Case Study

Insurer Regains Remote Workforce Visibility with NETSCOUT Smart Edge Monitoring

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Highlights

The Challenge
  • IT lost visibility into remote end-user experience and Call Center Agent performance 
  • Increased outages with longer post-incident troubleshooting cycles 
The Solution
  • NETSCOUT® Smart Edge Monitoring solution with nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform, InfiniStreamNG® appliances, nGenius®PULSE, and nPoint sensors 
  • nGenius® Packet Flow Operating System (PFOS) software for Certified 7000 Series Packet Brokers, Packet Flow Switch (PFS) Monitor and Fabric Manager 
  • NETSCOUT Premium Onsite Services Engineer (OSE) 
The Results
  • Reliable claim processing for millions of daily subscriber insurance transactions 
  • Regained visibility of workforce, regardless of location, service edge, or application in use 

Customer Profile

This regional healthcare insurer altered their traditional coverage approaches to better support the expanded needs of subscribers during early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their related guidance included fast-tracking telemedicine pilots, encouraging subscriber use of telehealth services, and coordinating home testing for diabetes and cancer screening. 

For years, the IT team has relied on forensic analytics offered by the nGeniusONE Service Assurance platform, trusting NETSCOUT’s packet-based data approach to manage their post-event incident response activities. 

The Challenge

The company’s insurance delivery, subscriber needs, and employee experience were all vasty changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example: 

  • Insurance business volume had increased to more than 40 million annual transactions. 
  • Nearly 5,000 employees had transitioned from on-premises locations to work-from-home (WFH) environments, including a vast population of Call Center Agents. 
  • With more WFH employees, the network and application monitoring effort now included an expanded remote/client service edge of the network that had not yet been instrumented with NETSCOUT smart visibility sources. 
  • Similarly, the network edge had expanded to include cloud edges associated with recently completed moves to Equinix Co-located (Co-lo) data centers, Microsoft Azure and Oracle multi-cloud services, and a Cisco® Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) software-defined networking (SDN) architecture. 

With blind spots across numerous network edges and on-the-move user and technology services, the IT team was further challenged when outages increased and Help Desk tickets took longer to close. Even when forensic troubleshooting successfully resolved an issue, an hour or more could be spent to manually forward a copy of the specific network traffic to an installed NETSCOUT InfiniStreamNG (ISNG) appliance to complete triage efforts. At other times, once the IT team had forwarded a copy of the necessary network traffic, that would only provide an incomplete picture of the issue at hand. 

These issues began affecting claim processing activities, which translated to adversely impacted subscribers and potential revenue loss. These problems surfaced above Network Operations (NetOps) efforts to control them and onto the Vice President level. As a result, the IT team consulted with their NETSCOUT business partners to review how visibility enhancements would assist their efforts to improve insurance delivery to millions of clients, while enhancing their management of digitally transformed end-user, network, UC, and cloud environments. 

Solution in Action

The IT team added remote client and cloud edge visibility and regained control of remote employee experience and insurance delivery processes. By partnering with NETSCOUT to incrementally enhance their existing nGeniusONE and ISNG investments, the Smart Edge Monitoring solution added smart visibility instrumentation across data center, Equinix Co-lo, multi-cloud, and WFH environments in a manner that enhanced cross-IT operations use — including Infrastructure, Collaboration, Video, UC, Voice, Network Infrastructure, End-User teams. 

Smart Edge Monitoring uses NETSCOUT’s Adaptive Service Intelligence® (ASI) technology to integrate end-user experience synthetic testing results from nGeniusPULSE nPoint sensors with network packet flow data  from the ISNG appliances into smart data consumed by nGeniusONE with the Edge Adaptor to provide analysis on alarming, viewing, trending, and contextual workflows, which enabled this cross-IT team to: 

  • Visualize and address emerging performance problems across their WFH user base, including how Call Center Agents and remote employees accessed and interacted with Unified Communications as Service (UCaaS), voice, and video technology investments. 
  • Assess the quality of service (QoS) experience in subscriber business interactions. 
  • Monitor the performance of business services and application workloads that had moved to new cloud edge locations, including Equinix Co-lo’s, Azure and Oracle cloud services, and Cisco ACI. 
  • Access hop-by-hop visibility into the transaction paths across this transformed service edge environment to differentiate the root cause of emerging problems before they led to service outages. 
  • Transition from a manually intensive, reactive troubleshooting process to a proactive monitoring approach that can be initiated at end-user, service edge, data center, or on-premises points of origin to stay ahead of emerging issues before outages occur. 

The company also invested in NETSCOUT’s software-based packet flow switch (PFS) technology to ensure monitored network packets are distributed from any network segment, to ISNG software appliance, as well as other deployed security tools. 

In addition, the company has further assured the organizational return on investment provided by the solution by contracting a NETSCOUT Onsite Service Engineering (OSE) to serve as an extension of the IT stakeholder team responsible for deploying and operating NETSCOUT products and the Smart Edge Monitoring solution across the business. 

The Results

The cross-IT team has gained much-needed client and service edge visibility they had lacked, with the Smart Edge Monitoring solution enabling them to assure high-quality end-user experience across any network, any location, or any service, regardless of where they perform their jobs. 

This improved visibility and real-time snapshots into technology performance, user experience, and subscriber-facing applications have all contributed to reduced outages and improved insurance service reliability. 

For the millions subscribers requiring dependable access to online and Call Center claims support during the COVID-19 period, the Smart Edge Monitoring solution could not have arrived at a more critical time.