Calling Government Contact Center No Longer a Taxing Experience for Residents
- Gaps in Cisco UC&C monitoring
- Blind spots in agency’s cloud environment
- nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform
- vSTREAM™ virtual appliances
- Citizens experiencing efficient voice communications with tax agency’s Contact Center
- Comprehensive, real-time monitoring of agency’s Cisco UC&C environment
This National Tax Agency is capitalizing on the promise of digital transformation by using next-generation platforms to securely process billions of annual transactions for the country’s residents.
Beyond technology innovation, the agency’s successful execution of tax collection, annuity, and higher-education financial services transactions are reliant upon the efforts of tens of thousands of employees located in business offices and Contact Centers regionally based across the country.
Delivering government financial processing services on a national scale requires a significant information technology (IT) commitment. As a result, the agency had outsourced operations of numerous vendor technology platforms to a trusted managed service provider (MSP), including voice and Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) solutions operating at 10 government locations and numerous Contact Centers supporting the public.
For the agency’s Contact Center agents, their daily success relied in part on performance of a Cisco UC&C environment that included:
- Cisco Voice over IP (VoIP) for audio
- Cisco telepresence for video conferencing between employees located in various Tax Agency services
- Cisco Jabber for collaboration services
With quarterly residential and business tax-filing deadlines fast approaching, the MSP managing the telecommunications environment wanted to ensure Contact Center agents were better equipped to handle the rise in customer calls they experienced every year around this time. Citizens expect quick answers to questions that include “What do I owe?” and “How much have I already paid?”, and the nature of these financial calls is critically important to the residents and business owners initiating them.
The MSP team used several vendor solutions to help monitor Contact Center service performance, and when they reviewed the application performance monitoring (APM) tool they had been using to assure UC technology, they saw problematic shortcomings, including:
- Limited UC performance metrics for Cisco voice, video, and collaboration services
- A lack of visibility into, and awareness of, the network as an important element of overall UC performance
- An inability to visualize and monitor agency traffic in cloud environments
- Lack of visibility into east-west network traffic within the agency’s internal environment
With an important tax filing milestone looming and Contact Center call volumes increasing, IT saw an increased need to ensure the supporting Cisco voice environment operated without delays, echo, or other issues that could further put off citizens and business owners looking to the agency for financial guidance. The MSP likewise looked to improve the performance of voice and UC platforms supporting users at the agency offices.
Regardless of any new technology selected, the agency and MPS were fully aware the solution would need to be deployed quickly to accommodate tax season, as well as economically in a manner compliant with government cost containment guidelines.
Solution in Action
The MSP is improving the quality of services delivered to the country’s tax payers by deploying a NETSCOUT® nGeniusONE Service Assurance platform that provides converged, real-time monitoring of the agency’s Cisco U&C, network, application, and cloud services environments. nGeniusONE smarter analytics provide IT experts with single-pane-of-glass visibility into Contact Center technology performance, leveraging NETSCOUT smart data generated by vSTREAM virtual appliances installed on virtualized platforms in nine different agency locations.
Beyond public-facing Contact Center voice services, the MSP is improving productivity of internal video conferencing and collaboration sessions, with nGeniusONE offering a robust Cisco UC&C performance management solution that factors the agency’s multi-tier, multi-location environment. Beyond the media monitoring limitations of their legacy APM tool, nGeniusONE UC&C performance analytics can be viewed by a range of keys, such as location (community of users), servers, applications, and sessions. As a result, the MSP team can quickly resolve service quality issues before they become apparent to agency users by leveraging nGeniusONE proactive application and network analysis, service quality alerts, and continuous monitoring functionality.
Residents reaching out to Contact Center to speak with an agent regarding payment or credit questions, a tax issue, or concern with receiving a government benefit credit due to them are now assured of high-quality, efficient voice quality exchanges with the agency resource answering their call. Improving Contact Center customer service delivery in this manner helps enhance the public’s perception of this high-profile agency and assists the organization’s efforts to avoid adverse news reports or social media coverage, allowing leadership to better focus on their financial service mission to the government and its citizens.
For a modern IT environment of this size, there is frequently an emphasis on tool consolidation, and NETSCOUT was able to answer this challenge from both technology and cost containment perspectives. With the nGeniusONE and vSTREAM approach, the agency now has a single, vendor-agnostic solution for converged monitoring of Cisco voice, video, and collaboration services that also factors the network, cloud environment, and other business applications contributing to Contact Center service delivery.
While it can be challenging financially for the agency to introduce new tools into this environment, they were able to meet cost containment guidelines, with NETSCOUT technology approaching CapEX/OpEx thresholds nearly equivalent to recurring support coverage for another monitoring tool that was not meeting their needs. At the same time, NETSCOUT allows the agency to realize fuller value from the performance of its in-place Cisco UC&C and Cloud environments through increased performance assured by NETSCOUT smart visibility and real-time monitoring approach.