IBB focuses on Service Quality and End User Experience

„Already during the first week we have been able to restart four blocked applications or services,

even before the users would have noticed the downtime.“

Andreas Zipse,

IT/Facility Manager at the IBB

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Company: Internationales Bankhaus Bodensee AG (IBB)

Sector: Banking

Employees: 180

Challenge

Monitoring availability and response times of a business-critical application of a third-party provider, with the limitation of having no direct server access.

Solution

Definition of typical user transactions, which are automatically executed by Alyvix each five minutes, combined with the measurement of the corresponding performance data.

Result

Application failures can be detected by the IT department at an early stage and can be therefore resolved before employees are limited in their working activities.

Half a year ago, the IT staff of the Internationales Bankhaus Bodensee AG (IBB) was reliant on outage notifications reported by the users, to put business-critical IT services back to operation. Today, downtimes are not even noticed by the users, thanks to the introduction of a proactive monitoring strategy with Alyvix.

The banking house with its headquarters in Friedrichshafen has highest quality demands concerning services towards its customers. Although the IT is not an independent branch of business, it is nevertheless extremely critical for business success. A smooth operation of the IT is the prerequisite for an adequate service to the demanding customer. Breakdowns have to be avoided by all means.

Thus, IBB decided to outsource most of its IT services and to rely on a data center specialist for operational matters.

Trust is good, control is better.

In 2015, the outsourcing situation posed a particular challenge for the IBB.

„The provider of the cloud applications has defined their SLAs in such a way that they were just measured from the moment when the requests arrived to their side. The SLA´s compliance was not affected by anything happening between Friedrichshafen and the data center. In contradiction to the provider’s approach, it is decisive for us that the employees in Friedrichshafen and the other locations can open the application and work with it at any time.”

Andreas Zipse,

IT/Facility Manager at the IBB

From this situation, the need of an appropriate monitoring tool arose. The new tool had to be able to control the availability and responsiveness of business-critical cloud services 24 hours a day, at any location. Additionally, it had to allow recording the corresponding performance data.

Search starts in the cloud

The IBB looked for a monitoring solution being able to measure the end user’s experience on cloud applications. The primary aim was to monitor the availability and the performance perceived by the user on business-critical applications with the limitation of having no direct server access.

The first idea was to search a cloud solution. Hence, different cloud-based monitoring solutions were preselected and tested. The IBB IT security manager did not agree on this approach, therefore the search had to restart again.

Alyvix hit the bull’s eye

In spring 2016, the IBB touched base with Würth Phoenix and got to know the end user experience monitoring software Alyvix. The benefits spoke for themselves: Monitoring of availability and performance of any application, without the need of direct access to the server.

„We were invited to a demo of Alyvix and when we heard that it was possible to monitor even those applications were we had no server access, the decision was made. Thereupon we set aside all other tools.”

Andreas Zipse,

IT/Facility Manager at the IBB

And the implementation project was started soon.

Learning by Doing.

A consultant was responsible for the implementation of the new monitoring tool in cooperation with the responsible project manager of the IBB. After just three days, two complete test scenarios were running smoothly on the two most important company applications.

During the first week, Alyvix tests already helped to restart four failed applications before even been noticed by the users. In the past, the IT staff has been reliant on outage notifications by the users. Today, a proactive handling is possible thus, positively enhancing user experience.

The responsible IBB employee was present during the entire implementation process that helped him to gain deep software knowledge. Finally, he was able to independently create Alyvix test cases.

Conclusions

By introducing Alyvix, the IBB found a suitable monitoring solution to control business-critical cloud applications hosted by an external provider although not having any server access. Now, the bank is able to independently monitor the applications availability and performance around the clock.

In this way, IBB does not limit their quality assurance to the requests´ response time from their arrival to the data center, but is also measuring the software performance directly at the employees’ working place. As a result, the IBB is continuously getting up-to-date information regarding the real user experience. Thanks to the real time monitoring, outages will be identified earlier than users might even perceive them.

In addition, the bank’s IT staff will be able to independently define new test scenarios by relying on the knowledge transfer during the project phase.

On a rating scale from 1 to 10, Andreas Zipse gives the top score.

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„I can just give a 10. Excellent! We rarely are in contact with service providers engaging themselves that much.“

Andreas Zipse, IT/Facility Manager at the IBB

The Internationales Bankhaus Bodensee AG (IBB) was founded in Friedrichshafen in 1996 by an international group of shareholders. Its stockholders are the Würth-Finanz-Beteiligungs-GmbH, Künzelsau and the Vorarlberger Landes- und Hypothekenbank AG, Bregenz (Austria). With over 170 employees in the headquarters at Friedrichshafen and five further locations in Künzelsau, Konstanz, Freudenstadt, Radolfzell and Munic, the IBB is mainly focussing their consulting services on on Private Banking, corporate customers and commercial real estate customers.