my team for immediate response.
Adding complexity to our video management tasks is the fact that many Cisco executives have Cisco TelePresence endpoints at home, where the video quality for the session is largely out of our control. Because these calls and business-to-business video sessions go over the Internet, we adapt our monitoring to filter out alarms for conditions, such as a drop in bandwidth, that originate outside of the Cisco network.
With the Cisco Prime Collaboration solution, now for both voice and video support, my team is able to deliver a high level of video service and user experience, not only for VIP videoconferences, but for all of our employees’ video meetings.