Business challenge

With its business continuing to expand, Consolidated Communications sought a flexible fault monitoring platform designed to boost responsiveness and help ease the process of entering new markets.

Transformation

With IBM Netcool technology, the company establishes a unified view for network monitoring, standardizes operator information across locations and easily taps into data from disparate sources.

Results

Reduces the number of alarms by 20 percent

to help operators focus on key issues

Responds 40 percent faster

and boosts customer satisfaction

Supports seamless growth

by speeding integration of new acquisitions

Business challenge story

Seeking scalable monitoring for a growing network

Maintaining an advanced fiber optic network that spans more than 36,000 miles, Consolidated Communications delivers services that businesses and consumers in its 24-state coverage area depend on daily, from television and video streaming to commercial Internet access. “Our business is really about enabling our customers to communicate with each other and consume various forms of media,” explains Danny Butler, Manager of Network Surveillance at Consolidated Communications.

With service reliability at a premium, Consolidated Communications requires highly responsive fault monitoring and issue resolution across its sizeable network. “At Consolidated, we like zero-call resolution,” says Butler. “We want to identify and remediate an issue before a customer even calls in.”

As a company that continues to grow rapidly, Consolidated Communications also needs to quickly and seamlessly incorporate newly acquired systems into its network operations. To scale its business without compromising service delivery, the networking provider sought a flexible, integrated fault monitoring platform designed to boost responsiveness and help ease the process of entering new markets.

With Netcool, our technicians respond 40 percent faster than with our previous fault management solution.

Danny Butler, Manager of Network Surveillance, Consolidated Communications

Transformation story

Establishing an integrated, responsive approach

A long-time IBM client, Consolidated Communications deployed the IBM Netcool Operations Insight platform, establishing a unified view for fault monitoring across its growing network. “IBM really helps us achieve the goals we have from a network surveillance perspective,” says Butler.  “Netcool Operations Insight helps us normalize, aggregate and display faults across our territories in a single pane of glass.”

The Netcool Operations Insight technology helps Consolidated Communications customize and standardize the monitoring information its network operators receive, supporting a more consistent and responsive approach to fault management. And by incorporating the Event Analytics feature of Netcool Operations Insight software, the company easily taps into data from disparate sources for better-informed decision making and remediation.

“Instead of worrying about the various siloes we have to integrate with, we now embrace siloes,” says Butler. “We’re able to pull in these other data sources and enrich events with all sorts of contextual information that helps operators make rapid decisions.”

To continue evolving its capabilities, Consolidated Communications is evaluating IBM Cloud Event Management technology to provide different user groups with customized alarm management views. The business also envisions using the platform to offer clear, high-level, near real-time views of network performance, which could be a significant value-add for Consolidated Communications customers.

Results story

Easing expansion and keeping customers satisfied

The Netcool solution plays a critical role in Consolidated Communications’ growth strategy, providing the fault management platform the company needs to scale successfully. “In each new market we integrate, we need to monitor different operations and equipment,” says Butler. “With Netcool Operations Insights, the components are really scalable and boilerplate so that we can rapidly deploy a server and get alarms from different systems into the platform.”

By analyzing, filtering and correlating events across the Consolidated Communications network, the Netcool solution reduces the number of alarms by 20 percent, helping network operators focus on key issues and respond more rapidly. “With Netcool, our technicians respond 40 percent faster than with our previous fault management solution,” notes Butler.

For Consolidated Communications, more rapid response time and issue resolution translates directly into building greater trust and credibility with its customer base. “IBM and Netcool Operations Insights really helps us deliver our products and services, monitor those products and services, and keep our customers satisfied,” says Butler. “In the end, our customers are happy, and we all benefit from that.”

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About Consolidated Communications

Headquartered in Mattoon, Illinois, Consolidated Communications is a broadband and business communications provider offering data, voice, video, managed services, cloud computing and wireless backhaul solutions. The company maintains a fiber network extending approximately 36,000 route miles, serves businesses and consumers in 24 states and employs approximately 4,000 people. Originally formed as a small telephone company in 1894, Consolidated Communications has been providing services to many of its markets for over a century.

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