Case Study

Cruise Line Assures Quality Performance of Customer Mobile Application

Cruise Line


The Challenge
  • Assuring end-user experience with passenger-facing application services
  • Providing troubleshooting visibility throughout complex ship-to-application service paths
The Solution
  • nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform
  • InfiniStreamNG® software and hardware appliances and vSTREAM™ virtual appliances
  • nGenius® Packet Flow Switches
The Results
  • Reduced MTTR for customer-facing issues
  • Cost-effective single vendor for service assurance of voice, video, business applications in complex multi-cloud environments

Customer Profile

This global cruise line corporation operates dozens of ships and offers scores of excursions every year. With decades of experience in the luxury cruise market, the company relies on thousands of dedicated employees around the world to deliver memorable getaways to their passengers. Part of this commitment to customer satisfaction has driven the company to transform their customer-facing digital experience.

The innovative technologies on their ships include automated bartenders, armbands for customer purchases and stateroom access, mobile apps for reservations, VoIP, and video on demand services to name a few. Internet of Things (IoT) - supported enhancements like on-line reservations, electronic check-in, and paperless payment systems make the process easier for traveling customers. Additionally, data center transformations combined with on-board network technology enhancements comprise an ongoing effort to ensure that the tens of thousands of guests and staff can communicate for personal and business purposes.

The Challenge

For this company, customer experience is a top priority and this is apparent in the efforts of the IT team. From a passenger’s first experience investigating cruises on the company web site or with the company contact center, through to their digital experience on board ship with mobile apps and social media, performance needs to be flawless. Typical services that network engineering is committed to protecting include:

  • Passenger use of the cruise line’s mobile application for booking onboard meal and activity reservations, excursions at destination sites, room access via smartphone, and charging / tracking in-cruise purchases.
  • Use of on-board internet to stay connected to family, friends, and work, as well as quick access to social media for browsing and posting.
  • Staff access to corporate services necessary to provide an exceptional vacation experience for their guests – including crew scheduling; passenger billing systems; food, beverage, and merchandise ordering; ship operations and navigation systems, to name a few.

The network engineering group was looking to provide service assurance throughout their complex environment, from ship to global data centers, to cloud and applications, to ensure they have mechanisms in place to monitor and address application delays and outages that could impact the staff as they perform business activities in headquarters, ports, and / or on ships. Equally important, they needed to monitor customers’ digital experience throughout the passenger journey to assure quality targets were maintained throughout.

Solution in Action

The corporation was already utilizing the nGeniusONE Service Assurance solution with strategically deployed InfiniStreamNG (ISNG) appliances across its private data center and critical contact center environments. Adding this level of visibility to the ships and to their cloud services was essential in meeting IT’s quality of experience goals for their passengers throughout the voyage. The following outlines the ways the cruise line is leveraging their service assurance visibility from NETSCOUT:

  • Network traffic aggregation and distribution with nGenius 5000 series Packet Flow Switches for delivering packet data to monitoring tools including the ISNG appliances for service assurance and performance management throughout their data center, colocations, teleports, and many of the ships.
  • End-user experience assurance when using application services with smart data monitoring and smart analytics from nGeniusONE with ISNG appliances for customer applications, including the customer facing mobile app, as well as business applications including email, VoIP, inventory management, etc.
  • Accelerated troubleshooting and problem resolution, leveraging the entire NETSCOUT solution to reduce the mean time to restore (MTTR) services by pinpointing the true source of degradations, outages, and errors throughout the transaction path; including wi-fi and networked services on ships, in data centers, co-los, teleports, and contact centers.
  • Evidence-based capacity analysis for planning and budgeting using NETSCOUT solution to ensure all areas of network are “right-sized”, including wifi capacity on ships, satellite use for ship to shore communications, and ISP links to data centers and co-los.

The Results

For this cruise line, NETSCOUT solutions are providing insights into critical applications and services that are essential to their business and customers. They are improving their passengers’ travel experience with their mobile application for quick, easy reservations, room access, and purchases, and with NETSCOUT, they are assuring that performance meets target goals and objectives. It also maximizes IT efficiencies by using a single-solution approach to truly pinpoint the source of customer-impacting disruptions and slowdowns, while reducing MTTR to return services to efficient operation whether by the in-house IT team and/ or a third-party vendor. In fact, in some cases, they are able to stay ahead of issues using trended data for planning ahead of capacity bottlenecks and/or alerting IT when performance volumes, responsiveness, or error rates may be changing and require attention, often even before customers and users are aware that problems are emerging.

Further, the company is increasing departmental and third-party cross-collaboration as they gain trusted, comprehensive visibility with unified views into voice, network, and application services enterprise-wide with a single solution. This has the added benefit of reducing the number of vendors and silo-specific tools, which saves maintenance costs. Their customers’ getaways depend on minimizing frustrations, and this company is ensuring that performance for passenger applications and services, from ship to shore, is as seamless as possible with NETSCOUT.