Key Task: Analyze Skype for Business Calls

Use the Analyze Skype for Business Calls dashboard to find correlations that might justify an improvement or worsening in call quality (MOS score) in Microsoft Skype for Business or Lync on monitored devices running Agent for End User Devices 9.1.x or later, both for regular Office and O365.

For example, you can determine if most dropped calls occur when devices connect to the network over VPN.

The Analyze Skype for Business Calls dashboard

This dashboard includes many call-specific measurements like inbound MOS, outbound MOS, failed calls, dropped calls, inbound degradation and so on, and also attributes like call mode and call type, and advanced attributes like the microphone (capture device) or the headphones (render device).

Tip

You can also view and analyze this data using the SKYPE_CALLS_RAW REST API. (Learn more).

Procedure

  1. Step 1 Open a browser and sign in to Aternity.
  2. Step 2 Select Main Menu > Analyze > Skype for Business Calls.
    Access Analyze Skype for Business Calls
  3. Step 3 Choose the the data to view for your investigation, by selecting Measurement Group on the right hand side.
    Choose the columns of measurements to display in this dashboard
    Field Description
    Audio Inbound Jitter

    Displays the differences (variance) in the delay of incoming audio packets from the other caller, or (in conference calls) from the Skype server to a caller, measured in milliseconds.

    Wide differences in delay (above 30ms) means that some packets are much slower than others, so when they arrive at the other end, the order of the packets is jumbled, which creates a choppy or distorted sound. This is usually caused by network congestion, but you can counter it with a large enough buffer to re-order the jumbled packets.

    Audio Inbound Packet Loss

    Displays the percentage audio network packets in a Skype call which were lost in transit before reaching the participant. Any value above 5% affects audio quality significantly.

    Audio Outbound Jitter

    Displays the differences (variance) in the delay of outgoing audio packets reaching the other caller, or (in conference calls) from a caller to the Skype server, measured in milliseconds.

    Wide differences in delay (above 30ms) means that some packets are much slower than others, so when they arrive at the other end, the order of the packets is jumbled, which creates a choppy or distorted sound. This is usually caused by network congestion, but you can counter it with a large enough buffer to re-order the jumbled packets.

    Audio Outbound Packet Loss

    Displays the percentage of audio network packets in a Skype call which were lost in transit on its way to the other caller, or (in conference calls) from a participant to the Skype server. Any value above 5% affects audio quality significantly.

    Audio Outbound Round Trip Time

    Displays the time for an audio packet on a Skype call to reach the destination and come back again to the caller.

    Call Duration

    Displays the total length of calls actively connected during this time slot, in seconds.

    Note

    The call duration is NOT the usage time of Skype/Lync, since you can continue a call while the application runs in the background, or you can perform IM chats in the foreground without making a call.

    Call Volumes

    Displays the total number of calls, including dropped calls and failed calls during the dashboard timeframe.

    Combined MOS

    The combined MOS score (and status) for a device is the LOWER value of the inbound MOS and outbound MOS scores in a call.

    Dropped Calls

    A call is dropped if Skype for Business or Lync ended the call unexpectedly, without the user manually ending the call. Aternity reports the failure and its reason.

    Failed Calls

    A call fails if Skype for Business or Lync could not successfully establish a connection and start. Aternity reports the failure and its reason as the SIP code and SIP string.

    Inbound Degradation

    Inbound degradation is the amount of reduction in the inbound MOS score which was due to a poor network connection. A high degradation indicates that the poor network MOS (packet loss, network jitter) played a significant role in lowering the audio experience.

    Inbound MOS

    The inbound MOS (or inbound listening MOS) for someone in a call is the MOS score of the incoming audio or video, showing if you clearly hear others in the call over background noise or a poor connection (inbound network MOS). The inbound MOS of a listener is the same as the outbound MOS of the speaker.

    For example, if the other person spoke softly, or there was poor network speeds, or a dog was barking, it would lower the inbound MOS.

    Inbound Network MOS

    The inbound network MOS is part of the overall inbound listening MOS which focuses on the network connection quality like packet loss and network jitter.

    Outbound MOS

    The outbound MOS for someone in a call is the MOS score of your outgoing audio or video, showing if others clearly hear you in the call over background noise or a slow network (inbound network MOS).

    For example, if you have a poor microphone or speak quietly far away from the mic, it would reduce your outbound MOS score for that call.

    Score

    Displays the activity score of all combined MOS scores during the timeframe.

    Aternity creates baselines for MOS scores in exactly the same way that it baselines activity response times, combining them into an activity score and a status. A dropped call lowers the score's status (like from Good to Fair). Failed calls always have a Critical status.

    Use the score to measure short term (acute) recent or sudden changes from regular baselined performance.

