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Customer Story | Enterprise Networks

How a Major Telecom Uses ThousandEyes for Improved Visibility Into ISP Networks

Company Overview

A major telecommunications provider, this company serves millions of customers in Ireland from Dublin to Galway. They have over 1,000 employees, all working toward their mission of keeping customers connected through top-notch service.

Industry: Telecommunications

Headquarters: Ireland

Use Cases: Enterprise Digital Experience, ISP and BGP Monitoring

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Company Overview

A major telecommunications provider, this company serves millions of customers in Ireland from Dublin to Galway. They have over 1,000 employees, all working toward their mission of keeping customers connected through top-notch service.

Industry: Telecommunications

Headquarters: Ireland

Use Cases: Enterprise Digital Experience, ISP and BGP Monitoring

Company Overview

A major telecommunications provider, this company serves millions of customers in Ireland from Dublin to Galway. They have over 1,000 employees, all working toward their mission of keeping customers connected through top-notch service.

Industry: Telecommunications

Headquarters: Ireland

Use Cases: Enterprise Digital Experience, ISP and BGP Monitoring

Keeping Ireland Connected

As a core telecommunications provider in Ireland, this company helps its customers stay connected through broadband and fiber broadband solutions for homes and businesses, giving them access to fast and reliable Internet connections. Demonstrating their commitment to delivering the best experience and service to customers, they have invested nearly €1 billion into upgrading and expanding their network and IT infrastructure.

Meeting Customer Expectations in a Complex Digital Landscape

Whether streaming an exciting soccer match, video conferencing with remote colleagues, or joining an important telehealth appointment, people want a fast, dependable Internet connection. However, many struggle to get the network reliability they need, with 28 percent of households reporting that they often experience an unreliable broadband connection.1

To provide the quality service customers expect, companies like this leading Irish telecom need to monitor a complex digital landscape to assure proper connectivity. They pay attention to their internal systems as well as a vast ecosystem of ISPs and other third-party vendors that they rely on.

But even if the telecom’s IT team does everything right on their end, there’s always the chance that an error with a different ISP or vendor could disrupt their service. And to navigate this dilemma inherent in distributed systems, they need a way to quickly identify the source of the problem and collaborate with third- party vendors to resolve it.

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Dealing With Third-Party Blind Spots

Previously, the telecom did not have the visibility their IT team needed to efficiently diagnose and resolve any connectivity or performance issues that might affect customer services.

When incidents arose, network operators found themselves spending hours trying to figure out the root cause. Meanwhile, frustrated customers contacted the company’s contact center asking why it was taking so long to fix the issue.

The telecom needed a solution to help them identify and remediate network disruptions more quickly. And two specific incidents drove this need home.

The first incident was an accidental BGP hijack caused by an upstream ISP, which resulted in thousands of subnets to be mistakenly advertised.

“We spent several hours investigating our network even though it just impacted a certain amount of traffic,” said the telecom’s IT performance consultant. “If ThousandEyes had been in place, we would have very quickly seen that routes to certain subnets were not working.”

The second incident happened about six months later when another ISP started black-holing a percentage of the Irish telecom’s traffic, although they denied any issues on their end at the time. “We, again, proceeded to spend hours on troubleshooting on our side, which impacted customers,” they said.

The telecommunications company wanted network- agnostic insights into where the problem lies— avoiding the blame game altogether. They knew this was essential for eliminating unproductive back-and-forths and improving the experience of customers overall.

Accurate Troubleshooting in Minutes, Not Hours

The telecom had explored ThousandEyes several years ago and, after attending one of our regular webinars, contacted ThousandEyes to determine if it could be a solution for the challenges they were facing. Looking at the ISP black-holing incident, for instance, they recognized that ThousandEyes’ ISP monitoring capabilities could have drastically increased their troubleshooting speed and root cause analysis of issues.

“We spent several hours on our side investigating and trying to reproduce issues when simple tests from ThousandEyes would have captured this within minutes instead of eight or nine hours of going around in circles,” they said.

The team at the telecom decided to use ThousandEyes Cloud Agents to run tests every five minutes for a consistent telemetry-based view of their network. These tests observed dozens of the company’s prefixes and BGP routing and caught DNS-related issues as they occurred. These global vantage points, deployed in 245 cities in 63 countries, give operators visibility into performance data from transit providers to last-mile ISPs to end users.

With ThousandEyes, the telecom’s IT process for identifying the source of an issue is now as easy as logging into the ThousandEyes platform and looking at the network-agnostic data on the health of the entire service delivery chain.

“ We spent several hours on our side investigating and trying to reproduce issues when simple tests from ThousandEyes would have captured this within minutes instead of eight or nine hours of going around in circles.”

IT Performance Consultant

Better Collaboration With Vendors and Internal Teams

With ThousandEyes, the IT team has the evidence they need for effective conversations with third parties that help expedite solutions and reduce mean time to innocence (MTTI).

The clarity ThousandEyes provides also benefits the telecom with its internal conversations across teams. For instance, they can now more easily determine whether an issue lies on the IP transport front. If it doesn’t, they can ask their colleagues on the server or application teams to help out—armed with convincing evidence regarding the source of the issue.

“If we can rule ourselves out, then we go back to the service layer on our side and say, ‘Look, guys, we’re ok from a transport perspective. The problem’s on your end, on the server end, or on the application end,’” they said.

Empowered to Deliver Great Customer Experiences

As an added bonus, the telecom was also able to integrate ThousandEyes into the umbrella fault management system owned by their 24/7 network monitoring service, which handles monitoring while the main team is offline. To simplify oversight processes, it was critical that ThousandEyes establish interoperability with this existing fault management system that aggregates alerts related to the RAM, core, IP, and service layers.

The telecom built this custom integration with the ThousandEyes Professional Services team. Doing so allowed them to speed up its deployment, expedite time to value, and set up bespoke dashboards, alerts, and reports. They also worked to integrate ThousandEyes into their ITSM solution, resulting in glowing reviews of the collaboration and services they received.

“[ThousandEyes Professional Services] is very good—definitely recommend them for any customer who’s doing any integration,” they said. “They’re just a pleasure to work with, very proactive, very helpful. And anything you ask, they’ll have it sorted in a few minutes.”

To learn more about how ThousandEyes is making a difference for companies like this leading Irish telecom, explore this case study library.


1
Decoding the Digital Home Study. EY. June 2022.

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