Self-Healing Support Services – Really?
Well, yes! The technology is available and has been for some time. The real decision is - should you deploy self-healing monitoring products?
Over the years managing IT assets has become more automated, I remember back in the day writing batch files to automatically check for the latest antivirus signature files on servers and client machines. But automation through software has moved along way since then!
For the purposes of this article, I really want to focus on monitoring; specifically the possibility of self-healing following a failure type scenario in an Avaya Contact Centre.
Q: Paul, why are monitoring solutions needed in contact centre environments when the solutions we design and implement are N+1 or N+N?
Yes, Sabio usually propose N+1 and N+N solutions and as such the solutions themselves are self healing or resilient in terms of critical business function. However this does still mean that components can fail or degrade individually without the business or the support teams becoming aware. Therefore a risk of service impact comes into play if this failure remains unnoticed. Monitoring addresses this gap by alerting the business and therefore mitigating this risk.
Q: Why can we not go one step further and attempt the restoration of a function without human intervention?
This is an interesting technical question. My view is that although this is theoretically possible is it unlikely to be cost effective and may in itself compound failure and in a worst case scenario actually introduce business impact if poorly delivered.
Q: Would you currently recommend self healing monitoring given the technology available today?
At this point I remain unconvinced that this can be implemented in a cost effective way when weighed up against the business benefit. Efforts and capital are better spent in engineering resilience within the core solution itself and using monitoring tools such as Sabio MaaS to provide control and assurance. MaaS does have the capability within the service to offer self healing functionality, however to date, customer engagement has been focused on proactive alerting, event correlation and the collection of detailed information to aid the speedy resolution of incidents.