Table of Content

ABOUT THE CLIENT

Our client is one of the world’s leading enterprise software companies, which specializes in providing software and solutions in the areas of Middleware, SOA and BPM. Our client solutions cater to the entire information lifecycle - managing and protecting data, assuring the availability of applications and providing immediate real-time access to business-critical information in a distributed environment. Our client has a wide array of product suites for information protection and recovery, hierarchal storage management, automated availability, email, and content management purposes which are used by customers worldwide and across industries like Financial Services, Telecom, Energy, Health Sciences, Construction, and others.

BUSINESS CHALLENGES

Over the decade, our client has been able to maintain a leadership position in the areas of middleware, SOA and BPM. However, software players such as Oracle, Microsoft, SAP and IBM were continuously closing in, thus bridging the gap between their offerings and our client’s. Our client was looking at product innovation and superior targeted customer support as the main points of differentiation to tackle competitors. To achieve this, our client came to a decision of focusing all the resources on developing newer products and supporting/implementing them, while using a partner to take over the support and maintenance of the older products as well as handle the overflow support traffic for new products, so as to maintain and enhance the level of customer satisfaction.

Xoriant’s engineers have been working on different aspects of this client’s product suites for several years. In addition, our teams have experience in several facets of software engineering including development, sustaining and technical support. In addition, as the ideal partner, we have global operations to provide world class services to global customers. The scope of engagement was:

  • To provide 24*7 Global customer support – Level 2 and Level 3 Technical support for customers from the US, far-east and Europe/Middle-east/Africa (EMEA) regions.

  • To develop new portal infrastructure that will serve as personalized gateway to enhance delivery of all customer facing business services

  • To develop an integrated system to automate the extraction and collation of information from disparate systems, since any manual handling increases the effort , time and scope for inaccuracies

  • To sustain their older generation products still being used by some major clients

TOOLS & TECHNOLOGIES

  • Operating Systems - Unix (HP, Solaris, Linux, AIX), Windows (NT/2000/XP)

  • Programming Languages - C, C++, Java

  • Middleware - ActiveX/COM, Messaging services (JMS, etc)

  • Backend Databases - Oracle, MSSQL, Sybase

  • Tools - Rational (Purify, Quantify), Siebel CRM, Perforce, Forte

OUR SOLUTION

Xoriant has been working with this client for several years, helping our client in engineering, quality assurance and customer implementation efforts. Besides, Xoriant’s expertise in multiple systems, networking, database and GUI technologies, along with experience in commercial applications and complex systems integration made Xoriant an effective partner for our client. In addition, Xoriant’s Support Services offering (aligned with ITIL Service standards) under our software product engineering umbrella became an ideal match for our client’s needs.

24*7 GLOBAL CUSTOMER SUPPORT

After provided critical technical support functions for about two decades, Xoriant has learnt that effective support offering needs a combination of people, processes and tools. To achieve this, our teams followed the following steps:

  • Rapid augmentation and training of technical and customer support staff from Xoriant’s support resource pool experienced in supporting industry-standard software products.

  • Effective knowledge assimilation, retention, upgrade and setup of knowledge dissemination infrastructure and processes

  • Defining teams and processes to deal with different severity level tickets (SL1, SL2, SL3, SL4). Service Level Agreement (SLA) guidelines were defined based on the type of service contract with the end customers and the severity definitions as tabulated below

Support Type

Support Duration

Severity level Tickets

 

 

Critical (SL1)

High (SL2)

Low (SL3)

Others (SL4)

 

 

Response Time limit

Gold

Support 7x24x365

1 hour

2 hours

16 hour

24 hours

Silver

Support 7x24x365

2 hours

2 hours

16 hour

24 hours

Bronze

Support between 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

2 working hours

2 working hours

24 working hours

3 working days

  • Addition of shadow resources to act as a hot swap mechanism in case of scheduled or unscheduled downtime of front end resources

  • Incorporation, usage and continuous improvement of tools and processes for monitoring performance, measuring customer satisfaction and increasing productivity

Resolution flow for different severity level tickets

Xoriant formed different teams working in different time zones to ensure providing 24*7 worldwide supports. To support client’s far-east customers, one of the teams worked in the early shift in India, beginning in the early hours, which overlapped completely with the working hours of the Far-East customers. On the other hand, our client’s EMEA customers were supported by a team working in the afternoon shift, which began early afternoon to overlap well with the EMEA customers. US time zone customers were serviced by our team members stationed in the US (our resources rotated between India and US at all times). With these resources working in the US, and two teams in India, our client was able to provide a seamless 24*7 support to its clients all over the world. Using a web-based bug tracking and knowledge management systems, our teams could hand off tough problems to each other, thus significantly reducing the bug resolution time.