    Therefore if the MOS status has been consistently poor for some time, Aternity may display a high activity score, because its baselines would have adjusted to this performance.

  4. Step 4 Select if you want to see overall patterns in aggregated data, or if you need to see the raw data for each call.
    Choose the level of detail to view
    Field Description
    Aggregation

    Select the level of detail to view data:

    • Aggregated displays patterns of results by aggregating calls of the same type into a single entry.

    • Raw Data displays the measurements for each and every call, so you can view specific details on individual instances.

  5. Step 5 Focus your dashboard using Breakdowns and Filters, to assess whether you are on the right track to understand the cause of the issue.
    1. a Select the two criteria (Breakdowns) that you want to correlate, using the panel on the right hand side.

      When you choose two Breakdowns, Aternity displays them as the two leftmost columns of the dashboard.

    2. b Choose Filters and Filter Values to limit the display to the data where the attribute has that value.
    Select the list of the first two columns in the Breakdowns menu

    Select any of the following fields to appear as Breakdowns or Filters.

    Tip

    Aternity only offers to narrow data with filter values which are available. It does not offer values which have not been reported. For example, if you select Week Number as your filter, it will only display the weeks for which monitoring data is available.

    Field Description
    Application Version

    Displays the version number for this application, which the Agent for End User Devices retrieves from the executable's Properties > Details.

    Audio Forward Error Correction Used

    Displays True if Skype dynamically switched on forward error correction (FEC) in a call, to combat packet loss. FEC sends extra packets containing redundant information, to help it complete the audio stream on the other end, hence it uses more bandwidth.

    Audio Inbound Codec Name

    Displays the name of the codec which Skype used to understand the incoming compressed sound.

    Skype dynamically chooses the best codec to compress the audio signal, based on the bandwidth available and ensuring the recipient can unzip the audio on the other side.

    Audio Outbound Codec Name

    Displays the name of the codec which Skype used to compress the outgoing sound.

    Skype dynamically chooses the best codec to compress the audio signal, based on the bandwidth available and ensuring the recipient can unzip the audio on the other side.

    Business Locations

    Displays the name of the current location of the device. This is different from the Office, which is fixed for each user.

    For example, if a user based in the Houston office is working from the Chicago office, the Office is Houston, while the Business Location is Chicago.

    Call Directions

    Displays the way a user created a Skype for Business or Lync call:

    • Incoming are the people who answered a Skype or Lync call.

    • Outgoing are the people who dialed a Skype or Lync call.

    For example, if you have a call center and expect most calls to be incoming, you can confirm this expectation by monitoring the dominant call direction.

    Call Modes

    There are two types of calls in Skype for Business or Lync: Direct between two devices, or Conference, where more than two devices connect to a bridge to participate in a call. Each connection to a call appears in the dashboards as a separate entry.

    Call Types

    There are two modes of calls in Skype for Business or Lync: Audio only or Audio/Video.

    Callee Device

    The device of the callee (a Microsoft term) is the type of device used by the other participant in a Skype or Lync call:

    • PC indicates the other participant used Skype for Business or Lync running on a Windows desktop or laptop.

    • Conference Bridge indicates that this user was in a conference call, where every participant connects via the bridge. Hence the callee is the conference bridge.

    • iPhone indicates the other participant used the mobile iOS version of Skype for Business or Lync on an iPhone.

    • iPad indicates the other participant used the tablet iOS version of Skype for Business or Lync on an iPad.

    • Android indicates the other participant used the Android version of Skype for Business or Lync on an Android tablet or phone.

    • Mac indicates the other participant used the Mac version of Skype for Business or Lync on a Mac desktop or laptop.

    • Other can refer to a gateway or mediation server.

    Capture Device Name

    A capture device is a microphone, either built-in or standalone, used for collecting audio input to a Skype / Lync call.

    Capture Device Driver Ver.

    Displays the name and full version of the driver which supports the capture device in a Skype call. A capture device is a microphone, either built-in or standalone, used for collecting audio input to a Skype / Lync call.

    Channel

    Only displays if you defined a custom attribute using this predefined name.

    Use this name for an attribute which differentiates a device, user or location along internal business units or areas of the company like retail outlet or customer service center.

    Cities

    Displays the city of the current location of the device.

    Client Device Name

    (For virtual deployments only) Displays the hostname of a device which is connecting to a VDI or virtual application server.

    Client Device Type

    (For virtual deployments only) Displays the type of front line terminal which runs the virtual session hosted on a virtual server.

    If the front line terminal has an Agent for End User Devices locally installed, it reports the type of device of the terminal. Otherwise, if it does not have its own Agent, it reports it as a Remote Device.

    Countries

    Displays the country of the current location of the device.

    # CPU Cores

    (Desktops, laptops and mobile devices only) Displays the number of CPU cores of the device.

