Building stability and resilience into the contact center

Building stability and resilience into the contact center of a large healthcare payer in the United States



The contact center was the primary channel of communication, sales and customer engagement for one of the largest healthcare payers in the United States. Therefore, the performance and profitability of the organization depended on the contact center’s stability and resilience.

Marlabs enabled that.


Our client, a Fortune 500 managed care enterprise in the US, had a large contact center, which fielded millions of calls each month. Especially during open enrolment season, this was an important channel for our client to engage with existing customers as well as attract new customers.

However, the technology and infrastructure that powered their contact center was quietly failing. In 2020, when the contact center experienced its biggest outage ever, their 16,000 agents from 140+ locations across the US were offline missing tens of thousands of calls each day. Yet, the root cause analysis and resolution took days.

As a consulting partner, Marlabs was already onboard to help detect vulnerabilities in the infrastructure prior to the outage. We were performing thorough assessments of their contact center technology, identifying gaps and making recommendations to prevent future failures. And almost everything we predicted in our assessment that could go wrong, went wrong.

Now, with renewed trust in our capabilities, our client invited us back to build stability and resilience into their system – at speed.


Operational effectiveness, monitoring and prevention of down-time at the contact center

The technology foundations of the companies they acquired as part of their growth strategy was scattered, making their landscape more complex and siloed.

Their current call center management solution had a 40% failure rate, a number not only far worse than industry average, but also having direct impact on their top line. Their call containment rate was 7%, also very low for the industry.

In our assessment, we learned that despite a monitoring system in place, the business unit lacked a single source of truth of all their data. Without system-wide monitoring in place, the client’s existing solutions were unable to detect or isolate problems.

They also did not have the strong documentation and competencies needed to fix the problems when they occur. This resulted in IT teams spending significant time manually processing information across disparate data systems.


Stability, resilience and future-readiness for contact center operations

Marlabs began the engagement with a thorough end-to-end assessment of our client’s contact center operations. We studied the various aspects involved — telecommunication devices, other hardware, contact center management software, telephone service etc. — to map the entire landscape and its dependencies. We then identified vulnerabilities and tipping points. We also made recommendations on how to address them.

Based on this assessment, our client invited us back to implement the recommendations. At this stage, we set direction, designed the strategy and oversaw the implementation of the entire project.

Stabilizing the contact center

Marlabs played the role of the general counsel in stabilizing the contact center for the client. Driven by our mission to deliver stellar human experiences, we collaborated with multiple stakeholders such as cloud communications providers, telephone services providers, software vendors etc. to ensure seamless functioning of the ecosystem in service of the end-consumer.

During this time, we also conducted several load tests to ensure that the failure rate is reduced significantly. Despite the call volumes increasing by over 50% in open enrolment season, we made sure failures were minimal and containment improved.

Establishing proactive monitoring

We leveraged our strengths in design-led innovation to bring monitoring systems from across the landscape to present a holistic view of contact center performance. We helped establish the right metrics and appropriate monitoring to ensure that they had clear visibility at all times.

This especially paid off when our monitoring solution could identify outages outside their infrastructure, enabling the client to resolve issues in a couple of hours, instead of the days it took earlier.

Building future-ready competency

As part of our resilience-building strategy, we also empowered the client with the competency to deftly handle issues in the future, if they arise. We developed thorough documentation across the product landscape and enabled comprehensive knowledge transfer to future-proof their contact center operations. We are also setting up disaster recovery protocols for business continuity.


Marlabs ensured that the client was fully prepared to handle the volume of calls expected during open enrolment season, just months away from its busiest season of the year. Through our design-led thinking, curated human experience and state-of-the-art innovation, Marlabs helped the client get up and running well ahead of time and allow its user base of millions get access to their healthcare benefits.

  • Reduced failure rates from ~40% to ~4%
  • Increased IVR capacity by 287%
  • Improved IVR containment to 14.5%
  • Improved performance under heavy load
  • Increased speed of response to detected incidents from days to hours
  • Reduced call drops
  • Optimized user experience with self-service and speech tuning


After successful completion of phase one of this project, we are continuing to work with the client on further optimizing their contact center. We are enabling active standby for their contact center, the next stage of our long-term resilience strategy.

We look forward to phase two of this engagement towards delivering higher value and solving more complex challenges.

Marlabs LLC

About Marlabs LLC

Marlabs helps leading companies around the world make operations sleeker, keep customers closer, transform data into decisions, de-risk cyberspace, boost legacy systems, and capture novel opportunities and digital-led revenues. It provides digital-first strategy and advisory services, rapid solution incubation and prototyping, and agile digital solution engineering. Marlabs is headquartered in New Jersey, with offices in the US, Germany, and India. Its 2,500+ global workforce includes highly experienced technology, platform, and industry specialists from the world’s leading technical universities.

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