A Remote Wireless Networking Case Study

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A Remote Wireless Networking Case Study

How 7SIGNAL increased visibility into the user experience for a major software company—and reduced Wi-Fi support calls by 85 percent

A global HR software company had become a leader in its industry but the organization’s complex network, which was comprised of many remote office locations, just wasn’t up to par. Here’s how hiring 7SIGNAL helped turn around Wi-Fi performance:

Wi-Fi issues: remote troubleshooting and voice quality

The company has thousands of employees scattered in dozens of different offices around the world. Many of these offices don’t have onsite IT staff, so troubleshooting network problems had become a big support challenge.

Without dedicated IT support in each and every office, network issues continued to build. And because some of these locations became solely dependent on Wi-Fi for all of their communications, dealing with the performance of remote networks was crucial.

The company’s internal data showed that more than 80 percent of support calls related to Wi-Fi had to do with poor voice quality, followed by connection issues. Given the organization’s far-flung, remote locations, teams depended on online collaboration platforms like WebEx, Skype, Sococo, Slack, and Google Meetings to get business done. And when they tried to troubleshoot the issues, the remote support system simply didn’t work. Employees failed to properly diagnose issues and find successful, long-term solutions.

One of the company’s senior engineers recognized one of the biggest problems for the networks: it was next to impossible to solve client and network access point (AP) issues when there was no visibility into the network from the user’s perspective. Instead of just viewing it with standard network management tools, it was imperative to gain this UX view to find the solution.

The organization uses Cisco products, and their first attempt at a solution was to implement Cisco DNA. However, this effort created more problems elsewhere such as dependencies and controls on the routing infrastructure, WLAN controller, and APs.

After researching 7SIGNAL, the company’s senior engineer soon recognized a big benefit of partnering with us: 7SIGNAL is vendor-agnostic, meaning products and connections don’t have to be compatible only with Cisco devices.

7SIGNAL steps in with Sapphire Eye modules

7SIGNAL’s Sapphire Eye modules proved to be one successful solution. These network monitoring devices measure connectivity while also analyzing the quality of the end-user experience within the Wi-Fi network.

After the deployment of the modules in the company’s headquarters and five regional offices worldwide, 30 percent of users now have faster, more reliable Wi-Fi. The plan is to eventually integrate these tools in all offices across the globe.

“We still have a lot of remote offices to upgrade,” says the senior engineer. “But already we have seen an 85% reduction in Wi-Fi related support calls. I know we are making a positive impact on our ability to achieve market goals and deliver best in class solutions.”

Additionally, the Mean Opinion Score (MOS) feature monitors and troubleshoots voice-quality problems without taking up the time of an engineer or client who is trying to run these tests from their own devices. “Without visibility of real-time MOS values, troubleshooting voice-related issues on Wi-Fi becomes very complex,” said the senior engineer.

The MOS Score totally changed things from a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) perspective, and employees are now able to engage in seamless voice communications and multimedia experiences. Support tickets related to voice quality were similarly reduced by 85 percent.

7SIGNAL also offers more agents directed at mobile and laptop devices than competing troubleshooting solutions; more than Cisco DNA, for instance. 7SIGNAL’s Mobile Eye device has agents that can assess Wi-Fi performance and crowdsource data at varying locations by performing short tests at pre-defined intervals. These tests are done as users are mobile, and conducted seamlessly in the background. The process gives the company the ability to collect data from each user’s mobile device, which in turn reveals the kind of performance each user is getting and allows them to see this performance for themselves.

This added visibility can eliminate the need for Wi-Fi sensors in small offices, though this software company still uses the Sapphire Wi-Fi performance sensors. They enable the team to achieve objectives without having to force a review of desktop installed software standards and policies.

“The beauty of 7SIGNAL is I just set the performance thresholds I want, and the platform alerts me when performance dips below those thresholds,” said the company’s senior engineer. “It even points to the probable cause and remedy. This lets us do proactive monitoring and address many problems before they affect the end-user experience.”

Partnering with 7SIGNAL provided the following benefits:

  • Voice quality-related issues were substantially reduced
  • Remote Wi-Fi problems were identified and resolved much faster
  • Remote resources were no longer needed for troubleshooting
  • The visibility of client devices on each access point (AP) increased throughout the day
  • Wi-Fi uptime and service quality were maximized, with an 85% reduction in service calls

The senior engineer’s assessment mirrors one of our core goals: solving issues before users even see them as issues.

“7SIGNAL lets us do proactive monitoring,” he said. “And addresses many problems before they affect the end user experience.”

7SIGNAL® is a leader in enterprise Wireless Network Monitoring. The 7SIGNAL platform is a cloud-based Wireless Network Monitoring (WNM) solution that continuously troubleshoots the wireless network for performance issues – maximizing network uptime, device connectivity, and network ROI. The platform was designed for the world’s most innovative organizations, educational institutions, hospitals, and government agencies and is currently deployed at Booz Allen Hamilton, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Walgreens, Microsoft, and many others. 7SIGNAL continuously monitors the connectivity of over 4 million global devices. Learn more at www.7signal.com.

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