I’ve spent my fair share of time working in IT operations and IT operations still think in terms of infrastructure – servers, routers, load balancers, etc.  Monitoring infrastructure is relatively simple.  Is it working?  Or not?

Is it Off or On?  Up or Down?

Some monitoring products will collect data about the infrastructure.  For example, using the case of the lightbulb, data such as the temperature of the filament, the length of time the bulb is on, the electricity consumed, etc.  How is that relevant to supporting the business?  It’s not.

Supporting the business is much more difficult and less straightforward.  Especially since they’re simply not interested in the efficiency of the server, how much CPU is being consumed, or how much latency in the network.  The business is only interested in Business Transactions and by extension the software services that support the execution of these transactions.

A different style of monitoring is required.  We need to detect anomalous behaviour.  This might manifest itself as a deviation from normal durations or volumes, or an emerging pattern of decreased responsiveness or increased errors.  To detect patterns that emerge over time requires a different approach and a different solution.

Also, a good solution should not distract by deep-diving into technical environments or produce perfectly unintelligible dashboards (and I’ve seen some beauties!), or have status screens that are more than half red as standard (ahem a certain CEM vendor!).

But the biggest difference – and this is one that most IT depts have a difficult time understanding – is that the ultimate purpose is to ensure that the *business* is being adequately supported.  So that means aligning monitoring and resources around supporting key business activities (and therefore Key Business Transactions).

So a good solution is one where the Key Business Activities are identified and monitored, with easy to read dashboards showing the key metrics, automatically detecting behaviour deviations and making it easy for IT Operations to see exactly how well they are supporting the key business activities.

That way, everyone from Business to IT is rowing in the same direction – speaking the same language and using the same metrics for success.

Talk to us about an evaluation of WestGlobal Vantify and see what we can do for you.

Posted in BTM, Business Activity Monitoring, Business Service Management, Business Transaction Monitoring, Customer Experience, SDP, Service Delivery Monitoring, Service Experience | Leave a comment

Our Video “Vantify: Revolutionising Monitoring” is a overview of our product.

Having spent time introducing ourselves one-on-one to customers and differentiating ourselves from the many monitoring tools in the marketplace we realised that we could save a lot of time by creating a video to introduce the company and product at a high level and position our core value proposition all within a 1 minute and 30 seconds.

There which 3 concepts we want to convey which we hope can broadly answer the What, Why and How questions.

  1. Vantify is a revolutionary software monitoring product sold by WestGlobal
  2. Using Vantify can save money by predicting Software performance degradation, improving IT performance, and reducing outages for automated IT services.
  3. We do this by monitoring interactions, services and transactions between IT systems in a way that is different from traditional monitoring products.

We are hoping that prospective customers will watch the video and engage with us.

We offer a free consultation as an incentive to action. As part of that process we identify the key integrations and services and transactions that an individual customer should use to measure to improve the performance of their systems.

Consultations concentrate on business rather than technical value while at the same time having a very pragmatic and tailored approach to collection techniques.

The objective of a consultation is for a customer to be able to understand which are their key transactions and services and to give customers options on how they can monitor those transactions.

The ultimate objective is for a prospective customer to be able to engage with us without incurring any financial cost.

We hope you like the video, any feedback would be much appreciated.

Posted in Business Activity Monitoring, Business Service Management, Business Transaction Monitoring, Complex Event Processing, Customer Experience, Service Experience | Leave a comment

I have just read an article about the devastating tornadoes in the USA. The article came from the website of AWARE , an independent forum that brings together thought leaders and practitioners in the public safety and emergency management fields. The article analysed the effectiveness of various alerting systems during the recent emergency.

This excerpt from the report caught my eye as its importance is no less in the area of IT enterprise management.

Though alerting centers on the provision of information about a situation to the public, it bears mentioning that the success of alerting is wholly dependent upon timely and quality information before the alert is sent. This is where prediction and analytics come into play.

Increasingly we are seeing that traditional IT alerting mechanisms, which rely largely on static parameters to define our alerting conditions, are wholly inadequate. Whats needed is a more tightly-coupled relationship between the analytical data being collected across the enterprise and the alerts conditions being constructed.

At WestGlobal the quality of the information we collect across the enterprise is central to our ability to react to pending issues. Our research has allowed us to evolve our alerting mechanisms to reflect the dynamic nature of the everchanging data flowing through your systems. If you are interested in finding out more have a look at the video and contact us to see a demo.

