European Insurer Optimizes User Experience With NETSCOUT
- Dramatic VPN expansion, new IT visibility requirements
- Hybrid workforce reliant on transforming internal voice, video, conferencing UC&C platforms
- nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform
- NETSCOUT® InfiniStreamNG® appliance, with Advanced Module
- Efficient hybrid workforce transition
- Reliable performance of business-critical UC&C services over VPN
This European insurer operates as a subsidiary of a financial services company whose commercial reach includes operations on several continents. The insurer specializes in the personal, life, and property coverage markets and supports more than 15 million policyholders.
For years, their information technology (IT) team ensured reliable performance across their internal voice environment with NETSCOUT, using InfiniStreamNG (ISNG) and Lync Collector data sources and nGeniusONE Unified Communications (UC) analytics to:
- Evaluate call set-up issues, with analysis of session initiation protocol (SIP) utilization and error details
- Investigate call routing delays, misrouting, and drops
- Troubleshoot voice quality issues, with the ability to provide mean opinion scores (MOS), visualize quality of service (QoS) assignments and misconfigurations, and identify latency and dropped packets that can hinder call quality
In IT environments of this scale, reduced vendor management and consolidated operating expenses are frequent cost containment targets, and this insurer worked toward achieving those goals by also deploying NETSCOUT’s Arbor Edge Defense (AED) inline security appliance and Arbor Cloud DDoS Protection Services to enhance their cybersecurity profile.
All told, the IT team saw a 300% increase in virtual private network (VPN) traffic as a result of the insurer’s move to a hybrid workforce.
With user experience never at a higher priority in this evolving insurance business environment, their dedicated IT Performance Team had a sustained focus on assuring employees had reliable access to the applications and services necessary for delivering high-quality insurance services to policyholders.
As a result of the hybrid workforce transition, the Performance Team had to manage corresponding increases in VPN bandwidth required to support voice and video services, network speeds, and Internet links at the data center to 10GB capacity for remote office operations. Beyond managing these capacity and speed issues, the expanse of Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) solutions being accessed over VPN and Internet links also required attention. The insurer’s internal communications increasingly relied on Microsoft Teams, Cisco UC, Polycom, and Genesys solutions being accessed over the VPN and Internet links, all of which needed to be managed by the Performance Team.
While the IT team had long deployed ISNG technology to bring visibility into the performance of their voice environment, the VPN had not been similarly instrumented with these smart data sources. As a result, the Performance Team did not have the necessary views into the remote network environment, UC&C applications, or quality of user experience.
With the company’s internal business operations increasingly crucial in supporting the insurance subsidiary’s abilities to address customer policy claims, financial processing, and questions, there was an IT priority place on improving visibility into the hybrid workforce’s quality of experience using UC&C applications.
Solution in Action
The Performance Team was able to quickly introduce visibility into their remote workforce environments by deploying next-generation ISNG appliances with Advanced Module functionality, which enabled the following:
- Monitoring of expanded network, VPN, and Internet links, with ISNG appliances deployed at headquarters data centers converting network packets to NETSCOUT smart data in real time for use by their installed nGeniusONE platform’s analytics.
- Use of the Advanced Module’s Micro ASI capabilities to segment MAC and IP Address keys to increase the number of interfaces supported by the newly purchased ISNG appliances and segment that smart data with the ISNG according to those two traffic types.
- Redeployment of the company’s existing 1GB ISNG appliances to other locations to gain visibility into UC performance across other workforce environments.
- Bringing vendor-agnostic support required to assure performance of their native Cisco voice implementation, as well as the essential Microsoft Teams environment widely used by at-home workers.
The insurer’s commitment to NETSCOUT smart visibility and UC analytics enabled Performance Team specialists to confidently extend their monitoring, troubleshooting, and remediation coverage into remote workforce environments using nGeniusONE workflows already familiar to them.
As global businesses focus on managing costs by reducing IT tools and standardizing on single-vendor solution environments, it is important they partner with industry leaders whose technology can support ongoing organizational digital transformations, whether they involve a remote workforce transition or moves to new UC&C platforms.
When the insurer transitioned operations from branch locations and corporate facilities to remote offices, the Performance Team recognized they needed a vendor-neutral approach for smart visibility to assure user experience – otherwise, service delivery to policyholders would be negatively impacted, potentially leading to business losses.
With NETSCOUT, the Performance Team confidently managed this hybrid workforce transition by expanding the use of nGeniusONE analytics already employed in their voice environment to also factor VPN, Microsoft Teams, and other U&C services. The Performance Team also added required visibility across the transitioning workforce environment in a cost-controlled manner by deploying ISNG appliances with Advanced Module technology offering next-generation interface support, while also taking advantage of the insurer’s existing ISNG investment by redeploying already-installed appliances to further add visibility across the business.