At Obkio, we frequently get asked the question by potential customers: "Which plan do I need?". So we decided to share the perfect use case to provide clarity. What better way to illustrate the capabilities of our Basic Plan than by showcasing a real-life scenario of a multi-site SMB taking advantage of it?

This particular business operates manufacturing facilities, and multiple store locations, and employs hundreds of workers, presenting a diverse range of challenges and opportunities for network performance optimization.

Features of Obkio’s Basic Plan
Features of Obkio’s Basic Plan

The Basic Plan offered by Obkio is specifically tailored for SMBs facing network performance issues that often need immediate attention. This plan is crafted to meet the needs of companies that prioritize the reliability and efficiency of their network infrastructure.

Key Use Cases include:

  • Multiple Network Locations Support: Ideal for businesses with distributed operations across multiple sites, such as manufacturing facilities and store locations. Whether you're managing a network spanning various geographical areas or multiple office locations, Obkio's Basic Plan provides the necessary tools to monitor and optimize network performance across the board.
  • Dependence on Internet Quality: Designed for companies where cloud-based solutions and online communication tools are integral to their business operations, maintaining a high-quality Internet connection is paramount. The Basic Plan addresses this need by offering insights into Internet quality and ensuring consistent performance for critical business applications.
  • Cloud CRM/ERP/SaaS Use: As more companies transition to cloud-based CRM, ERP, and SaaS platforms, the Basic Plan provides essential monitoring capabilities to optimize the performance and reliability of these applications.
  • Support for VoIP and Video Conferencing: Ensures smooth communication experiences with platforms like MS Teams, Zoom, and VoIP services. In an era where remote collaboration and virtual meetings are the norm, maintaining high-quality audio and video connections is crucial.
  • Network Issue Troubleshooting: From latency issues to packet loss and much more, the Basic Plan provides comprehensive troubleshooting capabilities to identify and resolve network issues before they escalate.

Moreover, the Basic Plan is an excellent choice for SMBs looking to conduct a proof of concept (POC). It provides enough capabilities to showcase all the benefits and features of Obkio's network performance monitoring solution, allowing businesses to thoroughly evaluate their effectiveness and suitability for their specific needs & requirements.

But don’t forget that you can always customize your plan by adding additional agents, devices or users without upgrading your subscription.

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Ideal Use Case for Obkio’s Basic Plan: Isothermic's Experience
Ideal Use Case for Obkio’s Basic Plan: Isothermic's Experience

With a rich history spanning over 40 years, Isothermic has positioned itself as a distinguished player in the industry, renowned for delivering exceptional services and robust, surpassing-standard PVC and Hybrid windows and doors. Founded in 1982, Isothermic initially started with five employees and has now turned into a thriving enterprise with over 250 employees across its factory and network of stores in Quebec.

The Challenge: Navigating Microsoft Teams & Internet VPN Performance Issues
The Challenge: Navigating Microsoft Teams & Internet VPN Performance Issues

When Hans joined Isothermic as IT Director, he faced a critical task: resolving persistent issues with Microsoft Teams. Continuous crashes disrupted team communication, leaving Hans and his team in the dark without monitoring tools. The situation escalated to an "emergency mode" as Hans grappled with the challenge of navigating the network landscape.

“So people were receptive, but they couldn't sustain a Teams conversation, and it kept crashing all the time. And well, I was alone, in the dark, with zero monitoring tools. At that point, I didn't even know how our store was set up, what was connected to what, etc.”
Hans Laroche
IT Director, Isothermic

Beyond Teams, interruptions in IP telephony and call drop-offs added to the complexity. Mitel's IP telephony service utilized IPSec VPN architecture, routed through the Data Center, introducing further challenges.

Engagements with the Managed Service Provider (MSP) led to a blame game, raising questions about the root cause - Telecom link or MSP-managed firewall?

Microsoft Teams & Internet Performance Case Study

If your company has manufacturing plants and multiple retail locations, you are well aware of the management and communication difficulties that result from poor Microsoft Teams performance and the disruptions that arise from VPN problems for both customers and employees.

