How one company improved its productivity by prioritising enterprise apps

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Integrated services provider Coopservice has announced a partnership with Ipanema Technologies to improve its IT network, with the result of reduced network costs and performance issues, as well as improved employee productivity.

Ipanema also moved HR and other key applications to the cloud, utilised unified comms tools, including deploying Lync, and replaced the company’s former ERP system with SAP.

Coopservice’s business plan relies on an always-ready network and minimal performance issues. The company network connects 140 branch offices and one data centre, with the main apps running off it including AS/400, Citrix, SAP, HR, Exchange and Lync. The network is managed by Telecom Italia.

Network link cost was removed by up to 50% in some cases. The overall effect was to avoid bandwidth upgrades, decrease the number of calls to the service desk, and reduce time to deploy SAP and cloud HR application.

Last year an internal analysis found that Coopservice was losing 10% of daily productivity due to network issues, and CIO Gianfranco Scocco felt he had to act.

We had two types of performance issues - bandwidth starvation due to heavy data transfer on WANs, and two applications that were using large bandwidth for batch purposes

“We basically had two types of performance issues,” he tells Enterprise AppsTech. “The first was caused from bandwidth starvation due to heavy data transfer on WANs. The second was caused from two applications that were using a large amount of bandwidth for batch purposes.”

The lack of bandwidth was primarily down to slow synchronisation and backup processes, which meant with sluggish systems employees weren’t productive in the first few hours of the day. The solution was to prioritise mission critical apps.

“We gave a time-based priority to backup and batch processes preventing them impacting on SAP, AS/400 and Citrix applications,” Scocco explains. “In this way we increased employee productivity by around an hour a day because they work better and faster on business applications and don’t have to open helpdesk tickets on this issue.”

The final piece of the puzzle was, with the help of Ipanema, ensuring operations won’t be affected in business hours if a night time process takes longer than expected. Readers who get frustrated when they’ve left their machine on overnight for automated checks only to find it painfully slow the next morning might resonate most with this.

Last year Ipanema released research in partnership with Easynet which showed enterprise application performance issues were on the increase, with most employees just accepting it as the norm. “If every Wednesday or Thursday afternoon your application is running slow, and you’ve been reporting it for the past 12 months you stop reporting it,” Easynet UK managing director Adrian Thirkill explained. “You just accept that every Wednesday and Thursday it’s running slow.”

The lesson learned from this case study is simple: don’t suffer in silence with an underperforming network.

 

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