Elisa, Finnish market leader in telecommunications and digital services, operates 24x7 services for customers across the globe. A comprehensive video collaboration service is vital for the company in ensuring that everything works as fluently as possible.
"With everyone working remotely at the moment, we expect that everything goes smoothly, without the users really having to think about technology issues," says Juha Urho, VP of Company IT, Production Unit at Elisa. "From the user's point of view, the less we have to deal with our remote management service providers, the better. After signing the contract, we'd just rather not even think about it."
As the saying goes in the world of IT, the best kind of service is no service at all.
Remote monitoring helps to fix problems even before they occur
Even with the most advanced video collaboration solutions, everything does not always work like clockwork. Problems and unexpected interruptions are bound to occur; they can be caused by inadequately trained users, temporary capacity overload, interface collisions or something else that just takes everyone by surprise. From the user's viewpoint, two questions arise immediately: How can I get things back on track – right now – and how can I prevent this from happening again?
That is precisely why there are remote monitoring and management services; dedicated professionals viewing the chosen solution at work and stepping in as soon as something goes wrong. They are the saviours of every critical video conference, fixing problems even before they occur, or at least so that the participants don't even notice.
Elisa has chosen for its video collaboration environment Hummingbird, a remote management solution developed by Elisa Videra. While Hummingbird's ability to aggregate data from devices and usage is advanced by any industry standards, the way it cross-analyses and consolidates data can be claimed to be downright exceptional.
Hummingbird – more than meets the eye
"Hummingbird is a data system that provides immediate insight into whether things are going right or wrong," says Dave Carr, VP of Digital Developments at Elisa Videra. "Consolidating this information gives us a better understanding of how platforms are used and how the overall experience is received."
As a learning-based system, Hummingbird analyses insights continuously and uses the results to further improve its performance. As Hummingbird’s insight increased, the focus turns to the development of automated issue resolution and notification services, thus freeing up key resources, improving video system availability and, most importantly, supporting users every day.
For Elisa, this provides just the kind of reliability and complete freedom to concentrate on daily activities that Juha Urho expects.
To ensure systems are being used efficiently and benefits realised, it is important that technical experts behind Hummingbird view the world through the users’ eyes. Focusing on the usability and stability allows the technology to support and not to produce barriers, creating an effortless and trusted service, Carr emphasises.
From monitoring meetings to analysing asset performance
Following these principles, Hummingbird provides a complete view of Elisa's systems. Elisa uses Microsoft Teams and Elisa Videra's hosted Pexip video conferencing and collaboration solution, the data gathered from those sessions provides a valuable tool for further enhancing operational efficiency.
"The responsiveness of the system is an essential element of usability", Carr explains. "Within seconds you can get a two-year analysis of how a particular asset is used. No matter the global location or the level of the organisation, exactly the same data is available to everyone in the same way."
Different visual levels provide rapid access to holistic views, as well as intuitive drill down through to the most specific technical details of every component within the related systems. Simple and clear interfaces help ensure that every perspective is accessible and transparent throughout.
Hummingbird offers a holistic view of the company’s video conferencing usage data and availability. It helps provide the transparency and visibility of asset performance and use.
Telemetry monitoring data received by Hummingbird in near real-time and stored to support historic performance and trend analysis. Hummingbird also includes event and rapid anomaly detection.
Hummingbird’s initial focus is monitoring and management of assets and infrastructure ranging from video conferencing codecs to digital media players, networks and displays.
Technology has to adapt to the surroundings, not vice versa
The ongoing Covid-19-pandemic has turned out to be a real acid test even for Hummingbird at Elisa.
Juha Urho compliments that especially in relation to the volume of usage that has dramatically increased during the past year, there have been very few incidents to deal with, and it hasn’t been necessary to address any fundamental issues with the usage. The matters that have required participation have been about fine-tuning the service to fit the needs in the best possible way.
Urho is also satisfied with the fact that Elisa Videra has assumed a proactive role in utilising the gathered data to fix any problem in the customer's setup and to further develop the service according to the specific customer needs. This ensures the viability of Hummingbird also in coming years, when some of the current working practices may have to change – and some may remain.
"While remote working is certainly here to stay, the hybrid model will be Elisa's strategic premise. The freedom to participate in a video meeting from wherever, with whatever device, is a default condition. In addition to that, a service must be robust. Technology has to adapt to the surroundings, not vice versa."
This calls for an advanced, evolving remote management service – operating in the background, so that the customer does not even notice.
Dave Carr agrees that the best technology is the kind that works in the background, invisible to the user, allowing people to focus on their key business drivers.
"The key to technology is to not see it. Our aim is to leverage technology to enhance people and to support them to make better decisions based on accurate and timely information."
The conference calls can be examined by e.g. duration or amount of conferences per conference type.