"Already in the first week we have been able to restart four blocked applications or services, before our users would have even noticed the downtime."
The Internationales Bankhaus Bodensee needed a way to continuously verify that applications developed and hosted off-site were functioning. Würth Phoenix helped them set up Alyvix real user experience software to notify them when those applications went down.
Monitoring the availability and response times of a business-critical application hosted by a third-party provider is even more difficult when you don't have direct access to their servers.
Würth Phoenix helped Internationales Bankhaus Bodensee (IBB) define typical user transactions that were executed automatically by Alyvix every five minutes, and that even included measurement of the corresponding performance data. This helped IBB's IT department detect application failures at an early stage so they could resolve them before they could affect employees and their work activities.
Although the IT department is not an independent branch of IBB, it is nevertheless extremely critical for business success. Smooth IT operation is a prerequisite for supplying adequate services to demanding customers, and breakdowns must be avoided at all costs. Thus IBB decided to outsource most of its IT services and to rely on a data center specialist for day to day operations.
Before Alyvix, whenever business-critical IT services went down, the IT staff of the IBB relied on outage notifications reported by users themselves in order to get systems back online.
Today, its users don't even notice when downtime occurs thanks to the introduction of a proactive monitoring strategy using Alyvix. The banking house, with its headquarters in Friedrichshafen, demands the same highest quality in its customer-facing services just as it does in all other areas.
"The cloud applications provider defined their SLAs in such a way that they were only measured from the moment when the requests arrived on their side. So SLA compliance was not affected by anything happening between Friedrichshafen and the data center. Instead what's more important to us is that the employees in Friedrichshafen and our other locations are able to open our applications and work with them at any time." Andreas Zipse, IT/Facility Manager, IBB AG
Given the lack of complete control, there was an obvious need for an appropriate level of monitoring. IBB needed a tool that could verify the availability and responsiveness of business-critical cloud services 24 hours a day, at any location. Additionally, any tool had to be able to record the corresponding performance data.
IBB began looking for a monitoring solution that could measure the end user’s experience on cloud applications. The primary aim was to monitor the availability and performance perceived by the user on business-critical applications, with the limitation of not having direct server access.
Their first idea was to search for a cloud solution, and they tested out several different cloud-based monitoring solutions. But IBB's IT security manager did not agree with this approach, and so the search had to begin again.
IBB touched base with Würth Phoenix and got to know the Alyvix end user experience monitoring software. The benefits spoke for themselves: Monitoring of availability and performance of any application, without the need for direct server access.
"We were invited to see a demo of Alyvix, and then when we heard that it was even possible to monitor applications where we had no server access, we immediately made our decision and set aside all the other tools." Andreas Zipse, IT/Facility Manager, IBB AG
And soon after they started with the project implementation.
A consultant was responsible for implementing the new monitoring tool in cooperation with IBB's chief project manager. After just three days, two complete test scenarios were up and running smoothly on the company's two most important applications. During the first week, Alyvix tests had already helped to restart four failed applications before users had even noticed.
In the past, the IT staff had been reliant on their users for outage notifications. Today, proactive handling with Alyvix is positively enhancing the user experience. The IBB employee in charge of the entire implementation was present during the whole process, helping him to gain deep knowledge of the software, and allowing him to later create Alyvix test cases independently.
By introducing Alyvix, IBB found a suitable monitoring solution to control business-critical cloud applications hosted by an external provider, despite not having server access. Now the bank is able to independently monitor application availability and performance around the clock.
This way, IBB doesn't have to limit its quality assurance to the response time from when a request arrives at the data center, but can also measure software performance directly at each employee's desk. As a result, IBB is continuously getting up-to-date information regarding the real user experience.
Thanks to real time monitoring, outages are identified before users perceive them, and the bank’s IT staff can independently define new test scenarios using the knowledge gained during the project phase. On a scale from 1 to 10, Andreas Zipse gives Alyvix and Würth Phoenix the top score.
"I can just give them a 10. Excellent! We are rarely in contact with service providers who are that engaged." Andreas Zipse, IT/Facility Manager, IBB AG
The Internationales Bankhaus Bodensee AG (IBB) was founded in Friedrichshafen in 1996 by an international group of shareholders, including Würth Finanz Beteiligungs GmbH, Künzelsau and the Vorarlberger Landes und Hypothekenbank AG, Bregenz (Austria). With over 170 employees in its headquarters at Friedrichshafen and five additional locations in Künzelsau, Konstanz, Freudenstadt, Radolfzell and Munich, IBB mainly focuses its consulting services on Private Banking, corporate customers, and commercial real estate customers.