Case Study

Using Smart Edge Visibility To Assure Healthcare & BPO Environments



The Challenge
  • Healthcare Contact Center CSRs experienced screen freezes during real-time billing inquiries
  • IT service edges between healthcare and BPO operations made for difficult troubleshooting
The Solution
  • nGeniusONE® Service Assurance platform
  • NETSCOUT® Certified InfiniStreamNG® software appliances, vSTREAM® virtual appliances
  • Packet Flow Operating System Software for Certified PFS 7000 Series Packet Brokers
  • nGenius® Visibility as a Service
The Results
  • Improved healthcare Contact Center performance for clients
  • nVaaS-guided understanding of service edge visibility across healthcare and BPO enhanced shared service delivery

Customer Profile

This leading Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) is driving adoption of their innovative “big data” marketing applications to improve their clients’ operations, branding, customer engagement, and retention initiatives.

The BPO enjoys client representation across numerous industry verticals, including insurance, media, travel, and healthcare.

The company operates numerous technology centers to host these applications and other business services in geographic locations offering close proximity to their customers.

The Challenge

The BPO enjoys a closely connected business relationship with one of their leading healthcare clients.

As part of the technology solution portfolio used for healthcare services, the BPO hosts numerous business applications in one of their technology centers, including an internally developed billing app. This billing application provided a crucial function in the healthcare’s day-to-day Contact Center operations. When a client called the healthcare’s Contact Center regarding a billing issue, the Customer Service Representative (CSR) workflow initiated a look-up from the BPO’s data lake to populate that caller’s insurance billing information on the CSR’s user interface.

However, over time, the CSRs began experiencing “screen freezes” during billing look-ups, leaving them to explain these delays to customers with standard Contact Center speaking points – “The computer is running a little slow today,” for example. These scripted explanations aside, what actually happened involved the BPO’s billing application repeatedly timing out, setting, and resetting. While this represented an intermittent performance issue that inconvenienced healthcare clients on a call-by-call basis, it was something that impacted Call Center Operations and CSR execution for more than one year.

Understandably, the BPO and healthcare company each regarded this as a Tier 1 service issue, with their respective IT Operations teams performing due diligence in troubleshooting their own environments but unable to visualize what was happening “on the other side” of the transaction.

Since this was a collaborative business partnership, some of the standard finger-pointing seen in such scenarios did not apply, with the respective IT organizations instead engaged in collaboration and conversations regarding potential root cause.

Solution in Action

This spirit of cooperation paid off when IT leadership between the healthcare company and BPO came to understand they were both NETSCOUT customers, each using the nGenius Visibility as a Service (nVaaS) consultative solution for running NETSCOUT service assurance and smart edge visibility solutions to help their respective businesses and applications operate at peak efficiency. Taking the lead from these two customers, nVaaS subject matter experts collaborated with each IT organization to understand how nGeniusONE Service Assurance and NETSCOUT smart visibility resources were being used to monitor this billing transaction issue on either side.

As a result of these nVaaS efforts, the BPO’s IT Operations team:

  • Optimized use of additional software-based NETSCOUT InfiniStreamNG (ISNG) and nGenius Packet Broker smart visibility data sources, with this solution generating smart data from network traffic packets that enabled them to access single-pane nGeniusONE views across their end-to-end service delivery environment.
  • Used established nGeniusONE workflows that took advantage of improved visibility to narrow root cause to an issue in their Cisco environment.
  • Capitalized on this enhanced visibility to identify other performance issues in their load balancer, application server, and Citrix server environments, all of which were excluded as the root cause of billing application concerns. Instead, the nGeniusONE workflow identified issues in Cisco® Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technology. Specifically, nGeniusONE’s root cause analysis showed there was a problem with ACI routing back to the data center core.

In this manner, the Tier 1 issue was closed out for both the healthcare company and BPO, with Contact Center CSRs again able to execute accessible, responsive, and reliable billing transaction support for the healthcare’s clients.

The Results

Absent these session timeouts, the billing record look-up process was a straightforward business transaction successfully occurring thousands of times a day between the BPO and healthcare. In this collective troubleshooting effort, these organizations leveraged NETSCOUT technology and nVaaS consultants to improve visibility across the collective service edge environment, including:

  • Client edges, with the healthcare company’s CSRs operating in both Call Center and work-from-home environments, the latter of which involved reliance on reliable access to Citrix virtual desktop interface (VDI) services provided by Citrix servers.
  • Hybrid network edges, involving both the BPO and healthcare company’s respective network segments.
  • Data center edges, with both BPO and the healthcare operating their own technology environments, each involving additional service edges (e.g., between load balancers, application servers, firewalls, Citrix servers, etc.).

In the end, this effort resulted in resolving an intermittent healthcare company’s Contact Center performance issue long before sustained impact to clients and the respective brand reputations of the healthcare and BPO.