What is our primary use case?
We are a technology company providing services using satellite for last-mile connectivity. We have 80,000-plus end-miles and provide connectivity within India only. These 80,000 nodes are VSAT (very small aperture terminals). We are using the solution for a service desk model to help manage customer complaints through our ticketing system.
We have it on our own cloud. Initially, it was a hosted and physical-server model, but now we are using a combination of our physical server as well as our own cloud. It is within our own infra.
How has it helped my organization?
What we have is not exactly the platform that is sold in the market. We did some customization to it, based on our processes, that permit our organization to follow certain requirements. It is meeting our requirements and we are very happy and satisfied with the services of Infraon Desk.
On average we log 250 to 300 customer complaints per month in the system. There are a total of 15,000 to 20,000 complaints in the system. It helps us to monitor our customers. It gives us an SLA when a customer logs a ticket, based on the SLA we have signed with the customer. It tells us what the time frame is for solving that complaint. Those parameters are measured through the system and, at the end of the month, we know the percentage of the total that have met the SLAs and how many have not. If an SLA has not been met, we can do a deep dive to understand why. It enhances our internal requirement for providing customer satisfaction.
It also helps us to monitor field-level performance and to understand the agent/engineers who are handling the tickets. Every engineer logs in to the system with their own credentials. At the end of the month, we can see how many tickets a particular engineer worked on and the turnaround time for each engineer. It gives us good visibility. We can see stats about them, such as their response times. Those features are really helpful.
What is most valuable?
There are a few dashboards and they are helpful because, in our organization, we have different groups of people who need different kinds of dashboards. My dashboards are different from other peoples' dashboards. The dashboards are a very critical thing. For me, as head of network operations, I need a top-level view. I want to see how many calls are open and how many calls are pending, on average, and some trend analysis. Whereas a manager in my team might like to see slightly more detail. At the next level down, they might need to see more details. It is very important that the dashboard be specific to the role or the responsibilities of each user.
There is also a workflow model that helps us to define our processes. It is very flexible so that you can define the workflow based on your organization.
There are also some triggers for email and SMS messages. We have defined some triggers, such as when a given number of tickets is not closed on a particular day. Or when a customer's complaint is resolved, we have a trigger so that the customer receives the root cause analysis, a one- or two-liner, which is defined in the system. And when a ticket is assigned to a field team, selection of the field team is automatically done. Those mechanisms are really helpful.
What needs improvement?
There are a lot of predefined reports but we asked for a lot of changes. The problem is that every organization has its own processes and needs. As a result, we had to do a lot of customization on the reporting. The reporting is okay, but it doesn't give you reports that make you say "wow," like you might see from a tool like MRTG or PRTG whose reports give you a good feeling. The detailing is not there in the Infraon Desk reports and there are no graphical elements in them. The reporting is slightly weak and needs to be improved. It should become a more graphical presentation of information. It's much more jazzy when you present something in a PowerPoint rather than a Word document.
If the system is capturing a lot of data about certain parameters, I should have the option to generate a report based on all those parameters in any permutation and combination. That kind of flexibility is needed. The reports do help us to analyze and understand things at the customer level, but they could be better.
Something that is missing is predefined dashboards. I would expect to see dashboards with some parameters that are predefined.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using Infraon Desk for six to seven years. I don't use it day-to-day now, but I have a team of 50 to 55 engineers who take care of the operation part.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The product is quite stable. Initially, there were a lot of hiccups, but in the last couple of years the product has become very stable and is more stable day by day.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The scalability is a requirement for our automation efforts. Every year we are adding 6,000 to 7,000 endpoints. It has to be scalable to support our requirements for the next five years. They are supporting us and I don't think scalability will be a challenge for the next couple of years.
We started with it when we had around 30,000 to 35,000 nodes. Now we have reached 80,000-plus nodes.
How are customer service and technical support?
I don't deal with their technical team. Generally, I deal with their sales and project teams. They have a technical project coordinator who understands what we are looking for and I believe he forwards our requirements to their technical team. Overall, they have delivered whatever we have asked for on the technical side. There may have been one or two times where there was a gap in understanding what we needed.
I am personally in touch with their CEO and also their head of business. They are very cooperative and the technical team, the solution guys, have very sound knowledge. Overall it's a very good experience.
Their flexibility and the way they provide services are good. Whenever we need any customization, the turnaround time is very good.
We keep giving them feedback whenever we see something that could be changed. I had been asking them for the last three or four years about launching a mobile app, and they launched one last year. Everything is available in the mobile app. They always take the feedback positively and they try to incorporate it in their product roadmap and portfolio.
I feel that our relationship with them is not a regular vendor relationship. We have a kind of a partnership model. They understand our problems and we understand their problems and we try to help each other.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We do not have in-house software development team because we are a service provider. We did have an in-house ticketing tool but, at that time, we had fewer tickets and fewer customers. However, we were growing. We knew that going forward, over the following five years, we would double or triple our assets. We realized that our in-house tool could not be extended for use beyond a certain point in time.
We were in need of a stable product that could support our future requirements. That was the strategy when we started looking for a solution in the market, and then we found DMX, which back then was the umbrella company of Everest. Their product was quite interesting and they were flexible about doing the customization part.
How was the initial setup?
The setup was not very complex. However, it is not a ready-made product. It's a base product, and on top of that we did customization.
During the initial few days we needed hand-holding because their solution team needed to understand the requirements for our solution. If you're able to explain things properly, the rollout and the delivery are smooth. But if you're not able to explain them properly, and they end up with a different understanding, the solution doesn't deliver. That's where the complexity is. During the initial phase you need hand-holding. If that hand-holding is done correctly, then it is smooth.
I don't remember how long it took us to deploy it, as that was about seven years ago.
I'm not sure it's fair for me to comment on the learning curve because we're not using their standard product as a result of doing a lot of customization. We have made 15 to 20 changes to the solution in the last couple of years. Whenever there is an internal process change, we need to incorporate it into the system.
What was our ROI?
We have definitely seen ROI from Infraon Desk and that's why we continue using the product. We are getting value for our money from it.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The pricing model is very competitive.
The cost depends on how you are utilizing the product and varies on how many groups you are creating and how many users there are. If I have 40 users and somebody else has 10 users, that person's cost will be cheaper. Adding users increases the cost.
What other advice do I have?
The key to a seamless implementation and to getting the best out of this product is that you need to understand the product's entire capabilities. There are a lot of features. It's like when you're purchasing a new mobile phone. You look for multiple features but, at the end of the year, you find that you aren't using 50 percent of the features. So understand what you are looking for, and then draw up your solution in consultation with Everest. Explain to them, "This is how my process works," and have them explain how that process can fit their model. And take the basic hand-holding before starting your implementation. Make sure everything is clarified and clear, with a flow chart, and things will be very smooth and will fall into place.
In the last six or seven years, there have been multiple changes to the solution. Version changes have happened. It's been a long journey. We have suggested the kinds of changes we are looking for on multiple occasions, such as the look and feel upon login and of the portal, as well as the kinds of dashboards needed. I cannot say the current GUI is very good or "wow," but it's good enough. It's better than okay but it's fairly standard. It could be improved slightly.
We continue to do a lot of customization. They launched a mobile app for the service just and we are in the deployment phase with that. And we have a customization for the billing part, from the ticketing system, so the deployment is on-going. Any small customization takes a few weeks, but if it is a larger thing, it takes a month to two months, but not more than that.