bss is a registered charity that provides outsourced contact center, fulfillment and mailing services in the UK to charitable organizations such as leading cancer support charity Macmillan, mental health charity Mind and e-learning network Learndirect. Its multimedia contact centers offer flexible and tailored services to meet clients’ needs. From straightforward information giving to dealing with inquiries of a more complex or sensitive nature, its service is a quality product, focused on the client and the end user.
Employing over 800 people across its offices in London, Manchester, Leicester and Scotland, bss provides outsourced contact center services from short-term campaigns through to 24 hours a day permanent long-term contracts. Its multimedia facilities mean that bss has the ability to provide services via phone, email, mini-com, text message or web chat. It is also experienced in providing multi-lingual services and is an expert in operating services where information is provided, often where the nature of which is more complex than typical outsourced contact centers.
As a contact center provider, keeping its voice and data network up and running 24/7 is a vital requirement for bss, it therefore needed to keep a tight rein on its network and ensure that it could pro-actively spot problems and rectify issues before they had an impact on its services. “If one of our telephony switches were to go down we would instantly lose functionality that could massively impact on the service we provide to our clients and in turn, have a negative impact on their fundraising efforts,” comments bss Third Line Support Engineer, Paul Davidson.
Davidson looked at Microsoft Network Monitor and Message Orientated Middleware (MOM) solutions before choosing Ipswitch’s WhatsUp Gold v11 Premium. “WhatsUp Gold was more suited to our needs and we found it was more effective at monitoring our network infrastructure than other solutions on the market,” he explains. “We wanted to move towards a more proactive stance at monitoring our network and WhatsUp Gold is perfect for this.”
WhatsUp Gold v11 Premium includes various key enhancements to Ipswitch’s flagship network monitoring solution, which is used to monitor over 50,000 networks worldwide. These include a new Web application, workspaces with over 100 customizable reports and enhanced IPv6 monitoring, giving the product far more functionality and capabilities than comparably priced network monitoring solutions.
bss has an extensive network of over 65 servers; 40 in its Manchester office alone, a fiber ring, MPLS links and a variety of Cisco voice and data switches spread throughout the network topology. WhatsUp Gold allows network administrators to see their network as onscreen icons and reconfigure the map design on the fly, with drag-and-drop functionality. When first installing WhatsUp Gold, bss utilized its automatic mapping feature that discovered and mapped its entire network in just two hours.
“In a marketplace overwhelmed with complexity, WhatsUp Gold v11 sets a new standard for network monitoring tools with its unique combination of usability and functionality, low total cost of ownership (TCO) and rapid return on investment (ROI),” says Ipswitch Regional Sales Manager Mike Silva. “It is designed for quick deployment, robust scalability, groundbreaking usability and easy collection of actionable network information – all at a price point that is unmatched elsewhere in today’s market.”
With more than 100 customizable mini-reports and more than 50 full detail reports within WhatsUp Gold, network administrators can analyze network data to detect trends and needs for IT and business audiences. bss has WhatsUp Gold running on a large flat screen in the office showing a memory utilization summary against pre-set thresholds for each of its sites. “We can tell at a quick glance what is going on at each of our locations and see where any problems are starting to appear,” explains Davidson. “We then use WhatsUp Gold to look into any problems in more detail.”
Since installing Ipswitch’s WhatsUp Gold, bss can spot the moment any of its network infrastructure has a problem. “Thanks to WhatsUp Gold we can identify the issue, escalate it to British Telecom and provide it with a detailed report so that engineers can instantly go to the root of the problem, thus ensuring minimum downtime,” enthused Davidson.
An additional benefit for Davidson is that he can use WhatsUp Gold as an information store so that he can better log important physical network assets. “It is great to have all the information in one central location and be able to drill down on any switch to find detailed information on it very quickly.”
“bss underpins much of the great work that some of the most respected charitable organizations in the UK undertake. It is imperative that it enjoys the maximum network availability possible. WhatsUp Gold is the perfect early warning system for bss to ensure that it can spot potential problems before they impact on its clients,” added Silva.