New Microsoft 365 Monitoring Platform Helps MSPs Avoid the 'Logo Blame Game'
- By Gladys Rama
- September 15, 2021
Martello Technologies, a recent inductee to Microsoft's Global Solutions Alliance program, announced a new platform this week to help partners manage their customers' Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams deployments.
Vantage DX is a a so-called "digital experience monitoring" product, or DEM, aimed at streamlining the process of troubleshooting the Microsoft 365 platform, down to identifying issues with Microsoft Teams calls, even if end users are scattered across multiple remote offices around the globe.
It's the type of product that's become especially necessary now. More companies are leaning on Microsoft's collaboration tools to connect with their remote workers, and managed service providers (MSPs) are met with a two-pronged challenge: how to manage the explosion in their customer numbers while staying competitive with other MSPs hoping to fish from the same pond.
"As you might imagine, with the explosion of Teams in Microsoft 365, there are a lot of MSPs out there either selling Microsoft licenses or selling support. On top of that license sale, they're looking for ways to be unique in the market," said Rob Doucette, Martello's vice president of product management, in a recent interview with RCP. "Being able to include capabilities from Martello, such as the Teams call quality analytics, serves as a great competitive differentiator for that MSP to stand out in the market."
The Teams call quality analytics, a feature in Vantage DX, provides monitoring, alerting and reports around end users' experiences with Teams calls. Unlike the call quality dashboard that's built into Teams, Martello's Teams call quality analytics is able to assess call quality by user group and assign custom alerts for each group. More information on the feature is available here.
Addressing Teams call issues in a comprehensive way is key for MSPs to provide value to their customers. Not only is Teams the centerpiece of Microsoft's vision for a more collaborative, "digitally transformed" future, it's also the product a lot of that Microsoft 365 end users will interact with -- and find problems with -- the most.
"If you have a problem with Teams, you may have other issues, but Teams is the one that people see first because it's real-time," said Martello CEO John Proctor. "If I've got a Teams problem, I will squawk loudly about it, and I will make some noise because of it."
Besides the Teams call quality analytics, Martello's announcement highlighted these other features in Vantage DX:
- Proactive Microsoft 365 User Experience Monitoring
- Microsoft Active Network Path Analysis
- Microsoft 365 and Teams Advanced Troubleshooting
- Microsoft 365 and Teams Performance Reporting (SLA/OLA)
- Microsoft 365 ITSM Incident Workflows
Efficient Microsoft 365 monitoring, Proctor argues, is critical for MSPs to avoid what he called "the logo blame game" -- the time- and work-intensive process of pinning down which vendor, from the end user's Internet service provider to the MSP itself, is to blame for a subpar product experience.
"The customer will call up the MSP and say, 'My Teams doesn't work, SharePoint sucks and it's all your fault,' An MSP goes, 'We will now investigate.' Now they have to spend the time and effort to say, 'Actually, it's not us, nor is it Microsoft. It's actually your ISP or it's your home network, or it's your laptop.'
"That takes time," Proctor said. "Whereas if, when the customer phones up, you can bring them upstream and say, 'Actually, I can tell you right now, it's your ISP that you need to have a conversation with.' You've just saved an awful lot of money."
Vantage DX is now in the "controlled availability" stage from Martello, with broader availability expected in October.
Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editor of Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and AWSInsider.net, and the editorial director of Converge360.