NRTC Managed Services Group Delivers Solutions for Rural America Amid Pandemic
November 16, 2020
Herndon, VA. and Raleigh, NC. (Nov. 16, 2020) – NRTC, a member-driven and technology-focused cooperative based in Virginia, today announced new solutions their Managed Services group has developed and introduced over the past several months to assist communications service providers (CSPs) and their customers with broadband technical support, cybersecurity solutions, enhanced customer service, and deeper insights about traffic on their networks.
The first half of 2020 largely entailed growing the call center to accommodate the 35% increase in technical support help desk calls caused by the large shift in work-from-home, online learning and streaming entertainment that resulted from the pandemic. “These were particularly stressful times for consumers and businesses, so we made it a priority to ramp up staffing and find ways to maximize the call coverage,” said Jason McGinnis, president of NRTC Managed Services. “We made a large investment to add strong members to our team and move to online training, all while keeping our rates the same for members.“
In addition to the spike in call volume, cybercrime increased dramatically early in the year as work-from-home employees became big targets. Managed Services held multiple webinars and created educational materials to help members’ employees stay protected. In May, TechShield and TechShield Professional were launched so that CSPs could provide comprehensive security solutions to their residential and business customers. TechShield provides consumers with complete protection for their technology, online accounts, files, photos, and personal identity. TechShield Professional is a security software suite and productivity solution for business customers and includes behavioral-based scanning to actively provide protection from new and unknown threats.
New products released in the last couple months, based on member feedback and need, include a flexible Customer Service (CSR) support offering as well as DNS Insights for Network Analysis.
CSPs were running into issues staffing their customer service teams and keeping up with the increase in call volumes so Managed Services developed a solution that allows them to easily add call coverage and increase their support hours to maximize customer satisfaction. Jason added, “Not only do members have an easy way to get cost-effective support to meet their customers’ needs, but now they can get assistance with much-needed projects and outbound calling campaigns.”
CSPs have experienced significant growth and changes to their network traffic this year and have expressed a need for more in-depth information in real-time about routing, traffic flow, application use and more. Managed Services has completed beta testing with a handful of members and just launched DNS Insights as part of their Network Analysis solution. CSPs have found several benefits from this new service including optimizing traffic routes and upstream provider utilization and troubleshooting network anomalies and complex traffic scenarios.
We are a Member-Driven and Technology-Focused cooperative. NRTC provides solutions that help our 1,500 electric and telephone members bring all of the advantages of today’s evolving technology to rural America.
NRTC’s products and services are developed specifically to meet the needs of rural utilities and their customers, and include integrated smart grid and utility solutions, advanced energy, broadband infrastructure and managed network services, wireless technologies, and programming distribution capabilities for video providers.
NRTC helps ensure our members’ success by aggregating their individual buying power, negotiating national contracts, and helping members integrate technology solutions with existing infrastructure.