Integration helps support teams drive faster resolution
IBM deploys App Connect Enterprise
Happy/smiling software development team working on a problem
Resolving tickets means cross-team collaboration

When customers using IBM development tools or products encounter problems or issues, they naturally turn to IBM’s internal development support teams—both Levels 2 and 3—for help and expertise. Once support tickets are generated, the resolution of the underlying problems more often than not requires the intervention of multiple support teams, working jointly and collaboratively, to resolve them. In other words, it’s a true team effort; the smoother and more seamless the interaction, the shorter the time to resolution.

Within IBM, some of these support teams recognized that their reliance on manual tasks to manage ticket response efforts was leading to longer resolution times. A major source of the problem was that the Level 2 and 3 teams had to use two different ticketing systems—an internally facing system running on the GitHub Enterprise platform, and a customer-facing system on the IBM® Sales Cloud on the Salesforce platform—to get the job done. Not surprisingly, this combination of manual processes and disconnected systems sometimes led to missed steps due to human error and lags in critical communications. One classic example was when a ticket’s status was updated in one system but was never “flagged” on the other, thus keeping the customer in the dark when the status changed.

The byproduct of these types of problems was frustration among support staff and sinking NPS scores among affected customers.

The success we’ve seen demonstrates how process automation and App Connect represent a powerful combination for delivering efficiency and business value. Hasan Rizvi Software Engineer IBM
Finding a better way through integration and automation

Recognizing a complicated situation and an opportunity to improve client experience, a group of developers within the  internal support team—who comprise roughly 20% of the Cloud Integration organization—took action. Using the IBM App Connect Enterprise (ACE) solution, they created a novel in-house tool—known as the ACE Case Bot—to automate the process flow between teams, and to make the status of tickets more transparent and manageable.

The new process takes advantage of App Connect’s flexible deployment options. Under the new process framework, IBM App Connect Enterprise on-premises automates manual tasks and interactions between development sub-teams on the GitHub Enterprise platform, while the IBM App Connect SaaS solution performs the same functions for customer cases on the IBM Sales Cloud. The creation of the ACE Case Bot solution took about six months, and the benefits were readily apparent almost immediately upon its deployment.

23% Reduced average time to resolution from 12 days prior to introduction in 4Q 2022 to 9.27 days in 4Q 2023
Faster resolution, happier clients

When it comes to a customer’s ticket status, the importance of visibility is second only to accuracy. The ACE Case Bot delivers on both of these parameters, first by automatically synchronizing ticket status across the Salesforce and GitHub ticketing systems, and then by delivering automated notifications via Slack to the appropriate sub-teams and squads. The fact that the ACE Case Bot provides a unified dashboard view of all ticket status levels—visually highlighted by escalation level—addresses the chaos when tickets “fall through the cracks.”

While the ACE Case Bot solution is being used by a small number of IBM internal support teams today, about 20% of the broader Cloud Integration organization, the solid results it has produced so far are drawing recognition from other teams within the organization, says Hasan Rizvi, an IBM software engineer who played a big part in its creation. “Teams using the ACE Case Bot have reduced their average time to resolution by 23%, from an average of 12 days during the 12 months leading up to its introduction in 4Q 2022 to 9.27 in the 12 months that followed,” he says. “The success we’ve seen demonstrates how process automation and App Connect represent a powerful combination for delivering efficiency and business value.”

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