“As a state-of-the-art and fast-growing outsourced call centre operation, we constantly add new IT services. I now save up to 50% of the time I used to spend on configuration by leveraging Centreon’s Plugin Packs. Our ability to serve our clients’ customers depends on flawless configuration and this is the primary advantage Centreon brings us.” – John Wotherspoon, IT Systems Architect, Ascensos.
The project in a nutshell
Migration from Centreon Open Source to Centreon IT Edition for strong IT monitoring optimization and automation capabilities in a fast-evolving IT environment to support the company’s innovation and growth strategy.
- Support Outstanding Customer Experiences
- Guarantee the optimal performance of the IT supporting the quality of customer experiences.
ITOM objectives: Seamless Innovation
- Acquire automation capabilities for configuring the monitoring of an ever-changing IT environment.
- Support innovation and business continuity.
- Minimise disruptions for IT teams and the users and customers they support.
The Centreon solution: Centreon IT Edition
- A future ready, Centreon supported IT monitoring platform.
- Matches the speed of new deployments with significant time savings configuring the monitoring of new assets.
- No interruption during the transition period, with both systems running in parallel.
- Continuity with a monitoring platform that was well used and liked by teams.
- No monitoring disruption: same platform, with the added benefit of automation capabilities and Centreon support, no need for training on the new solution.
The full story
Ascensos is Europe’s leading customer service outsourcing partner. Founded in Scotland, it is now a global, PCI-compliant(*) call centre operation with facilities in Romania, Turkey, and South Africa. Ascensos meets the most sophisticated customer service needs by deploying the latest CX technologies. This makes Ascensos’s digital transformation an ongoing and exciting quest, driven by a culture of growth and continuous improvement. The company employs over 3000 people, working from corporate facilities or from home offices. (*PCI stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)
Keeping up with fast-paced innovation
In creating outstanding customer experiences, Ascensos counts on an array of ever-evolving technologies, ensuring call centre agents enjoy seamless IT service, no matter where they work from. Ever since 2015, Ascensos had been happily monitoring their IT environment with a free, open-source-built Centreon platform. John Wotherspoon, IT System Architect at Ascensos, is responsible to maintain the configuration up to date, for the benefit of about 15 to 20 IT personnel using the platform on a regular basis as they support 3,000+ employees dedicated to customer care. Despite its longevity—almost a decade of failproof monitoring, the Centreon Open Source platform needed to be replaced.
At Ascensos, the pace of technological innovation had been picking up speed over the last few years, including during the COVID pandemic, which required equipping staff to serve customers from home. Configuring monitoring by hand had reached its limit in this technology-first, globally distributed call centre. It diverted precious time away from truly supporting innovation in customer care. To keep pace with an accelerated rate of innovation and growth, Ascensos was looking to upgrade their well-used Centreon open-source-built monitoring solution. Manually configuring the open source solution was becoming a major challenge for John Wotherspoon, IT System Architect at Ascensos.
“We liked our Centreon open source capabilities in terms of monitoring everything in our IT environment, but we now needed a solution that would enable automation, a must for our expanding and fast-paced technology-based call centre operations.”
As well as a PCI compliant organisation, Ascensos needed to upgrade some legacy software and infrastructure elements. They were thus considering a transition towards a monitoring solution that could provide more automation capabilities, speeding up the time to monitoring in the context of a fast-changing, state-of-the-art, and PCI-compliant IT environment.
Balancing innovation with continuity
An important consideration for Ascensos regarding their transition to a new, more automated monitoring platform was stability. “The Centreon platform is one our team enjoys working with—it’s a convenient platform to acknowledge and share alerts. We soon realised that we could innovate while maintaining stability for the end users of the Centreon platform. That’s the main reason we opted to upgrade to the Centreon IT Edition. It’s seamless for the team,” further explains John. The team is still getting the checks and alerts they need, from a monitoring solution they understand.
The biggest change with the new solution is the ease of configuration of new assets to monitor. “In our technology-first operation, that’s a tremendous advantage,” says John.
