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Xerox IT Outsourcing Moves Managed Services Business Forward with ReliaTel

ReliaTel Solution Helps Xerox Improve Service Delivery Processes

Xerox logoDelivering IT Outsourcing (ITO) solutions to many of the world’s largest organizations, Xerox specializes in  designing, developing, and  delivering managed services and customized IT solutions that help organizations streamline their IT functions.  Xerox leverages their more than 100,000 team members around the globe to provide ITO managed services for everything from data centers to desktops to networks to voice to midrange mainframes for Fortune 500 companies.

John Truetken, Director of Network Architecture, has been instrumental in growing the Xerox ITO managed services business, focusing on the converged communications and telecommunications needs of their high profile clients. Located in the Xerox Dallas facility, John manages a team of professionals who support the voice infrastructures of their clients, including PBXs, VoIP, and the underlying voice network infrastructure.

Moving the Service Business Forward

When John joined Xerox, the voice services business segment of Xerox ITO was relatively small, with approximately 7000 client ports under management. The operational processes utilized to support those clients’ voice environments were primarily reactive, with Xerox technicians manually collecting PBX and network data, and comparing snap shots of statistics to gauge capacity and performance trends. Problems or outages were typically reported by users, and resolution times were sometimes delayed by the lack of usable diagnostics, metrics and historical data.

As clients increasingly turned to Xerox ITO for help in implementing and managing VoIP, UC, and converged voice networks, John knew significant changes in their manual support model would be needed if they were to successfully expand their voice management services to meet their clients’ changing technology environments.

Armed with his experience and the Xerox culture of innovating effective solutions for clients, John identified the ReliaTel VoIP and UC Management solution from Tone Software as a technology that would move the Xerox ITO voice services business forward.

Proactive Monitoring and Reporting Fuels Service Process Improvements

After deploying ReliaTel as a proactive monitoring and management tool, John’s team expanded their visibility into their clients’ voice network performance and capacity trends, as well as any developing issues within the clients’ environment.  No longer was the team focused on responding to user reported problems by manually gathering data from an array of different client devices and platform-specific tools.

ReliaTel provides a central management solution across the Xerox clients’ voice environments, with extensive alarming and notification capabilities that keep the Xerox ITO team informed with essential diagnostic data needed to intercept and resolve issues before they become serious user-reported problems.

The impact to the Xerox service delivery process has been very positive according to John Truetken.

“ReliaTel has been able to save quite a bit of staff time in terms of removing the manual effort, and it has saved us money in SLA penalties. It’s given us more visibility into developing issues before they become significant problems.”John Truetken, Director of Network Architecture

Beyond proactive monitoring, John noted additional benefits they’ve realized from the ReliaTel voice traffic reporting and capacity trending reports. Previously, the Xerox ITO team was manually collecting some client historical data that was saved in spreadsheets and periodically reviewed. This process was time consuming and did not provide the complete historical data necessary to track client system utilization, voice traffic levels, and network performance trends over time. Consequently, it was not easy for the Xerox team to accurately assess and project what their clients’ bandwidth and voice resource needs were likely to be going forward.

Using ReliaTel, client performance and traffic data is automatically collected and stored, and client-specific traffic and capacity planning reports are automatically generated for the Xerox ITO team and their clients. As a result, the team now has the key trending data needed to determine how busy client systems are, the rate of growth in voice traffic, and what the client’s future capacity needs will be.

Overall, from a Xerox cost perspective, John reports ReliaTel has improved their service delivery processes, and has reduced their costs of service delivery.

Expanding Services for Next Generation VoIP and UC Technologies

As more Xerox ITO client environments are evolving to incorporate and rely on advanced VoIP and Unified Communications technologies, John’s voice team is now instrumental in managing their clients’ IPT quality and UC network performance using the ReliaTel VoIP QoS management facilities.

John explains: “Probably 95% of our clients have adopted or are planning to adopt a VoIP environment over the next couple of years, so ReliaTel has really given us visibility into the client’s data network from a phone perspective. Through ReliaTel, we not only know when a router goes down or its utilization fluctuates, but we can also see what the users’ perception of a specific call is, based on the MOS and QoS metrics ReliaTel provides. We actually have real-time visibility into the performance for individual calls.”

