Case Study

Resolving Government Agency Technology Performance Situations Faster with NETSCOUT

Resolving Government Agency Technology Performance Situations Faster with NETSCOUT


The Challenge
  • Agency visibility issues and voice/video monitoring and delivery challenges at 500+ remote sites
  • Dynamic IT team transitioning to proactive UC monitoring approach to reduce MTTR efficiencies in Cisco-centric and Microsoft Skype for Business SaaS environment
The Solution
  • nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform, with UC smart analytics
  • InfiniStreamNG™ appliances with ASIgenerated smart data
  • vSTREAM™ virtual appliances for visibility into cloud-based services
  • Onsite Support Engineering for advanced UC monitoring, reporting, and troubleshooting expertise
The Results
  • Improved UC service delivery and quality for thousands of agency users working at remote locations
  • Reduced service tickets and MTTR cycles with proactive monitoring transition

Customer Profile

This Civilian Government Agency has national responsibility and operates numerous locations across the United States.

Like any large public agency (federal, state, city, county or provincial), efficient operation and communications from their networked services, be they voice, video, or business data applications, are essential for fulfilling their mission. Slowdowns and outages need to be avoided or rapidly resolved to ensure the integrity and quality of the services they provide to the citizens and residents they serve.

The Challenge

In delivering government services to residents across a geographically vast region, there were distinct challenges facing the agency’s collective information technology (IT) staff members:

  • Agency operators rely on Cisco IP voice technology to successfully perform their daily activities, and this Unified Communications (UC) environment must run without delay, echo, or other impairments that would otherwise compromise service delivery to both users and clients
  • The vast physical footprint of agency operations must be factored in the context of any successful UC monitoring initiative. For example, there are more than 500 remote sites that the IT team is responsible for monitoring, with all those locations reliant on high-quality voice performance
  • Local IT support at these remote locations is limited, meaning overall UC, application, and network monitoring falls on centralized IT resources •
  • The agency was expanding a rollout of a Microsoft Skype for Business platform for enterprise use, and visibility into this cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) would require technology that was not in the IT team’s current toolset

While the responsibilities of overseeing the delivery of network, application, and business data services in this wide-ranging technology environment are vast, the totality of the voice and video monitoring effort fell largely on the shoulders of a centralized, distinctly collaborative UC team.

While this UC team was highly efficient when it came to addressing service tickets, they knew they operated in a reactive mode. Wanting to address the challenges of real-time monitoring of heavily used Cisco Voice and expanding Skype for Business environment and improve mean-time-to-resolution when service issues did arise, the UC team had several related items on their wish list:

  • End-to-end visibility across the network, including all remote facilities
  • Performance modeling that would allow them to anticipate voice and video issues surfacing before service tickets were opened
  • Easy-to-use workflows and reporting tools whose output could be shared quickly across the IT organization to help agency teams resolve performance issues

Solution in Action

In solving these UC performance issues, this long-time customer is taking advantage of already-deployed nGeniusONE Service Assurance platform analytics and extended visibility into their remote environments offered by InfiniStreamNG (ISNG) technology. The IT team is using ISNG visibility to support their Office 365 Express route into the cloud-based Skype for Business SaaS Platform.

In addition, our vSTREAM virtual appliances are deployed alongside ISNG technology to bring IT visibility into cloud-based platforms.

With the single-platform NETSCOUT® approach providing the proactive monitoring solution they required, the UC team routinely benefits from root cause analysis predictions that are proven accurate on voice quality performance, using nGeniusONE Situation Analysis to:

  • Identify network, voice, and video performance anomalies employing the advanced nGeniusONE analytics engine to process the smart data generated by ISNG and vSTREAM technology from the agency’s network packet data
  • Automatically establish performance baselines
  • Generate alerts on significant deviations from those baselines

The UC team now uses defined nGeniusONE “communities” to view site-specific performance at remote locations, network links, or their data centers.

NETSCOUT Onsite Support Engineering (OSE) resources provide the UC team with guidance on nGeniusONE workflows, service alerts, and reports that can be used to enhance their efficiency.

The Results

The IT team is identifying potential problems long before they result in Help Desk tickets, thanks in large part to maximizing the end-to-end visibility that NETSCOUT provides into cross-network and remote location performance, as well as the UC service alerts and drill-down analytics delivered by nGeniusONE.

The team has used NETSCOUT’s UC performance management capabilities to:

  • Maximize their existing staffing profile to assure high-quality voice and video communications support for frontline agency employees delivering government services
  • Enhance their already-estimable reputation across the IT organization as one team well equipped to execute its service mission

With the success realized in resolving voice and video performance challenges across their remote network, IT management was encouraged to consider wider nGeniusONE use across the agency.

One Application Performance Monitoring (APM) team, for example, is further leveraging the agency‘s existing nGeniusONE analytics investment by using NETSCOUT technology to monitor a critical case tracking application that had proved problematic for two already-deployed APM solutions. In looking at alternative solutions to this case tracking application performance issue, the APM team was struck by the ease of nGeniusONE deployment and reduced-administration activities that would not additionally consume already-confined work cycles. By adding vSTREAM virtual appliances to provide visibility into this cloud-based application, the APM team realizes further efficiencies by leveraging well-versed NETSCOUT OSE resources to provide agency-aware nGeniusONE analytics expertise to those resources tasked with monitoring the case tracking application.