Amidst this chaos, the need for a comprehensive network assessment became apparent. Pinpointing the root cause was urgent, highlighting the intricate dance of troubleshooting, Service Provider interactions, and the quest to unravel network complexity.

The Solution: Path to Network Stability
The Solution: Path to Network Stability

In addressing the intricate network challenges at Isothermic, the journey began with deploying Obkio’s software monitoring agent in the Head office. This strategic move aimed to unravel the mystery of connectivity issues, providing a closer examination of the network's behaviour.

Multiple Network Locations Support:

Deploying monitoring agents helped Isothermic to map the entire network, presenting them with a comprehensive understanding of network structure. This step proved crucial in identifying potential bottlenecks and Internet VPN performance inconsistencies across their multiple locations and stores.

Microsoft Teams & Internet Performance Case Study

Dependence on Internet Quality:

A pivotal revelation emerged concerning the Internet connection, which proved to be both insufficient and costly. The Head office link, identified as a coaxial residential link through Obkio's insights, displayed drops and variances. The decision was made to transition to fibre optics, a move that instantly resolved the connectivity challenges. The information provided by Obkio helped Hans convince his team that this was the right move to ensure reliable Internet quality across all locations.

Cloud CRM/ERP/SaaS Use:

As Isothermic places high importance on its ERP, hosted in a private Data center, proactive monitoring became paramount. The ability to quickly identify issues, particularly in critical applications like the ERP, ensured timely responses, reducing downtime and enhancing customer experience. The visual representation provided by Obkio's Chord Diagram simplifies the monitoring process, empowering even junior staff to recognize network issues promptly and communicate with their service provider.

Support for VoIP and Video Conferencing:

With Obkio's visual graphs providing immediate insights, the team adopted a proactive stance, ensuring smooth communication experiences with platforms like MS Teams, Zoom, and VoIP services.

“If the phone stops working, there are no more customers calling, and you don't take orders. So, you need to be dynamic in monitoring to be able to quickly see problems and at least provide information to our clients. We call them on their cell to say, "You're down; have you noticed it's not working?" We'll call the provider, check what's happening, and get back to you. But at least they didn't have to wait for our users to call us and start pinging in a Fortigate to see what's down. Now we have a visual graph below, and with this view, you don't need to be a telecom kingpin”
Hans Laroche
IT Director, Isothermic

Network Issue Troubleshooting:

Obkio's role extends beyond mere passive monitoring, actively alerting the team to potential issues, and ensuring immediate attention to emerging issues. The Isothermic team utilized Obkio Vision, a visual traceroute tool, to pinpoint trouble spots for Internet VPN performance and implement targeted improvements, thereby achieving effective troubleshooting and network optimization.

Additionally, the Application Performance Monitoring (APM) feature empowers the Isothermic team to promptly identify and react to website downtimes, reducing response times and minimizing the impact on users.

Microsoft Teams & Internet Performance Case Study

Limitations of Obkio’s Basic Plan
Limitations of Obkio’s Basic Plan

While the Basic Plan caters to the needs of SMBs with specific requirements, it may not be suitable for enterprises with more complex networks or extensive monitoring needs.

Example: SD-WAN Monitoring

If your requirement is for a fully meshed network (SD-WAN), our Basic plan has limitations on the number of monitoring sessions allowed. For comprehensive monitoring of fully meshed networks, we recommend upgrading to our Premium plan.

This is because fully meshed networks involve significantly more data collection, storage, and interpretation. The Premium plan is specifically designed to cater to such scenarios, particularly for SD-WAN use cases.

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In such cases, upgrading to Obkio’s Premium Plan is recommended for comprehensive network monitoring and management.

Learn more about the Premium Plan.

Networks may be complex. But Obkio makes network monitoring easy. Monitor, measure, pinpoint, troubleshoot, and solve network problems.

  • 14-day free trial of all premium features
  • Deploy in just 10 minutes
  • Monitor performance in all key network locations
  • Measure real-time network metrics
  • Identify and troubleshoot live network problems
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