Inspiro Boosts VoIP Reliability and Cloud Application Access with Cato SASE Cloud
Inspiro Call Centers Struggled with Poor VoIP Performance and Slow Application Access
Few functions depend on low latency more than voice and video and few businesses depend on clear voice and fast application access more than customer call centers. Rey Picar, Vice President of IT Service Delivery for Inspiro, a leading customer experience outsourcing firm, knows that only too well. “Voice and data traffic performance are critical to our operations with clients worldwide,” says Picar.
Before Cato, Inspiro’s call centers relied entirely on local ISPs and the Internet for voice interactions with customers and access to client customer service applications. Unfortunately, with its unpredictable performance and latency, the Internet couldn’t deliver, which had a direct impact on revenues. “Our staff was often challenged by one-way, garbled, and dropped calls,” says Picar.
Even when voice calls went smoothly, accessing client customer service applications was often slow, hampering the ability of call center staff to address customer issues promptly and slashing the number of customer calls agents could handle each day. “Our agents are expected to meet certain volume requirements for our SLA’s,” says Picar. “If they don’t, we suffer financial penalties that affect our revenue directly.” Not to mention dissatisfied clients and their customers.
Aside from call quality issues, Inspiro was in the process of moving more applications to the cloud, which meant even more reliance on WAN performance and latency. Picar knew that he had to come up with a faster, more reliable network solution than the public Internet, so he started looking for a replacement. “Our three priorities were low latency, reliability, and cost efficiency,” says Picar.
Inspiro Investigates WAN Alternatives, Chooses Cato
That’s what led him to Cato. Picar and Ray Segaya, Vice President for IT Service Management, were intrigued by the Cato SASE Cloud approach to SD-WAN and security. The Cato SASE Cloud could provide fast performance and low latency at a cost that was affordable. But there were other pluses as well. “It was clear that the Cato SASE Cloud would improve scalability and speed of deployment,” says Segaya, “and it would help us meet our goal of minimizing the data center’s carbon footprint.”
The Cato SASE Cloud platform optimally connects all enterprise network resources, including branch locations, the hybrid workforce, and physical and cloud data centers, into a secure global, cloud-native service. Connecting a location to Cato is just a matter of installing a simple Cato Socket appliance that links automatically to one of Cato’s 80+ PoP locations and its fast, global private backbone. The Cato Socket, Cato’s edge SD-WAN device, extends the Cato SASE Cloud to sites, providing prioritized and resilient connectivity over multiple last-mile links. At the same time, the Cato Client and Clientless access enable secure and optimized application access for users everywhere, including at home and on the road.
Cato’s cloud-native security edge, Cato SSE 360, converges Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Data Loss Prevention (DLP), Remote Browser Isolation (RBI), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA/SDP), and Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) with Advanced Threat Prevention (IPS, Next Generation Anti-malware). It fully enforces granular corporate access policies on all applications on-premises and in the cloud, protecting users against threats and preventing sensitive data loss.
Picar and Segaya ran a proof of concept (POC) with the Cato solution and were impressed by the results. Voice quality was much improved, as reflected in the Mean Opinion Scores (MOS) recorded by the team. MOS is a metric used to measure VoIP or digital audio quality, where 1 is the lowest quality and 5 is the highest quality possible. “After deploying Cato, our MOS ranged from 4 to 5,” says Picar.
There were other performance gains as well. “Our data transfer rates increased by 30 times,” says Picar, “and our agents saw significant improvement in the speed at which they could access client applications, improving their ability to resolve customer issues quickly.”
Deployment of the Cato solution went smoothly, thanks to its ease of use and the skills of the teams from Cato and solution provider KDDI. “Deployment was a great experience for us–very professionally executed by Cato and KDDI from proof of concept to implementation,” says Picar. “Cato’s personnel are very knowledgeable about their product and very patient explaining its benefits and their project plans. They responded to all our questions quickly and accurately.”
Serving More Customers Boosts the Bottom Line
The results of the deployment matched the POC experience, with high MOS and no complaints from customers or staff.
“With Cato there’s been a big improvement in VoIP performance and application access. We have yet to receive any complaints about voice quality issues from our users or operations group.”
Cato’s management tools have greatly enhanced Inspiro’s ability to monitor the network as well.
In terms of ROI, Picar estimates that Cato is saving Inspiro 20 to 30 percent in telecommunications costs compared to its previous solutions. “What’s more, thanks to better connections and application access, we can meet our service level commitments, which enhance the company’s revenues directly.” No more SLA fines.
Cato’s support has been excellent, according to Picar. “Cato competes very well with other vendors in terms of its technical skill set, 24-by-7 support, and, most of all, the continuous improvement of the Cato solution by its research and development group.”
Now that its network issues have been solved by Cato, Inspiro aims to implement Cato’s security services as well. “We’re looking to replace our on-premises security technology with the Cato SASE,” he says.