Using ScienceLogic to Simplify Infrastructure Management, Improve Transparency, and Save Money
At NetDesign, we’re more than just a vendor to our customers. We’re a partner and an advisor. NetDesign is one of the largest providers in Denmark of unified communication and network solutions for some of the biggest companies in the country. But to give a high level of advice and insight to our customers, we need to rely on the right infrastructure management software.
We had a previous solution, but we knew we needed it to do more. To provide the greatest value to our customers, we’d need to search for the best product in the market.
The Search Begins
We began to look for a different solution at the end of 2013. We did our due diligence and looked at different vendors, but ScienceLogic was the one that immediately impressed us with the ease of use of their platform.
Instantly, I could get more insights into our data with the ScienceLogic platform than we’ve ever had before. I was also up and running in no time. Right away, I was able to extract performance and monitoring data from one of our networks—with a single tool. I could discover and see different devices and device types. Within a half hour, I’d already built a simple platform that I could upload to our servers right away.
The data insights were incredibly promising and the ease of use was impressive. I knew we’d have to take the platform to proof of concept. That was in June of 2015. In January of 2016, we rolled out our network monitoring service using the ScienceLogic solution. Since then, we’ve worked with ScienceLogic’s Professional Services team to develop specialized reports that help us better serve our clients.
An example of the work we have done is around our IP SLA, which is a measurement inside the customer's network where we will get the actual throughput data on how fast you can go from one end of the network to the other. We can take all the data that is stored on a central router and, thanks to the ScienceLogic platform, generate a report that shows our customers exactly where the issues lie, and how we can address them.
We have also used the platform to build a customer portal. Customers can log in and view their own network data. This portal provides our customers freedom by giving them insight into their own networks. It’s like their own monitoring in the cloud. The new setup shares the portal and a couple of dashboards with all our other customers, who connect via a secure HTTPS connection and can only view their own networks.
These tools and dashboards enable us to not only serve our customers better, but prove to them our value. Basically, it allows them to look over our shoulder to see what we’re doing. If there’s an issue with their network, they can see how we’ve addressed it.
Essentially, the portal documents the fact that NetDesign is doing a good job providing the services outlined in our customers’ support and maintenance contracts. This added degree of transparency provides an extra layer of protection by turning our customers into active participants in their own network monitoring process.
But the transparency isn’t just for our customers—it’s also beneficial for NetDesign. To properly give them recommendations for new products or configurations, we need these insights as well. The ScienceLogic platform gives everyone the granularity we need to push us forward.
The Unexpected Benefits
The solution also helps with our internal processes. A huge time saver for us is the way the platform integrates into our ticket tracking system. We have around a thousand tickets open at any given time. ScienceLogic has also automated ticketing. It syncs via API to ServiceNow, our new cloud-based system. The process takes seconds, while other solutions may take a few minutes. The time difference may seem like nothing, but a 3-minute wait 1,000 times adds up to 50 hours.
The platform also offers us more usable data in a timelier manner. Because we have better data, we can provide our technicians with more details. Providing quality data to our technicians not only speeds up the problem-solving process, it also helps us react more quickly to potential issues. We can also prioritize how we can deal with such issues because we can see them coming.
Our technicians provide 24/7 network monitoring services. They can see what’s happening in real time. Everything is color coded. Blue events are relatively minor—we can deal with them later. Yellow events are major issues that must be resolved promptly, but not necessarily right away. Red events are to be handled immediately.
In terms of numbers, we now serve 300 users and monitor 12,000 devices for 100 customers. But here’s another important number: We’ve halved the number of employees in our network monitoring department. We used to need six full-time employees. We’re down to three because so much of the process is automated by the ScienceLogic platform.
Powering this many customers means we need to think about the big picture. Enterprise networks are the backbone of today’s businesses. They help employers reach out to their employers, and sellers reach out to buyers. I take a lot of pride knowing we’re helping our customers with every packet we inspect, every ticket we open, and every network issue we resolve. The work may not seem flashy to some, but we know that because of our diligence, our customers are successful. And if they’re successful, so are we.