Last time we discussed the planning phase for your network. In this article we’ll be continuing with the subject of your network but instead we will be focusing on the monitoring of your network and what services Microsoft provides so you can ensure your network is running smoothly and your end users are having an excellent experience with Teams calling/conferencing. With that said, let’s first start with a fan favorite that has been around since Skype for Business Server 2015 called CQD – Call Quality Dashboard!
What is Call Quality Dashboard?
For those of you that aren’t familiar with CQD and have not had the opportunity to use it with either Skype for Business Server 2015 or Skype for Business Online, I’ll give a quick overview of what the tool does and how it is used. CQD is a tool used to help answer systemic questions about your networks quality and reliability in terms of supporting media traffic. The key concept of CQD is based on data cubes that provide dimension, which are descriptive categories such as location and region, measures which are facts or numbers such as number of poor calls, and finally filters which includes the date to be included/excluded. To put this all together, you could easily get information in a scenario where you wanted to show the number of poor calls (measure), by building (dimension) and filter on the past month. To summarize the tool, CQD provides the ability for you to look at trends by month, week, day and gives you flexibility with your reporting to manipulate different data points in order to output only data you are specifically looking for. In addition to what is mentioned above, CQD gives you the ability to integrate the location-based information so you can upload your building, region, and network information within the tenant. After this information is uploaded CQD will show the location where you media quality issues lie and lets you get extremely granular with your reporting abilities. With some of the latest updates to CQD, Microsoft expanded the list of dimension data from 270 dimensions to 354 dimensions to expand CQD abilities to, Skype for Business Online, Teams and now Skype for Business Server (with Skype for Business server connector). In addition, there has been an expansion to 229 different measurements for call quality and reliability for audio, video, and application sharing. With those latest updates also comes the addition of QER (Quality of Experience Report) within the CQD tool itself. This will allow you to look at things like audio quality and audio reliability. From there you can drill down into different subsets of these reports to see different types of calls such as: peer to peer, conferencing, PSTN calling, meeting rooms, etc. For more information on QER check out the official Microsoft documentation here. Now that we have covered what CQD brings to the table let’s discuss Microsoft’s other monitoring tool called Call Analytics.
What is Call Analytics?
Call Analytics is another tool within the Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business admin center that you can use to troubleshoot call quality and connectivity issues. Call Analytics is different from CQD in that it provides detailed information on devices, networks, and connectivity for calls and conferencing in Teams on a user level. In addition to being able to look at things from a user level, this reporting is done almost in real time whereas CQD can take multiple days before data starts showing up in the tenant. For those reasons alone, Call Analytics is the recommended option for troubleshooting purposes and CQD should be used for reporting usage and trends. However, just like with CQD you have the ability to upload the same .tsv/.csv file which contains building, site, and tenant information so you can troubleshoot on a more granular level. For example, once the file is uploaded you will be able to tell which buildings are having problems on a consistent basis so you can locate specific trends in the network and troubleshoot accordingly. For more information on using Call Analytics, I encourage you to check out Microsoft’s official documentation here for the full breakdown.
This concludes the second part of voice quality in Teams blog “series”. I hope you have found this helpful and check back in a few days. I’ll be putting out more Teams content on a regular basis!