    CPU Frequency

    (Windows, Macs only) Displays the speed of the CPU processors of the device.

    Data Center Locations

    Data Center Locations in Aternity lists the locations of any virtual application servers (like Citrix XenApp) and VDI hypervisors (like in VMWare vSphere) which run the application. If the application is deployed both locally and virtually, one of the locations displays as Local.

    Days from Last Boot (breakdown only)

    Displays the number of days since the last time the device was booted. If you think that people experience slowdowns because they have not booted in some time, you can compare their performance with users who restart their devices frequently.

    Departments

    Check if the drop in performance is centered around a specific department, which can point to a configuration which is unique to that group of users, by viewing the performance in the list of departments. For example, if you find that only the Sales department is suffering poor performance, you can trace it to an upgrade which only happened on their computers, like a new CTI which interferes with your application.

    Device Name

    Displays the hostname of the monitored device. View it in the Windows Control Panel > System > Computer Name, or on Apple Macs in System Preferences > Sharing > Computer Name.

    (Mobile) Displays the Device Name field. You can customize the hostname of iOS or Android devices running your enterprise's app, so device names appear in the dashboards with a consistent naming policy. For example, you can dynamically assign the device name according to the enterprise username of the app.

    Device Types

    Displays the type of device reporting performance to Aternity.

    • Desktops are monitored Windows devices without a fitted battery, or for Macs, any monitored MacBook running macOS or OS X.

    • Laptops are Windows devices with a battery and a built-in keyboard (including all Windows hybrid tablet/laptop models), or for Macs, any monitored laptop running macOS or OS X.

    • Remote Devices have applications accessed remotely via an RDP protocol, for example, with Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection.

    • Smartphones run monitored mobile apps on a small touch screen within a mobile operating system environment.

    • Tablets have larger touch screens, and no built-in keyboard, running iOS or Android. If it runs Windows, it is defined as a tablet if it is a known model of a Windows pure tablet (like Microsoft Surface models).

    • Virtual App Servers offer multiple users access to a single instance of an application, for example, with Citrix XenApp.

    • Virtual Desktops offer the ability to run an application within a VDI environment, which is a virtual instance of the entire desktop operating system (usually Windows).

    Emails

    (Windows only) Displays the email address associated with the current logged in user.

    End Call Reasons

    Displays the quality and performance of calls which ended in different ways:

    • Ended Successfully are for calls which started and ended normally, with no unexpected disconnections.

    • Disconnected with Error: A call is dropped if Skype for Business or Lync ended the call unexpectedly, without the user manually ending the call. Aternity reports the failure and its reason.

    • Failed Calls: A call fails if Skype for Business or Lync could not successfully establish a connection and start. Aternity reports the failure and its reason as the SIP code and SIP string.

    Hypervisors

    (For VDI deployments only) Displays the hypervisor name if your application is running in a virtual desktop environment, like VMWare vSphere. You can check if the drop in performance in some virtual machines (VMs) is concentrated around a specific hypervisor.

    Image Build Number

    Only displays if you defined a custom attribute using this predefined name.

    Use this name for an attribute which displays the ID of the disk image used when creating this device's initial setup and configuration.

    Info1

    Info2

    Info 1 and Info 2 display extra custom contextual data reported by your custom activity.

    LOB

    Only displays if you defined a custom attribute using this predefined name.

    Use this name for an attribute which displays the type of business associated with this device, like life insurance, auto insurance, or finance.

    Manufacturers

    Displays the name of the vendor which created this device, like Samsung, Apple, Dell, Lenovo, and so on.

    Market

    Only displays if you defined a custom attribute using this predefined name.

    Use this name for an attribute which displays the target market or business unit of a location, or a user or device in that area of the company.

    Memory Size

    Displays the size of physical RAM of the device.

    Models

    Displays the name and the model number of the device, like iPhone 6s, GalaxyTab8, MacBook Pro 12.1, Dell Latitude D620.

    MS Office Versions

    Displays the high level version of Microsoft Office, like MS Office 2016 or MS Office 2013.

    Network Types

    (Devices with Agent 9.x or later) Displays the type of network connection of the device: Mobile or WiFi, and also LAN (for non-mobile devices only).

    Offices

    (For all devices except mobile) Displays the office where the current user logged in to this device.

    For example, if a user based in the Houston office is currently visiting the Chicago office, the Office is Houston, while the Location would be Chicago.

    On Site

    (Windows only) Displays true when the device can identify and connect to the Microsoft Active Directory site (either directly or via VPN).

    On VPN

    (For all devices except mobile and Macs) Displays true when the device is connected to the corporate network through VPN.

