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    June 20, 2024

    Monitoring and Optimizing the Experience of Remote Customer Care Agents

    For network operations teams, having remote employees out of sight doesn’t mean they can be out of mind. This is particularly true for remote employees who directly support and interact with customers.

    In many industries today, organizations may have a significant percentage of employees working in some type of remote fashion, including those who deliver customer-facing services. For example, an insurance carrier may have thousands of customer service representatives working from home offices and small branch offices.

    Criticality of user experience

    While ensuring responsive, high-performance connectivity is important for all remote workers, it is especially so for employees who interact directly with customers.

    These remote representatives rely extensively on timely access to specific core applications, such as policy documents, automatic call distribution services, claims databases, and customer relationship management applications, as well as common productivity apps like Microsoft Office 365.

    When these reps experience performance issues, it can lead to poor call quality and dropped calls. If one agent experiences downtime, incoming calls may have to be routed to a smaller pool of agents, which can lead to lengthier hold times. These issues can have a direct and immediate business impact, including on customer experience, satisfaction, and retention; sales; brand reputation; and more.

    Challenges: Complexity creates visibility gaps

    For network operations teams, the reliance on remote work models and increasingly dynamic and complex network connectivity paths presents significant challenges. While ensuring optimized service levels for remote users is extremely vital, it’s also getting increasingly difficult.

    Today’s remote workers are relying on a network ecosystem that’s composed of many different vendor technologies and many service provider and cloud provider networks. End user connectivity paths now typically span these domains:

    • User environments, including Wi-Fi networks, VPN, and home ISP networks.
    • Wide area networks (WAN), including software defined WAN (SD-WAN), cloud access security brokers (CASB), and more.
    • Mid-path networks and transit backbones.
    • Application infrastructure, whether running in a cloud provider network or enterprise data center.

    The reliance on these multi-vendor, multi-technology ecosystems can introduce gaps in visibility for network operations teams. Relying on traditional, domain-specific tools, these teams struggle to gain an end-to-end perspective of users’ network connectivity paths. When issues arise, this incomplete visibility makes it difficult and time consuming to pinpoint the error domain and find the root cause. This lack of visibility leaves agents contending with poor performance and lengthy outages and it exposes businesses to the associated penalties of these issues.

    The solution: Network Observability by Broadcom

    With Network Observability by Broadcom, network operations teams can establish the advanced, end-to-end coverage they need to track and more effectively manage the experiences of remote employees, including customer-care agents and other customer-facing teams. The solution suite features these offerings:

    • DX NetOps by Broadcom. DX NetOps delivers the end-to-end coverage that is essential for effective management of the user experience.
    • AppNeta by Broadcom. AppNeta delivers active testing, providing ongoing insights into the end-user perspective of their network path performance, and feeds this intelligence into DX NetOps.

    Key capabilities

    Network Observability delivers the following key capabilities:

    • End-to-end coverage. The solution’s end-to-end coverage means teams can quickly narrow down the domain in which the issue is occurring. With the solution, teams can employ a monitoring point in a cloud environment, and gain complete, bi-directional insights into the path user traffic traverses. With this visibility, for example, operators can see that devices in the data center are up and running, but that an ISP network is experiencing issues and degrading the user experience.
    • Continuous coverage. With Network Observability, teams can employ continuous active testing. With these capabilities, operators can spot issues before users are affected. For example, if an issue arises during a given location’s off hours, operators can still detect an issue, even if no employees are actively using the system. In remote workers’ environments, teams can immediately determine where issues arise, including, for example, if an issue is occurring in the network of an ISP that provides a remote users’ last-mile connectivity.
    • SD-WAN coverage. In SD-WAN environments, engineers can gain correlated visibility of both the overlay and underlay. With the solution, teams can immediately identify if an SD-WAN route change introduced performance issues.
    • Anomaly detection. With Network Observability, operators can identify the anomalous traffic patterns that indicate the existence of a cyber attack or some other issue.  The solution enables teams to quickly identify the anomalous traffic patterns that point to the attack, and alert network operations and security teams so they can investigate and mitigate.

    Example: Troubleshooting performance issue in large insurance carrier

    To illustrate how network operations teams can use Network Observability in practice, here’s a sample scenario.

    Upon receiving an alert, a level-one engineer working with large insurance carrier takes a look at a specific branch office location that serves many hybrid work and remote contact center agents. The engineer quickly identifies an issue related to voice and data transmissions, and sees that data loss and voice loss have been exceeding established thresholds.

    ESD_FY24_Academy-Blog.Monitoring and Optimizing the Experience of Remote Customer Care Agents.Figure 1

    Through intuitive charts and dashboards, the engineer can view a range of metrics, including round-trip response time and latency, and voice-specific metrics, such as mean opinion score (MOS) and voice jitter.

    ESD_FY24_Academy-Blog.Monitoring and Optimizing the Experience of Remote Customer Care Agents.Figure 2

    Because this is an issue affecting an agent’s call quality, the engineer wants to address it immediately. Through the dashboards, the engineer can identify the specific timing of the incident arising.

    ESD_FY24_Academy-Blog.Monitoring and Optimizing the Experience of Remote Customer Care Agents.Figure 3

    Next, they can move to investigate the application domain to see whether application performance was affected, and if so whether it was specific to a particular app or having a more general impact on service levels.

    ESD_FY24_Academy-Blog.Monitoring and Optimizing the Experience of Remote Customer Care Agents.Figure 4

    In this scenario, the engineer sees that application performance impact is generalized, so can determine that the issue is in the network rather than due to a specific application or application environment.

    Next, the engineer sees there was a huge spike in User Datagram Protocol (UDP) traffic, and ultimately determines the spike is due to a large file backup.

    ESD_FY24_Academy-Blog.Monitoring and Optimizing the Experience of Remote Customer Care Agents.Figure 5

    Based on this, the network operations team can take several steps, both to mitigate the issue and to avoid having the same problem recur. For example, they can update guidelines or policies for these backups to minimize user impact, for example, by having them run outside of business hours. Alternatively, they can allocate additional resources to accommodate the traffic spikes associated with these backups.

    This illustrates how, with the unified visibility of Network Observability, teams can spot issues and identify the domain and cause in minutes.


    The move to work-from-home and hybrid-work models presents significant ramifications for network operations teams, particularly in those organizations with remote customer care representatives. With Network Observability, teams can eliminate the monitoring visibility gaps that remote and hybrid work models and modern networks present. Further, the solution can speed mean time to insight, pinpointing the cause of the issue, even if it arises in a network that the internal network operations team doesn’t own or manage.

    To learn more and see a solution demonstration, be sure to watch our Small Bytes session, Ensure Optimal Network Experiences for Your Remote Insurance Agents. The Small Bytes series offers practical examples on getting the most from Broadcom solution investments, and these sessions cover a wide range of topics. Visit our Small Bytes page to see a complete list of upcoming and on-demand presentations in the series. 

    Tag(s): NetOps , AppNeta

    Alec Pinkham

    Alec is a Product Marketing Manager for the AppNeta solution at Broadcom. He spent seven years with AppNeta in the Application and Network Performance Monitoring space before joining Broadcom. Prior to AppNeta his background is in software product management in HMI/SCADA solutions for industrial automation as well as...

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