Posted in BTM, Business Transaction Monitoring, SDP, Service Delivery Monitoring | Leave a comment

The right kind of video can deliver a message faster and more effectively than pages of web text. But how do you start? We’ve just recently just finished this promotional video for Vantify. Essentially, it was collaboration between Graphic Mint, our design company, and ourselves.

From this experience, we’ve compiled a short list of considerations when launching a video campaign.
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Posted in Business Transaction Monitoring, Customer Experience, General, Service Experience | Leave a comment

Here’s 5 of our favorite tips we’ve gathered over the years to assist you in getting the most from your Business Transaction Monitoring solution:

Simples!

  1. Start out by identifying your key transactions and Services.  Be selective.  Too much noise in terms of data and alerts can be detrimental.  Focus on actionable information, not just data for the sake of data.
  2. Identify the key metrics associated with the transactions operational characteristics.  For example, does the daily or weekly volumes vary.  How does Service Delivery Performance change in relation to the time of day or week or month?  Are usage spikes normal due to an announcement or external event?
  3. Start small, start simple.  A big bang approach will likely fail as it will be seen as too disruptive, or providing too much data.  Similarly, a complex initial approach may be seen as too disruptive.
  4. Most importantly, design an action plan for each alert you may receive.
  5. Finally, decide what the key success factors are in advance, and regularly measure your BTM usage against the success factors.

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Posted in BTM, Business Activity Monitoring, Business Service Management, Business Transaction Monitoring, General, SDP, Service Delivery Monitoring, Service Experience | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

I was reading the this entry from the very good blog of Correlsense and liked the analogy of transaction monitoring and shopping.  It’s not an analogy I’d heard before now.  My own personal favorite analogy is a Restaurant :-) – I promise to write that one up soon.

Nir mentions tracking every individual transaction across all elements, to meter how much time the transaction spends on each element, and how many times it invokes each element.

So that:

  • Transaction = Shopper
  • Elements = Shelves
  • Metric = How much time the transaction (Shopper) spends at each element (Shelf)

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Posted in BTM, Business Activity Monitoring, Business Service Management, Business Transaction Monitoring, Customer Experience, SDP, Service Delivery Monitoring, Service Experience | Leave a comment

I’ve seen on a number of occasions where alerts are placed on a dashboard, assigned a trouble ticket, and/or emailed to all members within the IT operations department.  Inevitably, and predictably, chaos reigns.  The easy alerts are quickly dealt with, and the more difficult situations are never given more than a cursory look.  It’s generally true that if the Operations team can’t identify the problem in less than 30 minutes, it won’t get fixed.

With Business Transaction Monitoring (BTM), it is important to ensure that your IT Operations team understand how to prioritize and respond to an alert.  And unlike traditional monitoring systems, many of these alerts will require escalation.  Unlike the maturity of IT infrastructure management, there are often no failsafe mechanisms or reset buttons available to fix transaction issues.  BTM alerts may concern an individual transaction, but may equally highlight a slowdown along the transaction path and thereby affecting large volumes of transactions.

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Posted in BTM, Business Service Management, Business Transaction Monitoring, Customer Experience, SDP, Service Delivery Monitoring, Service Experience | Leave a comment

I have yet to meet with a customer who hasn’t asked within the first couple of minutes to explain the difference between Vantify and their usual Enterprise Monitoring solutions.

Here’s a simple method.  Simply figure out which of the following your monitoring is providing answers to:

  • Resource Availability.  Any element within your IT infrastructure is simply a resource, available to work on delivering a service.  Many old-school traditional monitoring solutions fall into this category.  They ping a resource, wait for a response, and mark the resource as available.
  • Resource Capability.  Once resources are available, an additional technique is to check up on their current capability to perform the task that they are required to perform.  This might entail running a synthetic transaction – for example, mimicking a user working on a website, or running a script to insert, modify, and delete a record in a database.
  • Service Delivery.  This technique evaluates the quality of the actual work being performed by the resource.  For example, analyzing the speed at which a website serves each and every page and the number of errors, or monitoring the each and every request for a customer balance from a back-end system.

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Posted in ACD, Availability Capability Delivery, BTM, Business Service Management, Business Transaction Monitoring, SDP, Service Delivery Monitoring | Tagged , , | Leave a comment