EDF in the UK Exceeds End-User Expectations

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 11/16/2022, Location: Europe

Riverbed announced that EDF in the UK – the biggest generator of zero carbon electricity in Great Britain – has deployed Alluvio Aternity™ Digital Experience Management (DEM) across its Corporate, Customer and Generation business units. This is empowering EDF in the UK to gain visibility into the end-user experience of its business-critical applications on any device, providing them with actionable insights to inform remediation and accurate resolution, improve employee productivity, significantly reduce transaction times, and ultimately deliver an exceptional digital experience for its employees and customers. Aternity, an industry-leading DEM solution, is part of the Alluvio Unified Observability portfolio from Riverbed.

EDF generates a fifth of the UK’s power, providing electricity to homes and businesses throughout the UK, through a combination of wind, solar, and nuclear energy power generation assets. The energy company has an operational portfolio of 36 wind farms (including two offshore), an ambitious vision for solar and battery storage, with further plans to enable investment in low carbon and renewable technologies in the UK worth over £50bn by 2035.

Improving the End-User Experience
With millions of customers across the UK, it’s imperative that EDF’s consumer-facing business has the contact centre capabilities to service them effectively. However, it traditionally lacked end-to-end visibility and observability over its business-critical applications, so identifying and resolving network and application performance issues was next to impossible.

EDF began its journey using Alluvio Aternity for its End-User Experience Monitoring (EUEM) capabilities. The value was immediately apparent, with Aternity providing a view of digital experience by bringing together the metrics from devices, applications, and the network all into a single view dashboard. This real-time insight into the status of all applications and networks empowers EDF’s IT team to understand what end-users actually experience and allows them to troubleshoot challenges – for example around transaction times – ultimately enabling a better customer service experience.

To further support the drive towards improved customer service, EDF also uses Aternity to assess the workflows and devices that were slowest performing and needed to be replaced. It then used the technology to identify devices needing updating and validated that the resulting upgrades – such as migrating to Windows 10 – had delivered the desired outcome.

Transforming the View of IT Internally
In line with the success of these initiatives, the company also integrated Alluvio Aternity with ServiceNow Incident Management to bolster the resolution of internal IT challenges. Now when a device triggers an alert, ServiceNow collects relevant real-time data from Aternity. The company has created 21 different alerts, including nine system alerts and eight application alerts for hardware. The alerts will flag, for example, if staff have blue screens, battery wear issues, or low disk space, all of which are proven to impact end-user experience. This range of alerts allows IT staff to diagnose root cause proactively and quickly, without end-users even having to raise an incident.

EDF has also created PowerShell scripts (a command line with associated scripting language), and uploaded them to Aternity, to run automatic remediation actions on end-user monitored devices. These remediation actions reduce the number of helpdesk tickets and improve user experiences by identifying and fixing issues remotely before they escalate. For example, one remediation action detects when a computer hasn’t been rebooted for five days and triggers an alert for the user. If the user doesn’t reboot after seven days, the remediation action automatically restarts the device. On average, these actions have saved users 14 minutes of their time, and the support team 15 minutes per incident. These time savings will improve even further as the scripts become fully automated.

Automated Remediation at Scale
Finally, increased visibility is allowing EDF to discover the root cause of issues that affect multiple users. One example being customer relationship management’s slow opening of bills. With Alluvio Aternity, the EDF IT team was able to identify that more than 1,000 machines had a version of Adobe installed which caused the machine to crash when a bill was opened. Similarly, when IT identified that there were persistent memory issues slowing down device performance, it pulled Aternity reports to view the system’s memory utilisation and found that 3,000 devices were using more than 70% of the physical memory. This insight helped the IT team take a different route for improving the memory of all devices.

Seamless Digital Experiences
“Our use of the Alluvio Aternity Digital Experience Management solution has grown and evolved along with our business,” explains Donna Lloyd, Senior Enterprise Product Manager, Platforms & Enablement, Enterprise IT, at EDF. “We started off using Alluvio Aternity as a solution that helped us fix things more quickly by understanding what was behind the latency we faced, whether we had bandwidth issues, or challenges with our devices. It evolved into monitoring our devices and actively looking for problems. We then took it a step further to actually take control with automatic remediation.”

Lloyd continues, “With Riverbed’s technology, we’ve completely transformed the way we manage IT challenges. Moving from being reactive to pre-emptive and now proactive. As a result, Alluvio Aternity has changed how IT is perceived as a department and has ultimately given IT staff the tools they need to better serve our customers.”

John Atkinson, Director Solutions Engineering, UK&I at Riverbed, adds, “EDF is a great example of how organizations around the world are embracing Alluvio by Riverbed, our unified observability portfolio. We’re delighted in the tangible, operational results our technology has delivered for EDF, as well as the way it’s been embraced by their IT team. We look forward to our continued collaboration, supporting them further in delivering seamless, secure digital experiences for their employees and customers that will drive key outcomes for their business.”

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