“The transition from Centreon Open Source to Centreon IT Edition provided the perfect balance between evolution and stability.”
The benefits of a new solution are attained without the disruptions that inevitably come with change and without having to retrain staff. The transition is occurring seamlessly, with both platforms running in parallel until the transition is completed. “Continuity is a plus when you consider the complexity of our technological environment and the high stakes in supporting flawless customer service. We stayed with what worked best for our team and organisation, Centreon’s open and connected approach to IT monitoring, saving time and resources on training and deployment, while gaining the ability to simplify and automate monitoring with the Plugin Packs and through auto-discovery capabilities,” says John.
“Upgrading from Centreon Open Source to the Centreon IT Edition provided the team with the comfort and continuity of working with a solution they already knew and appreciated, while providing the automation capabilities which allow me to focus on innovation, rather than configuration—it’s half the configuration time that is saved.”
From Scotland to South Africa: Monitoring CX-enabling infrastructure
Across multiple sites in Scotland and abroad (and more to be added as the company expands), John ensures the IT team has visibility over a vast array of equipment, including a dozen ESX VMware hosts, a hundred virtual servers, HyperV environments across Ascensos sites, servers, network switches, wireless access points… “We monitor pretty much anything with an IP address using Centreon,” summarises John. These diverse components form the robust base from which call centre agents provide optimal service to the customers of the businesses Ascensos serves.
“Amazing CX starts at the infrastructure layer and Centreon helps us guarantee that we work from a strong core. If there’s a problem affecting our call recording or call delivery platform, for example, the customer experience could potentially be impacted, so we need to be aware and act instantly,” explains John. John is responsible for configuring the monitoring solution, but alerts are received by IT teams, who can then use the solution to diagnose and swiftly resolve issues.
Relevant monitoring depends on a well-calibrated configuration
“Configuration is crucial to CX success. If the monitoring platform generates too many alerts, it defeats the whole purpose. Monitoring should help ITOps focus on specific issues, fast and with razor-sharp vision, so problems are fixed before agents or customers can notice,” says John. Considering Ascensos’s rapid growth and innovation rates, John now has the right tools in hand to automate but also ensure configuration accuracy using Centreon’s monitoring templates, which shorten the time to monitoring new assets.
Automation: From nice-to-have to absolute necessity
“Centreon IT Edition offers significant benefits on the automation front,” says John. In Centreon, the core of automation capabilities combines the ever-growing Plugin Pack library and the Auto-Discovery engine, the secret behind a highly connected and always up-to-date configuration. The monitoring packs contain readily available templates for configuring new equipment. The Auto-Discovery functionality notices changes in the IT environment and ensures new assets are monitored.
“The Plugins Packs are a revolution to me. I just point to the service to monitor it, compared to having to manually configure it, as I did before.”
John estimates that in setting up new servers, for example, he is saving “at least 50% of the configuration time”. He is currently exploring the powerful Auto-Discovery functionality, so even more of his time can go towards supporting the enterprise’s continuous digital transformation.
Ease of monitoring in a PCI compliant organisation
As well as a PCI-compliant organisation, Ascensos needed to upgrade some legacy software and infrastructure. This was a key driver to transition to the Centreon IT Edition, as it means the monitoring solution is always current and up-to-date, aligning with security and business continuity best practices.
At Ascensos, upgrading to the Centreon IT Edition effected a major benefit: configuring the monitoring of new IT services is now done in half the time.
“That’s fifty percent more time I can focus on managing the always evolving technology behind superior customer experiences,” concludes John.
A confident future
Innovation is the driving force at Ascensos. The company continuously seeks to enhance performance and provide clients with visionary CX solutions. John and the IT team are keeping ahead of the game, managing a complex web of IT equipment and services. “Through the Centreon IT Edition, Ascensos enjoys the confidence of always current, up-to-date visibility on their fast-changing environment, while knowing that no matter what Ascensos’s digital future holds, monitoring it will be guaranteed with a simple point and click, attaining the crucial benefits of all-encompassing IT visibility,” concludes John.