In the case of an Service Level Agreement, the cost of unnecessary support costs and downtime at the client is negated, bearing in mind that a call out cost and factoring in travel costs and delays, a company can cut down costs by up to 45% by implementing the remote management features built into the solution such as remote power reset and remote network management.

Growing your business is not only about acquiring new clients, it is also important to keep your service level agreement clients happy. This is a constant struggle for companies with overloaded call centres, especially in the hardware support category. By the time a caller gets through to an agent, they are usually uncooperative and frustrated after waiting in an answering queue. This can often lead to a situation where the company has no choice, irrespective of the issue at hand, but to send out a technician to the customer’s premises to resolve the issue.

The simple solution to this issue is one which is being implemented across multiple industries to reduce costs and improve efficiency – Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology. An IoT solution like this pays for itself, as the cost of equipping one site with the gateway required would be paid off after less than ten false calls were avoided. By implementing Netshield’s intelligent embedded point-of-presence gateways in their installation hardware, companies can remotely monitor equipment and proactively deal with obvious issues before the consumer has any opportunity to become frustrated. Through a centralized database and intelligent holistic dashboard which can be set up to deliver alerts through a variety of channels, including IoT Protocols, Telegram, and email, Netshield South Africa offers companies a way to automatically detect when there is a problem with their services clients hardware or environment. This solution can be setup to interface directly with the service supplier’s existing call centre system, allowing them to automatically file support tickets when any problem is detected and enables them to proactively contact the affected client/s before they get frustrated and initiate ‘the call’. The fault information supplied by the gateway also allows clients to determine what the issue is with the customer’s hardware, and possibly walk them through the solution without sending out a technician. Alternatively, they could remotely reset the hardware if that would fix the problem.

Increasing profitability by using IoT and Cloud applications to streamline processes associated with Tech-support SLA’s
What is this about?

Increasing the profitability on existing and enhancing the opportunity of winning new service level agreement contracts by reducing the costs of servicing these agreements in the tech-support environment. While limiting your client’s frustration with your call center by deploying intelligent IoT/Cloud based point-of-presence (PoP) gateways or IoT-Node and the associated interactive simplistic snapshot dashboards of the PoP events and statuses and integrated instant URL-linked alert messages sent to call-agents and tech-team members.

How do you save?

Industry research shows that incoming calls, into call-centers, can be reduced by up to 40% by knowing of a tech related issue before the affected client makes the call. Reducing tech-team callouts by remotely simulating the first thing that most networking engineers do when they get to site. Understanding exactly what is causing the problem at the client’s remote site and informing your call-center of these alerts and events. Creating the opportunity of reversing the call process, with quick access to centralized exact remote site events and alerts for call-agents, enabling accurate preemptive corrective action to resolve the issue quickly. Reducing delays caused by site access arrangements, planning of downtime, responding with the correct replacement equipment and eliminating back and forth travel to collect replacement stock and increasing efficiency by tracking of call-out responders’ movement in relationship to the event the member is responding to.

How do you reduce frustration?

With the accurate remote-site information at hand and the automated onward event/alert URL-linked messaging sent (through applications like Telegram) to call-agents and tech-team members, by clicking through the ‘URL’ these members are directly linked to the PoP gateway/node status dashboards. This creates the opportunity to make the call to the client, with the most current information at hand, eliminating the need for clients to call and wait, with their frustration levels increasing, whilst listening to their answering queue position. Then going through the motion of answering a list of prelisted questions normally starting with: ‘is the power on’? – how will they know if the power to the networking cabinet is on?

What do we need to know about the remote site?

By implementing an automated process that constantly answers the typical call-center questions like, ‘is the power on’, ‘how long will the UPS last’, ‘is there an increase in power consumption’, ‘is the WAN connection active’, ‘is the equipment overheating’, ‘was there smoke detected’, ‘flooding detected’, ‘was there an electrical surge’, ‘did someone tamper with the equipment’, ‘what is the humidity’, ‘who do I contact at the site’, ‘what is the contact number’, ‘what equipment is installed at the site’? The list continues… and maintaining the upkeeping of the site administrative information.

How do we do this using IoT?

By deploying cost effective intelligent out-of-band point-of-presence convergence gateways or nodes to converge and stream real-time events and alerts from sensors, networking equipment and infrastructure devices by using the gateway sensor ports and built-in intelligence too, through local terminal sessions, interrogate networking and infrastructure equipment utilizing the available console ports on these devices. Stream information intelligently by creating segmented event and alert driven green, orange and red status severity segments. EG: If the temperature is in the green segment (between 0 & 25°C) – why message more than once a day as a “I’m alive” heart-beat, when in orange segment (between 25 & 35°C) – send event-message every 30 minutes and when in red segment (above 35°C) send alert-message every 30 seconds because this is now critical! Streamed alerts received on the cloud immediately triggers instant URL-linked messages to call-agents and/or tech-team members with one agent accepting responsibility for the specific alert. Note that all parameters mentioned in the example are user configurable. Messaging is handled by industry standard MQTT/JSON protocol packets.

How do we do this on the Cloud?

By using URL-Link instant messaging the user is routed directly to a user orientated, simplistic dashboard that is quick and simple to learn and use for the call-agent and/or tech-team members. The dashboard displays the current remote site status in a layman’s format and includes all required administrative information. The simplicity of the system automatically draws users into using the toolset as it enhances their experience and simplifies their jobs, this automatically increases productivity and customer experience. Users with the correct access permissions can interact with the dashboard and force the PoP gateway/Node into a maintenance mode that enables the smart remote-control modes of the gateway/node and force – EG; a remote power reset cycle to reboot the equipment on the specific remote site or grant access at the remote site. To mitigate any risk, these remote-control events are only triggered by the user, once received, the gateway/node executes the instruction to completion even if a communication failure occurs.

What happens with information contained in events and alerts received?

All status, event and alert messages are recorded and stored in the cloud-based database for analysis and reporting. The stowed information is available on REST and JSON API’s for access from analysis tools and can be exported to a file in CSV format.

Example of Typical - PoP Intelligent Gateway Dashboard

Example of Typical - PoP Intelligent Gateway Dashboard

Example of Typical - Extract of cloud stowed events