Communication Company Establishes VoIP Benchmarks From Remote Sites
- End-user problems with the VoIP system were automatically blamed on “the network”
- IT could not determine “normal” VoIP performance for a site
- IT lost time on manual efforts to monitor VoIP performance
- nGenius® PULSE Server (virtual)
- nPoints (hardware and virtual)
- Improved end-user experience by identifying if a site has a VoIP issue before users are affected
- Improved collaboration between Network and Telcom teams and 3rd. party vendors, reducing Mean-Time-to-Resolution (MTTR)
- Quick time-to-value with easy deployment of nPoints at remote sites and immediate test results
This 90-year-old, global communications company supplies government and enterprise customers with infrastructure and devices as well as software and services. Their broad range of solutions are used by teams who need to stay connected, often in mission-critical situations. With over $6 billion in annual revenue, and over 15,000 employees, the company has a myriad of manufacturing, sales, and administrative locations around the world. Cross-company employee collaboration in support of their customers and business activities relies heavily on communications for this enterprise.
This company relies on a cloud-based service for Unified Communications – specifically VoIP, for communications around the world to break down barriers and improve productivity. With the VoIP system being used at so many locations, users had differing experiences. Key executives using the VoIP system at some locations in the US experienced performance issues while at the same time, critical remote sites around the world were reporting quality issues. The company has a process of escalating on-going problems to an Executive Committee, so the CIO tasked the IT team with fixing the issues before the business was more severely impacted, and the issues reached that escalation point.
IT did not have visibility and context for historical problems, so had no way to establish what was “normal” performance from any specific location. VoIP issues were often blamed on the “network,” even when there were server or application issues. There was not an easy way to identify root-cause or troubleshoot when issues did occur.
To compound the problem, the tool IT initially tried to use to monitor the VoIP system required many hours and resources to write custom scripts for each location. That approach was not scalable for their multiple global locations. IT knew they needed a solution that could be quickly deployed so they could start monitoring immediately.
Solution in Action
The company selected NETSCOUT’s nGeniusPULSE with “out-of-the-box” capabilities to monitor their global VoIP service. They initially deployed hardware nPoints at a few key locations. The nPoint functions as a phone in their VoIP system, making hourly calls, 24 hours a day, to a specific call center 800 number. Call availability and performance metrics (including loss, latency and jitter) for each call are tracked and presented in easy-to-understand dashboards. When a location does experience an issue with the VoIP service, IT can easily drill down in tests results to isolate the root cause.
With nGeniusPULSE, the company was able to deploy globally very quickly. After the initial immediate success, nPoints were sent to over 100 locations - mostly small sales offices, call centers and regional hubs of engineers, sales and support personnel. The nPoints were simple to install by non-IT staff and the performance-over-time data collected enabled IT to determine historical benchmarks for each location.
The communications company is improving the voice communications experience for their employees world-wide. nGeniusPULSE gives IT the ability to identify issues with VoIP availability and performance from any location. With an nPoint making calls even when no one is using the system, IT is often aware of issues as they emerge and can work with other teams and 3rd party vendors to reduce Mean-Time-to-Resolution. This approach is helping IT resolve VoIP impacting issues before end-users are affected or the problem is reported to the helpdesk. This decreases the volume and seriousness of reported issues.
The IT team is far more efficient and effective with automated, consistent tracking and trending voice services quality to their global locations. The historical benchmark data and knowledge of what is “normal” performance from each site helped IT designate “tiers” of locations based on use and performance of critical apps and establish appropriate SLAs to deliver more consistent support. They can send results from nGeniusPULSE to other IT teams and business executives showing the historical performance and highlighting areas outside of the network that affect the VoIP experience.
This global company quickly realized value deploying and using nGeniusPULSE to address VoIP performance before issues could negatively impact the business. The importance of communications in a global company makes it imperative that the end-user experience with the service is positive and productive.