INTEGRATED SUPPORT INFRASTRUCTURE

To facilitate customer support engineers to obtain unified data from disparate sources,, Xoriant team built several extensions to the Siebel customer support system that our client had with data from other sources which included Platinum, Clarify, Informix, Selectica and Oracle. For connectivity, a series of adapters one for each system were built and then integrated with these systems. This reduced the time needed to collate information and display it on the web. In addition to implementing the connectivity, Xoriant also extensively contributed in the business logic, various interaction screens, reports and data structures.

Enterprise Application Integration

ONLINE CUSTOMER SUPPORT PROCESS

Xoriant Support Process Flow

The client did not have any system for online interaction with the customers thus making support very expensive. Also many of the issues were of repetitive nature which required standard solution to be provided to the customers in minimal time. For this Xoriant team implemented the Siebel Ticket tracking system to enable online support. Xoriant also collaborated with the client for building a knowledge base system to document the standard issues and their resolution for quick and efficient support for the client. This customer support process flow is as illustrated below.

END OF LIFE (EOL) PRODUCT SUSTENANCE

In a typical enterprise class product marketplace, many vendors end up either supporting multiple product versions or discontinue the support for old versions and incur the wrath of some clients. Supporting multiple versions is not only very expensive since engineers have to be assigned to supporting old, non-strategic releases; but also a sure shot way to lose employees assigned to those tasks, who are looking to work on the newer versions. This is where our Sustaining Engineering team has played an active role.

Our client has been able to systematically, consistently and seamlessly hand over older generation products on a regular basis to our Sustaining Engineering team. In some older product suites, Xoriant even hosts and maintains the source code of our client, thus relieving our client of any day-to-day systems management and build/configuration management issues, thereby allowing client’s team to focus on new product development. Xoriant team also performed the following activities for product sustenance.

  • Provide operationally acceptable workarounds to customer issues

  • Install patches (hot fixes) to resolve issue

  • Provide Support documents (i.e. Frequently Asked Questions, system requirements, product compatibility matrices, etc)

  • Problem localization and source code analysis

BENEFITS

Xoriant’s expertise in product engineering, especially in technical support and sustaining engineering and the ability to augment that with systems analysis, implementation and integration expertise was very useful to us as we battled various fronts at the same time.
- VP Engineering

Xoriant partnership resulted in following business benefits for the client:

  • Our client was able to successfully bring down the overall support and sustaining engineering costs by building a supplementary team in India.

  • The Far-East and EMEA customers were supported much more efficiently out of India because of the closeness to the time zone. This substantially increased the customer satisfaction rating by over 20%.

  • Within a year of the engagement, Support Team had 98% of SLA compliance on low severity cases and 100% SLA compliance for high severity cases.

  • Through our analysis, system design, implementation and integration efforts, the client was now able to garner information from various systems and help the end user interact online leading to higher customer satisfaction at lower cost of operation.

  • Knowledge base was created documenting the critical issues and their resolution thereby resulting in quicker and efficient ticket closures with average resolution time decreasing by over 13%

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Xoriant End of Life Support For Middleware Company Case Study

Xoriant End of Life Support For Middleware Company Case Study

Provided L1/L2/L3 based 24*7 support to customers from the US, far-east and EMEA regions and provided operationally acceptable workarounds to customer issues which reduced the support and sustaining engineering cost and served as a personalized gateway to enhance delivery of all customer facing business services.

Key Requirement

  • To provide 24*7 Global customer support – Level 2 and Level 3 Technical support for customers from the US, far-east and Europe/Middle-east/Africa (EMEA) regions.
  • To develop new portal infrastructure that will serve as personalized gateway to About the Client Business Challenges enhance delivery of all customer facing business services
  • To develop an integrated system to automate the extraction and collation of information from disparate systems, since any manual handling increases the effort, time and scope for inaccuracies.Know More >>

Key Contribution

  • Rapid augmentation and training of technical and customer support staff from Xoriant’s support resource pool experienced in supporting industry-standard software products.
  • Effective knowledge assimilation, retention, upgrade and setup of knowledge dissemination infrastructure and processes
  • Defining teams and processes to deal with different severity level tickets (SL1, SL2, SL3, SL4). Service Level Agreement (SLA) guidelines were defined based on the type of service contract with the end customers and the severity definitions as tabulated below.Know More >>

Benefits

  • Our client was able to successfully bring down the overall support and sustaining engineering costs by building a supplementary team in India.
  • The Far-East and EMEA customers were supported much more efficiently out of India because of the closeness to the time zone. This substantially increased the customer satisfaction rating by over 20%.Know More >>
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