Leading Energy Company Powers Overnight Transition to Remote Business Operations With NETSCOUT
- Customer Profile
- Customer Profile
- The Challenge
- Solution in Action
- The Results
- Management sends home 13,000 workers in response to government stay-at-home work orders
- Uninterruptedly deliver power to business and residential customers during critical pandemic timeframe
- nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform
- NETSCOUT® Certified InfiniStreamNG® software appliances
- Energy services availability for residents and business during pandemic period
- Business service continuity throughout remote operations transition
This leading U.S. energy company powers one of the country’s most-populated technology, financial, and business regions. Their power grid also supports first responders and hospitals tasked with ensuring the safety of the regional population, as well as local universities, hotels, and other commercial destinations.
Delivering high-quality utility services requires the collective expertise of their 13,000 employees. In addition, the company has committed to:
- Embracing digital transformation to enhance power distribution and reduce costs
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- Increasing charitable efforts in the communities they serve
For years, the company has used the NETSCOUT nGeniusONE Service Assurance platform to help their information technology (IT) organization deliver reliable business services to their front-line field workers and Call Center agents supporting utility customer service requests and financial transactions.
Quite often, timing is everything when it comes to IT success.
The arrival of COVID-19 only emphasized the company’s need for timely IT efficiency. Standard monitoring tasks, such as assuring virtual private network (VPN) performance for a comparatively modest remote user base – typically, sales, support, and marketing resources – would only grow in enormity when personnel were moved to home offices.
Ultimately, leadership made this critical decision over one weekend – meaning nearly all employees based at corporate offices, regional business offices, Operations Centers, and Call Centers on Friday, would be working from their homes the following Monday. Regardless of work locale, the company needed the same high-level execution from these remote employees, including those tasked with essential business delivery functions, including field operators, transmission and distribution, engineering, finance, and customer service agents.
There’s no overstating the importance of this company’s ability to provide uninterrupted energy delivering during the pandemic. Without power, hospitals can’t keep their lights on, deliver care, or keep respirators running – representing true life-and-death matters during this challenging time.
As a result, IT needed to ensure their VPN supported business-as-usual service delivery to the energy company’s customers.
Solution in Action
The IT team was able to meet this challenge by relying on their existing nGeniusONE analytics workflows and deployed InfiniStreamNG (ISNG) appliances to:
- Visualize VPN traffic increases and monitor any associated impact on network, application, or business service performance, as well as performance degradations to user experience
- View the performance of two different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) operating from two different company Data Centers
- Generate executive reporting to validate VPN performance to leadership
Local NETSCOUT personnel played an important role in assisting these efforts, collaborating with their IT peers in the days preceding the work-at-home directives to establish a number of VPN-centric views and reports to validate service performance. These customized service dashboards and service monitors include:
- Daily Report, showing seven-day utilization of VPN traffic riding over Internet links, with baseline and current data showing VPN service classifications, response times, and ISP quality
- Traffic Reports, which confirmed both increased Internet traffic and decreased remote office network traffic
- Application reporting, showing certain apps spiking in usage over VPN resources
Leadership was able to view roll-ups of this nGeniusONE analytical data published on an internal portal available for executive access.
The company’s ability to deliver high-quality energy services during this time may have gone unnoticed to regional business and citizens otherwise focused during the crisis. But company leadership was likely unable to put a price on their ability to seamlessly transition company operations to a largely remote workforce nearly overnight – all without notice to its commercial and residential customers. Without that successful transition, the result could be cataclysmic to both the company and its impacted customers.
With the IT team’s timely execution in bringing the company to this steady-state, leadership was able to focus on other means of supporting their customers and businesses during this time, including donating to non-profits, minimizing the impact of scheduled maintenances, and waiving disconnects for non-payments.
The performance of NETSCOUT personnel and technology did not go unnoticed by company leadership at this time - soon thereafter, they expanded visibility for deeper and broader coverage by approving capital expenses to deploy additional ISNG appliances throughout their environment. With this added visibility, IT is better able to identify and successfully troubleshoot issues in remote voice and video performance without adversely impacting the business or their customers.