Determined to address changes in the UC market and better meet its customers’ needs, Gen-i wanted a more detailed reporting and analysis tool that could provide better performance and accountability for its services. NetIQ AppManager® and NetIQ Unified Communications and VoIP Management solutions helps Gen-i meet SLAs through more effective monitoring while giving Gen-i a better perspective of its customers’ infrastructures.
“With NetIQ, we can pinpoint at which branches exactly the application has failed and gain insight into potential problems.”Andy MillerSolutions Design Specialist, Gen-i
Gen-i manages Unified Communications (UC) for over 3000 clients across Australia and New Zealand. Network performance issues can have dramatic effects on clients’ businesses, so the company endeavors to meet internal service level agreements (SLAs) and those it develops with each client.
End users of Unified Communications demand a particularly high standard of performance and availability. According to Ron Murray, ICT outsourcing business manager at Gen-i, this and recent changes in UC technologies led the company to strongly consider investing in reporting and infrastructure analysis tools to improve SLAs for IP telephony services.
“Unified communications is changing the marketplace and organizations now have infrastructures that are comprised of solutions and products from multiple vendors all working together,” said Murray. “We realized that we could improve the flexibility and scalability of our infrastructure to monitor these complex infrastructures more efficiently. Every client has different needs, and we wanted to tailor reporting and analysis to customer requirements.”
Gen-i made its final decision when an existing client put out a request for proposals to manage its telecommunications and core network. “We were asked to manage the core data network for a large bank with over 300 branches in the Australia and New Zealand region,” said Murray. “This included 7,500 phones, VoIP solutions, video and audio conferencing capabilities, as well as Session Initiated Protocols (SIP) and active directories.”
With this contract on the line, Gen-i actively sought to improve its accuracy, reliability and performance in the rapidly evolving UC market.
According to Andy Miller, solutions design specialist at Gen-i, the company looked at numerous vendor offerings for a new reporting and management solution. “NetIQ stood out from the other vendors we reviewed because its UC offering was more mature and in-sync with the current IP telephony market,” Miller said.
Gen-i was also impressed with the flexibility that NetIQ AppManager offers. Meeting individual customer SLAs requires a breadth of management and reporting modules. Gen-i can purchase core pieces of NetIQ AppManager and license additional modules to clients as their requirements grow.
“With NetIQ, we have strengthened our ability to service any particular type of organization, and we can easily scale our offering to suit customers of all sizes—which makes us competitive in the marketplace from both a cost and service perspective,” said Miller.
Gen-i now has a powerful and flexible reporting infrastructure that allows it to monitor service levels, call quality, overall performance, usage trends and capacity planning.
“First and foremost, NetIQ AppManager has given us the flexibility to tailor our reporting against specific service level agreements,” said Miller. “We get immediate access to graphs and statistics that allow us to illustrate why this target has or hasn’t been met, and how the infrastructure can be refined to overcome any issues.”
The NetIQ solution’s simplicity and accuracy also enabled Gen-i to reduce the size of teams producing customer reports and to redirect spare resources to other client-service areas—ultimately providing a better service for customers.
“We’ve also vastly increased our network trending capabilities, which has helped us to deal with issues more efficiently,” said Miller. “Our largest clients, like the banks and airlines, often have peak periods when networks are clogged with calls and transactions that may affect performance. NetIQ allows us to monitor these trends and pinpoint where the congestion lies.”
With NetIQ AppManager, Gen-i can produce incident tickets for customers’ phones, IP private branch exchanges (IP PBXs), servers and Cisco call switches. Incident tickets facilitate alarms, so Gen-i knows immediately when a service is down and can quickly gain insight into why.
Gen-i can also load an agent onto its clients’ servers to monitor application performance.
“With NetIQ, we can pinpoint at which branches exactly the application has failed and gain insight into potential problems,” said Miller. “By using NetIQ AppManager, we’re working towards differentiating ourselves from competitors by offering an insightful and proactive service.”
- Increased network trending capabilities
- Provided a powerful and flexible reporting infrastructure
- Introduced incident tickets, which facilitate alarms that let Gen-i know immediately when a service is down
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