Keeping eyes and ears on 'unmanaged' WFH environments with VSM Everywhere

Hybrid working has shifted the workplace dynamic for businesses like arrivia, who manage multiple contact centers and customer service agents throughout the globe.

Not only do companies need technology supporting their in-office contact center agents, but now end-to-end management is required for the customer service agent working from their home as well.

Using VSM Everywhere’s AI diagnostics platform, arrivia is able to identify and tackle the technology issues impacting work-from-home (WFH) agents.

“VSM Everywhere keeps us ahead
of the curve – it’s our eyes and
ears when we can’t be there to
assist our agents in person.”
Dan Covington, Sr. Unified Communications
Manager, arrivia | travel better, experience more

WFH agents raise new challenges for
traditional UC management

arrivia customer agents are hard at work across the globe delivering travel loyalty programs to key players across multiple industries. Agents operate from multiple regional contact centers and home environments.

Technology plays a major role in arrivia’s ability to provide their services, but the technology platforms in play at arrivia – Avaya, Microsoft, and LiveVox – don’t provide a direct line-of-sight to agent WFH environments or the visibility to troubleshoot issues.

This means that when arrivia’s customer agents encounter dropped calls and unresponsive applications, the company’s Service Desk bears the brunt. Without knowing exactly how devices and networks are performing in agent homes, Service Desk operators end up raising tickets with the UC network team at the first sign of trouble. These issues can sometimes take weeks to resolve. And as we all know, when the agent experience suffers, so does customer experience.

What were Arrivia’s major WFH concerns?

  • Arrivia WFH customer agents make calls using a range of connectivity types, speeds, devices, and ISPs, often on consumer-grade internet
  • Home PCs and devices used by some agents can have insufficient CPU and memory to handle peak load
  • Agents often share their network with family members, who compete for precious bandwidth
  • Home environments can cause background noise not traditionally experienced in the workplace

How could arrivia identify and fix issues
impacting WFH agents faster?

Approximately one-third of incident tickets processed by arrivia’s Service Desk related to issues outside the visibility of the enterprise. These include WFH PC performance, network availability, and CCaaS connectivity. After evaluating possible solutions to reduce mean time to repair (MTTR), arrivia found Virsae’s VSM Everywhere platform to be the key to success. The data captured by VSM Everywhere presents a rich diagnostic view of each agent’s system performance, from end-to-end. 

Designed for customer and user experience, VSM Everywhere collects data from arrivia’s XCaaS platforms and enabling technologies, including 'unmanaged' WFH networks and environments. It captures and reports performance data, including: 

  • User PC hardware: node name, processor, O/S, model, memory
  • Networks: interface and status, ISP, Wi-Fi SSID, Wi-Fi encryption and authentication method, Wi-Fi signal strength and link quality
  • Historical network and system performance: CPU and memory utilization, ISP download and upload speeds, and latency, which can all be analyzed according to nominated timeframes
  • Devices and headsets: Telemetry analytics assess audio quality and volume to help maintain healthy working conditions for employee wellbeing
  • Environmental analytics: point to external factors influencing performance
“With VSM Everywhere, we can quickly determine if the issue is with the remote environment or quickly rule that out and focus our resources on correcting the actual problem.” - Dan Covington, Sr. Unified Communications Manager

Hardware Details - At the point in time shown, Arrivia’s Service Desk was able to ascertain which unnecessary processes were running on the agent’s workstation causing high CPU occupancy. Once these were shut down the agent and customer experience immediately improved.

Network Details - Using the mouse-over to expose AI-driven insights, Arrivia’s Service Desk was able to prove that the cause of poor UX and CX was the strength and quality of the Wi-Fi at the agent’s location. Channel contention in high-density urban locations is a typical cause. Many routers have settings that allow agent workstations to use Wi-Fi channels free from interference.

Headset Details - Proving what is not the cause is often an important step in establishing root cause. In this case the Service Desk was able to see that the agent’s headset was an approved model, the agent was running the right firmware version and was connected using a cable, and that the agent had the headset boom arm optimally positioned.  Jabra headsets currently supported, additional manufacturers are on the roadmap.

How arrivia wins big with VSM Everywhere

Faster fixes:

  • Proactive ticketing via tailorable thresholds alert Arrivia Service Desk to issues for deeper investigation
  • Improved problem recognition saves up to four hours of troubleshooting and root cause analysis per agent issue
  • Intermittent issues that once took weeks and multiple discussions with at-home agents are often resolved within hours
  • Both real-time and historic data provide insights to compare past and present configuration, and to analyze trends over time

Fewer escalations:
Now most issues can be easily managed by arrivia’s T1 Service Desk, slashing the number of calls handled by the company’s T2/T3 technical support teams. The T1 team works swiftly to identify and address issues related to remote worker PCs (memory), ISPs (bandwidth) and home network, driving reductions in reported issues and escalations.

More productive and happier at-home agents:
Agents are up to 50% more productive, thanks to less downtime and DIY troubleshooting. Fewer issues and faster resolution mean happier workers, which in turn means more sales.

Cost savings:
 more proactive approach improves MTTR for the one-third of Service Desk incident tickets that involve WFH issues, reducing:

  • Lost sales from agents
  • Lost agent productivity
  • Agent churn
  • Employee costs for time spent troubleshooting issues, including Agent, Service Desk, and Telecom and Network Teams

Customer experience:
The customer experience offered by arrivia benefits from fewer recurring WFH agent issues, due to root cause determination and faster resolution via VSM Everywhere data. 

Future developments:
The Virsae platform will extend to arrivia's evolving cloud PBX strategy.

Plans to integrate VSM Everywhere alarming into arrivia's incident management system are made possible with out-of-the-box VSM workflow integration.

VSM Everywhere’s integration with Microsoft Teams will also be a useful future consideration.

Download the arrivia Case Study

Learn how VSM Everywhere’s full stack AI-powered diagnostics extract and analyze critical performance and inventory data from 'unmanaged' WFH agent workstations and environments to support flawless enterprise communications.