Original need: to ensure that website services are operating smoothly for customers, with alerting for rapid intervention.
Further needs: monitoring internal SLAs and quality of experience on business applications, with reporting to executives.
Monitor website availability & performance; track internal application performance.
• automated tracking of response times and diagnostics of malfunctions ensures that website services are available and fast for online customers
• service levels of the website and internal business software are documented in dashboards
• customized reports are generated for review by the management
• bonuses can be calculated on the basis of results from monitoring
This focus on customer experience also extends to the company’s web presence. Helen’s website offers a wide variety of services for customers. Visitors can sign up for electricity supply, heating or cooling contracts, or solar panel solutions. Existing customers can log on to change billing options, get advice, check energy consumption and more. People can also check real-time maps of power outages and works underway on Helen’s associated electricity distribution website.
Because Helen’s website and online services are crucial channels of sales and customer service, the company decided to set up application performance management tools with ip-label, to ensure that the website and aforementioned online services were available and functioning well at all times.
The initial use cases were straightforward. The approach consisted of setting up synthetic monitoring with automated transactions to test the website and alert IT teams to any incidents on the website. Monitoring the public front page of the site with ip-label’s Datametrie solution was the logical place to start.
“ip-label gives us an independent third-party view of our critical applications. The measurements provide full real-time visibility into the availability and performance of our internal and external services.” Jani Laine, IT Manager
As a next step, Helen wanted to understand trends and get more detailed insights into user quality of experience. This kind of sophisticated monitoring is provided by Datametrie to check the quality of access to the Helen website, mobile site, and online services. Additional monitoring was therefore added to ensure that end users can log on to a customer zone, check energy consumption levels, and submit enquiries quickly and easily.
When testing websites, Datametrie measures access, performance, response times, and availability on connections via different ISPs/carriers. Results measured at these different points of presence in Finland help to determine, for example, whether the root cause of an incident is located in the operator infrastructure or can be resolved by investigating the web page itself.
The APM metrics collected by Datametrie monitors are processed and rendered in dashboards to facilitate reporting and information-sharing with managers and executives.
After its successful experience with monitoring customerfacing services, Helen decided to monitor internal business applications to ensure good service for its staff and improve productivity. For this they chose ip-label’s Newtest solution.
The Newtest SaaS solution addresses the issues specific to monitoring applications based on different types of client environments, such as Windows-based or web-based applications. A robot with four different scenarios was set up by ip-label to measure the performance of Helen’s CRM and other business applications.
The IT staff at Helen receives alerts whenever internal SLAs or performance targets are not met. The Newtest supervision interface displays any issues that arise in real time. ip-label’s specialists in Finland receive the same alerts, so they can work with Helen to get better insights and faster mean time to repair.
“ip-label’s monitoring services enable us to proactively detect and correct any incidents, thus minimizing the impact on users and on our business,” explains Jani Laine.
To document application performance results, the customizable reporting functionalities of Newtest help technical teams to communicate with managers, all the way up to the CEO. Graphical reports feature KPIs that are important to the business in a clear, easy-to-read charts.
The performance indicators that come under management scrutiny show how well IT is living up to internal SLAs. These are decision-making tools which identify where investments need to be made and demonstrate the quality of service being provided to Helen’s workforce.
The metrics which result from monitoring can bring concrete benefits to members of staff. Employee bonuses are calculated on the basis of KPIs. When indicators show that excellent performance has been achieved, or that service has improved, staff is rewarded accordingly.
Helen is an electric utility whose core business activities consist of energy production, district heating and cooling, solar power systems, and energy distribution and sales. Owned by the City of Helsinki, it serves some 400,000 customers throughout Finland with electricity products for homes and companies. Helen strives to develop new solutions for increasingly cleaner energy production and sustainable consumption, with a focus on the environment, customer experience, financial responsibility, and communication.