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How Lifesize Maintains Reliability Through the Coronavirus Crisis

Reposted from the Lifesize Blog. Click here to see the source post. 

As organizations have rapidly transitioned tens of millions of employees to work-from-home arrangements due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and directives from health experts, they have come to heavily rely on technologies such as Lifesize to keep their distributed teams connected and productive.

With the unprecedented universal growth in video conferencing users and usage, platform reliability and performance are top of mind for many of those organizations. As such, we wanted to share some of the proactive measures we have taken to ensure customers can count on us to deliver, day in and day out.

24/7/365 Reliability to Keep the World Working

We’re honored to play a role in helping to keep the world working during an exceptional moment when much of our professional and personal communication is suddenly taking place virtually, through small and large group calls with colleagues, friends, family and more. Since making Lifesize video collaboration free and unlimited for anyone over the next six months, we’ve seen a significant increase in new users across all geographies. As of March 25, daily new user registrations for Lifesize month-to-date have increased more than 5,000% compared to prior months.

Histogram showing a dramatic increase of Lifesize users

As those new users join the platform, we’ve also recorded a greater than 500% surge in global Lifesize call volume and an 800% increase in concurrent call volume as compared to previous norms for peak periods.

While navigating those remarkable peaks in usage of our platform, we remain deeply committed to serving customers and delivering the high-quality Lifesize experience they expect and rely on to run their businesses. Our approach to maintaining high levels of quality, reliability and performance is grounded in investments in three key areas: infrastructure, customers and product.

Investing in Our Infrastructure

Lifesize’s network and architecture are based on Amazon Web Services (AWS), which affords us several distinct advantages, chief among them the flexibility to scale cloud resources up and down in response to periods of increased demand. Since the start of the coronavirus cycle, we have expanded capacity in every one of our seven existing AWS data centers around the world – plus we recently added capacity in two new regions to manage and absorb additional usage. Our global, 24/7/365 DevOps team actively monitors usage and re-routes traffic between AWS regions to ensure that service and performance continues unhindered.

Our infrastructure investments have allowed us to continuously exceed 99.99% uptime since the beginning of February without any quality degradation, feature deprecation or widespread usability issues. We are proud of our ability to continue supporting high-definition workplace communication experiences, from 4K and 1080p video calls to live streaming to a robust global PSTN offering for organizations supporting dial-in participants.

Investing in Our Customers

Given the rapid uptick in new users, we are also investing in training and support programs to help those that are wholly new to using Lifesize more easily access instructional content and coaches who can answer questions about the platform. Starting last week, new users can participate in daily training sessions hosted by our customer success managers. We now offer “Getting Started” support content in 11 languages, broadening its reach to more new users around the globe. These represent efforts to not only equip organizations with the technology to enable remote work but the comprehensive knowledge and understanding of how to do so.

We also know that local PSTN dial-in numbers are important to many of our customers that need to communicate with team members who may not have the bandwidth or proper environment to connect over video. To alleviate reported local carrier congestion, we provisioned more than 35 new local dial-in numbers, available immediately for audio-only meeting participants to ensure all calls go through.

Investing in Our Product

The final piece is sustained investment in the product itself. Customers must be able to rely on our continued innovation and the assurance that we are adding features and functionality each week that make their work engagements more productive, efficient and inspiring.

Recent examples include adding chat to the permanent meeting in free accounts which enables customers to communicate in more ways, UI updates to our web and desktop apps that make searching directories and calling even easier, and moderator controls to lock and unlock meetings to prevent unwanted guests or stop participant presentations if need be. These enhancements are rolling out to customers immediately.

Screenshot of Lifesize video conferencing App

Reliability Is Essential as We Keep the World Working

We fully understand that these uncertain times compel us to be an even more reliable and vital partner than ever before. Lifesize will rise to meet this moment, doubling down on our strategic investments in infrastructure, customers and product and enabling both a present and future powered by remote work for all organizations that require it.

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