John further noted that when people call in for trouble tickets, the Xerox ITO team utilizes ReliaTel to:

  • Look at the specific call the user referred to
  • View the quality and performance metrics associated with that specific call
  • View the path the call traversed
  • Determine which devices within the path had performance issues

Armed with this detailed diagnostic data, the Xerox team can quickly resolve issues impacting call quality and performance.

“When people call in for trouble tickets, ReliaTel enables us to look at the call that they’re talking about and see what the performance was, what the path was for that call, then determine what devices along the path actually had the performance issues, and immediately address those problems.”John Truetken, Director of Network Architecture

John continued, “ReliaTel is very helpful in the diagnostics of really pinpointing where the problems are occurring, and also giving us visibility when a problem is starting to happen. The perception of an individual call may not be significant enough to cause somebody to call in a trouble ticket, but the tool will actually be measuring over time what the quality is over a specific link, and foreseeing that the quality is going down consistently. This allows the Xerox team to foresee a problem developing, so we can address it. Enabling our team to be more proactive and anticipate potential performance and quality issues before users and clients are affected is a key benefit of ReliaTel.”

Reducing High Severity Trouble Tickets and Noise

One of the key benefits ReliaTel has brought to Xerox is reducing their higher severity trouble tickets, particularly those occurring during off hours. John shares this case in point: “During the day, ReliaTel gives us visibility into problems, but you can be sure users would let us know about those issues within a few minutes. Where ReliaTel is particularly valuable is to detect the issues occurring at 3am that we don’t know about, but are high impact problems, such as a circuit goes down or a hard drive goes out.”

He continues, “Before ReliaTel, those off-hours issues were undetected until the next morning at 8 o’clock when someone arrived at work and noticed the phones weren’t working. During the 6 hours of downtime, we could have had it fixed and functional  before 8am when the staff reports to work. That’s the scenario that I think ReliaTel has helped us with most significantly – seeing problems where we didn’t previously have that visibility, and giving us  an opportunity to fix them before they have a detrimental effect.”

With an expansive client base and thousands of client devices under Xerox ITO management, the volume of issues occurring on a daily basis can be daunting, but not all conditions indicate a real problem that requires attention or resolution. John notes another area ReliaTel has helped his team is eliminating the white noise that often occurs on PBXs, gateways, routers, etc.

John stated: “ReliaTel enables my team to deal with performance and quality fluctuations before they become user or client problems. With ReliaTel, the entire team is no longer racing to diagnose and recover from an outage- we are able to get in front of it, and eliminate those high severity trouble tickets.”

John further explains, “Different devices generate various conditions that create alarms, but those alarms don’t necessarily mean something significant. Being able to “blacklist” those alarms so they are not presented, and our operations team doesn’t waste time chasing those really helps us eliminate the “cry wolf’ syndrome.”  Using ReliaTel, we can reduce the noise coming from gateways or routers that may be over talkative during a planned maintenance cycle or due to an operational change somewhere else in the network. That prevents our teams from wasting time and energy on alarms that are really non-issues, and do not require our attention and intervention.”

Partners in Technology Moving Forward -Why Choose Xerox?

When asked how he would describe his experience working with Tone Software he stated, “We’ve had a good working relationship with Tone Software. Tone has been good at incorporating our suggestions on new features and functionality in the ReliaTel technology, and they’ve been responsive in resolving any product issues that may have come up, so it’s been a very positive relationship so far.”

Looking forward, John expects the Xerox ITO business to continue its upward growth trajectory. He cites several key Xerox strengths and unique capabilities that cause clients to choose Xerox as their IT services provider. “Xerox is a very flexible company and can easily adapt to our customers’ requirements, so they tend to like us for our flexibility. Xerox ITO is also very competitively priced, and we are often very good at saving our clients money and reducing our clients’ current IT costs. A key Xerox strength is innovation – we take technology and tools that are out there, add innovation and services to make them better, and deliver a complete solution that meets the specific business needs of our clients.”

For more information on the Xerox BPO and ITO services, visit: Xerox IT Outsourcing Services

Learn more about ReliaTel for Managed Service Providers: ReliaTel VoIP and UC Management Solutions for Service Providers