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eG Enterprise at Higgins

Reducing IT Costs While Improving Network Support

The support from eG Innovations has been amazing really. They bent over backwards to help us get everything configured initially and then reconfigured the monitoring system when we refreshed our infrastructure refresh. They even added custom monitoring for the IBM PureFlex system that we installed recently. I wish all our vendors were so responsive and helpful. Quote

Damian DaviesIT Manager, Higgins  |  Download Case Study

Key Benefits to Higgins

With eG Enterprise, Higgins fully unlocked the benefits of seamless application delivery to remote end users. eG Enterprise enabled the Higgins IT team to:

  • Increase end user satisfaction and productivity
  • Reduce IT support incidents, cost and complexity
  • Decrease downtime and realize faster problem resolution

Why eG Enterprise?

  • Monitor the entire IT infrastructure end-to-end, from a single web console
  • 360-degree service visibility into every tier and every layer of the IT infrastructure
  • Pre-defined thresholds based on industry standard best practices
  • Automated root cause diagnosis
  • Support from eG Innovations has been amazing
 

The Challenge: Getting a Handle on Critical IT Infrastructure Performance

IT and Network Support Monitoring at Higgins Industries, Australia.

Higgins, headquartered in Melbourne, is one of the leading commercial services companies in Australia. Established in 1949, Higgins has over 800 employees and contractors across 11 branch offices supported by a centralized IT environment that delivers business critical applications to end users.

Over the years, Higgins' IT infrastructure has grown significantly. For a small organization, Higgins' IT infrastructure is extremely distributed and heterogeneous. Email is supported using Microsoft Exchange 2010. Microsoft Sharepoint is used as the main document repository for employees. Key applications are accessed by employees from branch offices through Citrix XenApp. For operational efficiency, Higgins' IT infrastructure is fully virtualized. Citrix XenServer is used to virtualize the Citrix applications while the rest of the infrastructure runs on VMware vSphere. IBM PureFlex with V7000 storage is used for data storage.

To manage this infrastructure, the Higgins IT team had tried many monitoring and troubleshooting options. They had access to Citrix XenCenter and VMware vCenter and a number of other administration tools. For monitoring and alerting, the IT team relied on BigBrother and LabTech.

As the IT infrastructure grew and users started to rely on IT for their day to day sales and order processing tasks, failures or slowdowns in the infrastructure began to have an impact on the company's operations. Users were getting frustrated with slow application performance and this started to impact productivity and critical business processes. Higgins has a small IT team and they struggled to deal with the growing IT infrastructure.

The existing monitoring tools had limited functionality and did not cover the entire infrastructure - for instance, Citrix XenApp was not monitored. Often, the Higgins IT team would be notified of problems (e.g., application slowness) but could not identify the cause of these issues. They had to spend a lot of time manually diagnosing and troubleshooting problems. This work was time consuming and expensive for the company. The IT team did not have skills in all of the heterogeneous applications and platforms within the IT environment. Hence, identifying where the real issues were in the infrastructure was a challenge.

 

The Solution: End-to-End Performance Monitoring

Network Support Monitoring Solution

It was in this context that Higgins contacted eG Innovations. A targeted proofof-concept was deployed in a few days. Almost immediately after deployment, eG Enterprise highlighted a network switch problem and an application memory usage issue that were impacting the Citrix user experience. Having seen the immediate benefit of using eG Enterprise, the Higgins IT team was able to justify moving forward with eG Enterprise over other solutions they were evaluating.

Now, with eG Enterprise, the Higgins IT team is able to monitor their entire IT infrastructure end-to-end, from a single webconsole. Their outsourced IT provider has access to the eG management console as well. This allows Higgins' IT staff and their outsourced provider to have a common, consistent view of the performance of their IT infrastructure.

With eG Enterprise, Higgins fully unlocked the benefits of seamless application delivery to remote end users. eG Enterprise now provides the Higgins IT team with 360-degree service visibility into every tier and every layer of the IT infrastructure - from network to applications, and from the virtualization platform to storage. Intuitive, rich, service-oriented topology views of the IT infrastructure with simple color cues lead IT administrators to the exact location of problems in the underlying infrastructure. A simple browser based interface and a consistent layer model representation for heterogeneous IT tiers have also ensured that the learning curve for Higgins' IT staff has been short. Since eG Enterprise has pre-defined thresholds based on industry standard best practices, the IT team has had to spend very little time in getting the monitoring solution to work correctly.

How eG Enterprise Delivers Value

According to Damian Davies, IT Manager at Higgins, "It is very difficult to monitor and troubleshoot a complicated IT infrastructure such as ours - there are multiple sites, various virtualization platforms, a raft of server applications and Citrix XenApp. We would need multiple resources with different skills to do what eG Enterprise does for us."

With eG Enterprise, the Higgins IT team is able to maintain user satisfaction and give their management peace of mind. The monitoring solution has also significantly increased the IT team's productivity. Prior to using eG Enterprise, Higgins estimated that approximately 10% of the IT team's time was spent on troubleshooting and system monitoring. This time is now spent productively, on strategic IT initiatives.

"The support from eG Innovations has been amazing really. They bent over backwards to help us get everything configured initially and then reconfigured the monitoring system when we refreshed our infrastructure refresh. They even added custom monitoring for the IBM PureFlex system that we installed recently. I wish all our vendors were so responsive and helpful" said Damian Davies.

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