Law Firm Achieves Quality IT Performance Around the Globe with NETSCOUT Visibility
- Lack of visibility to address poor content management performance globally
- Quality issues with voice and video communications
- nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform
- InfiniStreamNG™ appliances
- vSTREAM™ virtual appliances
- Reduced MTTR to resolve issues impacting their DMS & UC&C services
- Improved productivity of firm staff and greater collaboration between NetOps, AppOps, and UC&C team
“I used NETSCOUT to monitor video calls coming into the USA data center. I found a trend that there were calls with packet loss in the direction towards the data center and not towards the remote office or other data centers. NETSCOUT was key in finding the issue so quickly. It took me only a few minutes to determine that there in fact was packet loss and a location where to look for that packet loss.”
– Global Multimedia Manager
Based in the United States, this Tier 1-ranked global law firm of more than 1500 attorneys, 200+ of who are Chambers-ranked, operates out of 20+ offices in a dozen countries in support of their clients. Their areas of expertise in global financial markets and transactions and complex litigations have made them a firm of choice for many global enterprise businesses. Seamless operation around the world for all their clients has been their strategy and expectation. This includes swift access to client information, high-quality voice, video, and teleconferencing communications, and efficient internal communications among staff, attorneys, and global offices. No doubt, their law firm relies heavily on their high-performing data center and enterprise network.
The law firm depends on their Document Management Service (DMS) for all their client information, case files, court briefs, etc. It is in constant use, and responsiveness is expected when making decisions with clients, processing filings, and making background inquiries, updates and research. Attorneys and staff had been increasingly complaining of delays and disruptions in accessing information from the DMS application over the last couple years, and it had recently become a critical issue. The problems were global, both at headquarters near the data center and remotely in their worldwide offices, although some offices appeared to have more significant delays than others. One of their Asia offices had been substantially hampered by the slowdowns and were very concerned for the impact on their client relationships.
The IT team at the law firm had vigorously researched the issues, consuming countless labor hours over multiple months, even working in tandem with the DMS software vendor, without isolating the source of the degradations. The frustration and finger-pointing with the internal database team, the software vendor, and other third-party providers had escalated during this period as well. And the frustration did not end there, given the multimedia team needed visibility to address quality issues with the voice and multimedia systems around the world. At the urging of a new CIO and the Global IT Director, the law firm embarked on adding much-needed visibility to resolve the disruptive slowdowns and unified communications (UC) issues.
Solution in Action
The Network Operations organization, with direction from the CIO and Global IT Director, worked with the application and unified communications teams to research, evaluate, and select a service assurance solution to provide the visibility necessary to improve performance of all their services and remove technology issues from impacting client experience with the firm. They concluded the best solution for their needs was NETSCOUT® and selected the nGeniusONE Service Assurance platform for real-time, continuous wire traffic monitoring. They combined it with several InfiniStreamNG (ISNG) hardware appliances for their 10 GB links in the data center. In addition, vSTREAM virtual appliances were implemented for local monitoring directly on the VMware ESX servers in their “network in a box” deployments already implemented at each major remote law office, providing proactive network and application monitoring. Both ISNGs and vSTREAMs operate with NETSCOUT’s patented Adaptive Service Intelligence™ (ASI) technology, which leverages the high-value wire traffic to generate “smart data” for smarter analytics to assure performance, manage risk, and facilitate superior decision making regarding their application and network services.
Upon implementation of the nGeniusONE solution, the IT team attacked the initial issue of the slowdowns in the DMS. Within 24 hours of monitoring their global environment, it took them less than 1 hour to review the metrics related to the DMS application and other application dependencies – from the database to the WAN links. Leveraging the intuitive workflows in nGeniusONE, they reviewed service dashboards, service monitors, dependency maps and session analysis to pinpoint the issue to the DMS application itself. Armed with the evidence, the IT team conferred with the DMS developers to resolve the slowdowns within the app itself. The UC team has also used nGeniusONE to resolve several issues with their video multimedia system, including a major pixelated-image issue that was impacting both the user experience as well as the reputation of the firm, as clients tried to communicate with attorneys and paralegals.
Reducing the Mean-Time-to-Resolve (MTTR) issues impacting their remote offices and applications around the globe has been the biggest benefit to the network, UC&C, and application developer teams. When it comes to this firm’s clients, a pristine customer experience is the goal. There is a direct impact to their reputation and the business if the experience is not of the highest professional level expected. With nGeniusONE and vSTREAM virtual appliances now at their strategic global offices, the IT team can proactively detect and address issues as they arise to minimize or even avoid disruption.
Collaboration between NetOps, AppOps, and Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) teams has increased, with NetOps now able to share metrics, trends, and application information with remote office managers and the senior partners that will aid in their day-to-day operations and long-term planning. This helps to develop better relationships between the teams, as well as more effective IT budgeting based on evidence that didn’t exist previously. As many of the remote offices lack on-site IT staff, this has also improved productivity for the company’s centralized IT employees, who now have remote visibility into performance of the regional offices’ network and application services. The lawyers, paralegals, and local staff are also experiencing improvements in productivity with the resolution of the slow DMS application and poor-quality UC&C.