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Case Study: Large IT Department

PROBLEM: A large diversified financial services institution with over 100,000 employees and $30 billion in sales revenue needs to minimize network downtime, maximize on-line revenue opportunities, and maintain high levels of employee productivity. This institution has a complex IT infrastructure and must monitor several critical business systems, utilizing CRM, network monitoring tools, and custom in-house solutions. Several popular management tools are utilized throughout the network infrastructure including: BMC Patrol, HP Open-View, Remedy Help Desk, Tivoli Enterprise Console, and many others. It was estimated that network downtime costs the organization roughly $1000 per minute in lost revenue opportunities and employee productivity.

Currently, this institution utilizes a large room with several dozen operators stationed at computer terminals responding to alerts generated by their network monitoring tools. If a problem is not acknowledged right away, it moves from one operator to the next within the room until it is acknowledged. Once acknowledged, the operator must identify which system the alert is referring to, who maintains that system, ascertain the best method to reach that technician, and then contact the proper person to fix the problem. Each technician requests notification by email, pager, telephone, or a combination of the three methods. The entire process can take about 30 minutes to notify and dispatch the proper technician to fix a problem.

To minimize downtime and the financial liability associated with lost revenue and reduced employee productivity, the institution must make steps to improve its notification methods and be more proactive in dealing with network problems. Automatic alerts and immediate notifications of network anomalies sent to technicians would dramatically reduce the amount of network downtime, saving the company thousands of dollars a day. Also, the ability to review detailed notification records would also help assure network problems get addressed and resolved in the timeliest manner and ensure management has a tool to evaluate overall carrier performance.

SOLUTION: After carefully evaluating several solutions including a custom in-house solution, the institution decided to implement HipLink Application Messaging into their notification center. The intuitive user interface and powerful administration of HipLink ensured a smooth implementation and short learning curve for the company. Also, the modular design and scalability of HipLink provided further benefits for the organization, allowing additional features and capacity to be added when needed.

RESULTS: HipLink is an integral part of the institutions network monitoring and alert notification system. Interfacing with over 14 systems and utilizing more than 70 carriers to send wireless messages and alerts to over 5000 users, HipLink provides a complete wireless communication and robust notification platform. Utilizing HipLink's Command Line Interface to integrate into their existing platforms, the company is able to significantly reduce the amount of time needed to notify support technicians of network problems. Technicians now get automatic system alerts and are able to see problems as they occur instead of 30 minutes after they have been logged, filed, and plugged into a problem queue. HipLink generates over 1.3 million messages annually for the company, and each message is processed and delivered in less than 30 seconds.

As a result, problems that used to take almost 30 minutes to identify and dispatch are handled in 2 minutes or less, saving the company almost $28,000 per incident ($1,000 per minute in savings from lost revenue and reduced productivity). Since the alerts are generated by HipLink, the company is able to reduce its staffing requirements necessary for monitoring network conditions, thus saving money and freeing additional resources.

Another key benefit realized by the company was the time savings gained by utilizing HipLink to automate various monitoring and alerting processes. For example, on any given day, Remedy Help Desk generates 100 tickets for the company. Each ticket must be logged, populated, and handed off to the proper technician, requiring almost three minutes of operator time for each ticket. Using the Remedy integration for HipLink, each Help Desk ticket is automatically processed in seconds, with templates created to pre-populate various fields, saving about 300 minutes per day. With the extra time saved, Remedy Help Desk operators are now able to focus on problem resolving tasks and thus have improved their productivity.

Additionally, HipLink ensures that the proper person receives the proper notification by utilizing powerful department and grouping features. These features reduce the number of pages or messages generated by HipLink, offering additional cost savings in paging and text message overcalls over the company’s previous communication platform. It also cuts down on the paging and alert desensitization the company was experiencing as only a fraction of the number of alerts are generated for distribution and technicians know that the messages they receive are important and meant specifically for them.



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