    The Agent queries Windows for a virtual network adapter with an active connection and a common name in its description: AGN, Checkpoint, Cisco AnyConnect, Citrix VPN products, F5 Networks adapters, Juniper Networks, OpenVPN TAP, Palo Alto GlobalProtect, Pulse Secure, PureVPN, SonicWall, and VyprVPN.

    OS Architectures

    Displays whether the operating system of the monitored device is 32-bit or 64-bit.

    OS Disk Types

    (Windows only, Agent 9.0.3 or later) Displays the type of hard disk containing the operating system. Possible values are:

    • HDD for a traditional spinning hard disk drive

    • SSD for a solid state drive

    • Virtual if this is not a physical device.

    OS Family

    Displays the broad category of the operating system. Use this to differentiate between different major operating system groups. For example, it displays all releases of Microsoft Windows as MS Windows, all releases of Windows Server as MS Windows Server or all releases of iOS as iOS.

    OS Name or Operating Systems

    Displays the generic name and version of the operating system (like MS Windows 10, MS Windows Server 2008 R2, MacOS 10.3, iOS 10 or Android 6). Use this to differentiate between different versions of an operating system.

    For example, it displays Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise all as MS Windows 10, or iOS 10.2 and iOS 10.3 as iOS 10.

    To view this information and the service pack version, see OS Version.

    OS Version

    Displays the full name, the exact version number, and the service pack version of the operating system. In Windows 10, it includes the release ID (like Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise 1507). Use this to differentiate between details of the same operating system. For example, it lists MS Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise SP 1.0 separately from MS Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise SP 2.0.

    Page Titles

    (For web applications only) Displays the reported title of the web page which an end user loads. The Agent only sends this information if the page is part of a managed web application (WPM).

    Pilot Groups

    Displays the pilot group to which the device belongs.

    A pilot group is a custom set of users or devices which undergo a change, like migrating to Windows 10, or updating the type of hard disk to SSD. You must assign a user or device to only one pilot group at a time, to ensure that you do not perform multiple changes at the same time.

    Regions

    You can optionally define a region in Aternity to group together several locations under a single label, like the geographical region of EMEA, North America or even Southern Europe, South-Western US any other grouping you choose.

    Render Device Names

    Displays the the manufacturer and model name of a participant's audio output (render) device, and the type of device, like speakers or headphones.

    Render Device Driver Ver.

    Displays the full version and manufacturer of the driver which supports the audio output (render) device.

    Roles

    Displays the job title of the current user logged in to this device. In Windows, this is the same as the AD Title.

    States

    Displays the geographical state of the current location of the devices (or area, if state is not applicable).

    Status (SLA of MOS)

    Displays the statuses of the combined MOS scores for the devices participating in calls which belong to this category. The status of a combined MOS score is its SLA status: above 3 is Satisfied (green ), between 2 and 3 is Dissatisfied (yellow ), and below 2 is Very dissatisfied (orange ). If the call failed, Aternity gives it a red status, but if it was less than a minute or without audio, it assigns None (colored gray ), because it was not possible to assign a score. If the call ends unexpectedly (dropped), Aternity lowers its status by one level, so that a dropped call with a Satisfied status becomes Dissatisfied.

    Participants in a call have their own MOS scores and statuses

    The status of the combined MOS is separate and distinct from the activity score, as it is more objective, because it is not derived from recent baselines. Use the combined MOS status for the status of long term (chronic) issues in call quality.

    Store ID

    Displays your organization's internal code that identifies each retail store.

    Only displays if you defined a custom attribute using this predefined name.

    Store Type

    Displays the type of store, for example, branch, mall, or superstore.

    Only displays if you defined a custom attribute using this predefined name.

    Subnets

    Displays the device's subnet configuration used to connect to Aternity (including IP v6 if the device runs Agent 10 or later).

    User Domains

    Displays the LDAP domain name for the user who is logged in to the device.

    User Full Name

    (Windows only) Displays the full name of the person accessing the device as defined in the corporate LDAP (not the username).

    Username

    Displays the username signed in to the device's operating system.

    User Role

    Displays user role descriptions customized by your organization, for example, Floor Sales, or Phone Support.

    Only displays if you defined a custom attribute using this predefined name.

    Wifi BSSID

    (From Agent 9.2 or Agent for Mac 2.3) Displays the ID (MAC address) of the wireless access point, which the device currently uses to connect to a WiFi network.

    Wifi SSID

    (From Agent 9.2, or Agent for Mac 2.0 and mobile) Displays the name of the WiFi network where the device currently connects.

  6. Step 6 You can change the start time of the data displayed in this dashboard in the Timeframe menu in the top right corner of the dashboard.

    You can change the start time of the data displayed in this dashboard in the Timeframe menu in the top right corner of the dashboard.

    You can access data in this dashboard (retention) going back up to 90 days.

    This dashboard displays raw data in real time, refreshing every time you access it or whenever you manually refresh the browser page.