Case Study

Pharma Improves End-User Experience with NETSCOUT Smart Visibility

Pharma Improves End-User Experience with NETSCOUT Smart Visibility


The Challenge
  • Network visibility blind spots compromising cross-business IT success
  • Issues with Unified Communications and Cisco UCS performance transparency
The Solution
  • nGeniusONE® Service Assurance Platform
  • InfiniStreamNG™ certified software appliances
  • nGenius packet flow switch certified software appliances
The Results
  • Improved network and UC performance, more efficient application development environment
  • Smart visibility and common real-time information platform for cross-company IT efficiencies

Customer Profile

This U.S. pharmaceutical company provides wide-ranging health benefits management services that support both government and commercial insurance programs. The company’s prescription management programs enable customers to save money on their scripts, providing access to wide-ranging healthcare solutions that include critical high-end and cancer care drugs.

Like many organizations that are counted as part of the healthcare ecosystem, network and application availability is critical. This pharma’s data center operations and remote distribution centers help the business supply more than 1 billion prescriptions annually.

The Challenge

In wanting to improve business service delivery across this environment, the company had made the strategic decision to deploy open compute technology that offered their organization increased deployment flexibility, as well as associated reductions in both capital expenditures (CAPEX) and operating expenses (OPEX). Management has also established an organizational goal deploying one common performance analytics platform for use across its many information technology (IT) teams.

The time came to update their service assurance and packet broker hardware. In response, the company’s satisfied its open compute platform technology goals by earlier selecting the NETSCOUT® “smart data, smarter analytics” approach, which factors a software-based appliance versus traditional hardware solution.

The pharma’s Network Infrastructure organization was the first team to benefit from enhanced data center visibility, using the NETSCOUT solution to “intercept, collect, and analyze” data along both the data center and Internet edge. With InfiniStreamNG (ISNG) certified software appliances and NETSCOUT’s patented Adaptive Service Intelligence™ (ASI) technology generating the smart data used for nGeniusONE smarter performance analytics, the Network Infrastructure team now had full and transparent visibility to network links, with real-time nGeniusONE analytics providing enhanced views showing network latency and performance-based service alerts.

While these early returns on investment (ROI) were getting noticed, there were other information IT teams reporting they were still working blind. For example:

  • The Test & Development team needed more visibility into their application development environment that would allow them, for example, to rapidly differentiate whether there was a problem with application code or an issue with the platform, and thereby increase deployment efficiencies for critical pharma business applications.
  • Similarly, the Unified Communications (UC), Voice Telecommunications (Telecom), and Cisco Unified Communications Services (Cisco UCS) teams all reported multiple areas of non-visibility. For these teams, a recently deployed UC Monitoring platform was not delivering the desired transparency into the pharma’s media and collaboration platforms.
  • The company’s designated IT troubleshooting team had similar visibility issues. Rather than proactively addressing potential issues through use of clear enterprise visibility, the troubleshooting team had to wait for issues to happen again. Existing troubleshooting processes instead relied on forensics activities using network packets gathered via network spans.
  • Collectively, these organizations wanted to benefit from the same type of smart visibility enjoyed by the Network Infrastructure team and began pursuing internal initiatives to do so.

Solution in Action

Numerous IT teams are improving business service delivery across the company, benefiting from the enhanced smart visibility NETSCOUT is bringing across IT operations.

Given internal budgeting processes, IT teams are sequentially deploying NETSCOUT visibility projects like that of Network Infrastructure organization, with the nGeniusONE platform, ISNG certified software appliances, and nGenius packet flow switch certified software appliances forming the solution’s smart data core.

For example, the Test & Development team is improving pharma software application development efficiencies by using nGeniusONE to show whether a perceived performance issue truly relates to an application or, instead, another service delivery dependency.

The UC team is improving voice and media availability at the data center edge using the NETSCOUT solution to troubleshoot voice and video traffic issues, visualize trend statistics, and establish traffic baselines. The vendor-independent nGeniusONE platform provides deep, comprehensive insights into the root cause of service quality issues with several of the company’s UC systems, including Cisco UCS platforms. Using contextual workflows, the precise location and source of service degradation can be easily identified with the help of system-wide visibility. The UC and UCS teams use nGeniusONE Service Dependency views to reduce mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR), keeping the UC&C infrastructure operating at peak performance.

The company’s IT troubleshooting team is likewise reducing MTTR, using NETSCOUT’s open compute technology to more effectively spin up services to proactively identify issues rather than post-event, packet-based forensics analysis.

The Results

The company has met their financial, open compute, and single-platform goals by deploying NETSCOUT’s smart data and smarter analytics technology across the IT landscape.

Harmonized IT teams using a common nGeniusONE platform are improving the way they do business, with more efficient application development, UC performance, and technology troubleshooting atop that list.

Regardless of technical focus, the company’s IT specialists can use real-time nGeniusONE single-pane views to improve performance of the technology platforms that help the business deliver services internally and to its customers.

NETSCOUT’s broad visibility throughout the environment enables this company to eliminate the blind spots across data center operations, including network edge, internet edge, or data center interior.