Global Call Center for
Extended Service Contract Providers
Call Center Application Reliability
Even with an experienced network team, the lack of true end-to-end visibility greatly increased fingerpointing and troubleshooting time among different teams – networking, server and application/ developers. Since multiple teams were troubleshooting the same problem, wasted time and resources grew with each issue.
With TruView, the network team has moved from just proving it wasn't the network causing the problem to providing the critical information and analysis to pinpoint the culprit – regardless if it is an application, server or network issue. The system has enabled collaboration between the different teams which has eliminated finger pointing and reduced the time to troubleshooting and solve issues – moving from days/weeks to minutes/hours.
For anyone with a mobile phone, electronic device, or even an appliance, you likely were offered an extended service contract for damage or loss when you made your purchase. Typically, the retailer does not issue the protection itself, the contract is with an outside insurance company. This extended service contract is likely held by this company which is the leader in product protection, delivery and installation, product support, product trade-in and recycling.
With more than 150 million customers across the globe, the company call centers receive over 20 million calls annually. Being a highly competitive industry where user delays are not tolerated, the need for application availability is paramount to the organization's success.
The over 5000 users across multiple locations expect high availability and performance for a range of applications including Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) platform, and Voice over IP (VoIP). In addition, is their own custom-built application, which is the critical link between the CRM and IVR systems for the call center support staff.
Once we moved away from the client-server architecture to a more java-and web-based interaction, understanding the architecture of the application and end-to-end flows was key, said the company's Senior Network Manager. "When you take tens of thousands of customer calls daily, any hiccup between the applications, servers and network will be noticed immediately. We do not have the luxury of making our customers wait or experience delays when contacting us.
Even though our network team is top-notch, the best we used to do was to determine the network itself wasn't the culprit, added the Senior Network Manager. But with the implementation of TruView, we can actually find the impacting issue whether it is the network, application development or server performance. It used to take days to pinpoint and solve problems, but now we can isolate issues in minutes or hours.
Like most organizations, the IT team at this company reports up to a single executive, but the respective network, application server and developer teams tended to focus on their individual requirements. When an overall application performance issue was detected, a flurry of calls and meetings started trying to find the cause.
Regardless of industry, history shows that when there is an application problem, most troubleshooting starts at the network. However,in reality, 90% of the problems don't happen at the network layer, but IT teams have been trained to start troubleshooting at layer 1 and work their way up the stack.
As a network manager, I have two goals when there is a network problem. The first goal is to identify and solve the problem as quickly as possible and the second goal is to only engage the network team when needed. We used to waste a lot of time and manpower chasing the wrong problems when the network is to blame less than 10% of the time.
TruView has radically changed our approach from reactive firefighting to proactive analysis and monitoring, concluded the Senior Network Manager. Instead of guessing what might be happening, we can address the actual problem and fix it out of the gate. The visibility into our own network infrastructure has been a huge benefit.
The customized application that links the CRM and IVR applications are the lifeline between its customer service representatives and the customers. The integrated platform was developed to seamlessly take the customer-provided information captured during the IVR and auto-populate the data into the CRM system. This allows the call center representatives to answer questions much faster with more accuracy.
Since we have multiple applications, servers and developers across the entire work flow, any application performance issue could be caused by many different aspects, stated the company's Senior Network Manager. We used to have daily meetings and the finger-pointing never seemed to stop any time there was an issue. With the upcoming holiday season, we were concerned it would just get worse as it is a peak season for new customer acquisition.
With the deployment of TruView, the timing couldn't have been any better because the response has been totally unexpected and overwhelming, added the Senior Network Manager. "Historically, the different teams only looked at their tools, but once I showed them the dashboards and the ability to look at the applications, servers and as well as the network, their eyes were glued to the screen – they couldn't believe what they were seeing.
Even during the initial overview of the capabilities, we had managers, directors and VPs from different groups asking for more detail and information, concluded the Senior Network Manager. I was amazed to see how quickly all of the teams saw value immediately and started becoming more proactive once they had the right information at the fingertips. TruView has really helped us break down the walls between the different teams.
As briefly discussed earlier, the vast majority of applications for the organization (as well as every enterprise) typically leverage the application itself, application servers and network components. While the inter-dependencies are critical, most organizations still silo visibility.
You can often find problems much faster when you look at the situation from a global view, but historically, we used to look at individual aspects and try to cobble assumptions together without a complete view," stated the Senior Network Manager. But with TruView's three-click architecture and the ability to drill down into the transaction itself, we now see things like application response time or data response time so we can identify any anomalies.
Now, instead of following the traditional approach at starting at layer 1 or troubleshooting every aspect at the same time, we actually can pinpoint where the problem is right away. When you think about how much time and manpower can be saved just by looking in the right area, the impact is immense. Now our teams are doing things they should be doing and not chasing ghosts for days on end.
The impact on our entire IT staff has been wonderful, concluded the Senior Network Manager. Not only is there less finger pointing and a better focus on critical projects, we've stopped the unnecessary after-hour calls when a problem is not for them. The employee satisfaction and productivity has been greatly enhanced with TruView.
For most organizations, the vast majority of wasted time troubleshooting comes down to guesswork, incorrect data and limited visibility.
TruView has really changed the way we play the game, stated the Senior Network Manager. Data isn't always black and white – the people doing the research can often skew the conversation.
Before TruView, the traditional troubleshooting process like packet captures or sniffing the line was painful and time consuming – it used to take a week to get any usable information from the packet capture," added the Senior Network Manager. "Now instead of trying to decipher a billion packets, we start at the incredible dashboard view and if needed, we drill down. A few clicks of the mouse can tell us if it's a network, application or service response issue. Now the right team jumps on it and the rest of us focus on our other important tasks.
One of the best parts of the visibility provided by TruView is that the application and server teams realized this wasn't a "network tool" – it actually helped them do their jobs better. Since the deployment of TruView, we've seen a radical improvement in both the number of problems and the time to solve. The right information is actually helping the developers code the applications better to work across our network. The system gave the developers and server admins information they could never get from their own tools.
The amount of power and information provided by TruView has been a great asset," said the Senior Network Manager. "Before we deployed the system, the network team was always on the defensive and often kept going down the same path over and over again and repeatedly solved the same problem. Too often the opinions were based on impressions, not fact – but TruView gives us the facts to do our jobs.
Before we had the dashboard overview, we were flying blind from a global perspective. But it's not just the ability to tell us we had a problem after the fact, TruView provides useful information with the ability to drill down – even to the transaction layer within a few clicks. Now that is powerful. TruView has been great at helping us with many different projects and priorities within a single system," added the Senior Network Manager. No we have visibility into our VoIP deployment as well as application and TCP metrics, all under a single, unified platform.
As an IT organization, Visual has helped us meet many of our primary goals, concluded the Senior Network Manager. Our overall application performance has steadily gotten better which benefits our staff and customers and the time and effort to manage the entire infrastructure on a day-to-day basis has also improved. TruView is a solution we plan on using for continuous improvement across all aspects of the network and IT.
The system has become our go to monitoring tool for analysis in cases of performance issues, where it's often difficult to prove and pinpoint the cause. By using the system, we win a lot of time in troubleshooting and we have vendor independent reports which make it more efficient in resolving problems. We now have more confidence in our overall IT monitoring and IT management capability.
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