clients / case studies / businesses

America Online


To reduce internal engineering staff time spent on managing incoming problem reports from various sources, at one of the largest help desk infrastructures in the world


An intranet application that consolidates data to respond to help desk queries --- which can be accessed from the AOL intranet using a standard web browser



AOL, one of the world’s largest internet services and media companies, desired to improve its key Tier II help desk operations effectiveness and efficiency through its intranet application they called “Mission Control Management Information System”.  Inquiries that come to the Tier II Help Desk could represent a variety of problems:  they could be issues with the end-user's PC, they could be local network or telephone infrastructure, they could be issues with the network and phone infrastructure at the servicing AOL location (affecting entire regions), they could be issues on a particular server within the infratsructure, or they could be issues with the individual's account or payment history.  Or the issues could be a combination of factors.  Tier II support must be able to respond to a wide variety of potential issues, and need a lot of data at their fingertips to make accurate diagnoses.

AOL teamed up with Ephibian with a view to optimizing the potential of Mission Control by creating a tool that consolidated all of the data necessary to respond to Tier II queries within one straightforward and intuitive user interface. The Mission Control dashboard was to position Tier II Help Desk operators with relevant data feeds from a variety of AOL subsystems, so that operators had at their fingertips the necessary data to rapidly diagnose and respond to inquiries.

What did we do?

  • Designed and built an intranet application that any call center employee could access using a standard web browser
  • AOL help desk personnel could submit a problem report using a straightforward and intuitive interface
  • Created and integrated 23 external interfaces to pre-existing AOL systems, including email services, phone switches, security services, LDAP Directory Services, etc.
  • Developed the application within AOL’s internal “Universal Data Base” (“UDB”) capability
  • Integrated with AOL’s ‘Remedy’ ticketing application, their authoritative source for problem report tickets that remained open

How did we do it?

  • Ephibian staff consulted and worked closely with AOL’s UDB data architects, peripherally helping to design the UDB while creating the specifications for the interface between the UDB and Mission Control
  • Ephibian staff worked closely with AOL Technology Engineers to establish and integrate pre-existing system interfaces
  • For the ‘Remedy’ application Ephibian carefully constructed an architecture that effectively mirrored the problem report ticket information contained within Mission Control

What was the result?

Ephibian provided AOL Tier II operators an intuitive dashboard tool that fused data from multiple sources, allowing them to more rapidly and efficiently respond to outage inquiries, whether, for example, these outages were user local/PC problems, local infrastructure issues, global infrastructure issues, phone-switch, network- or server-related, or account/financially-related.