Powered by a multitude of API integrations, modern IT systems are more interconnected and complicated than ever before. This is great news for productivity and efficiency, but complexity always comes at a cost: the more intricate the solution, the more opportunity there is for things to go wrong.
To keep everything running smoothly, effective monitoring is vital. But while there are plenty of monitoring tools on the market, their scope is typically narrow. Some focus on the hardware layer, others on a single application or process, but very few are capable of monitoring large, complicated solutions like ERP, CRM, or CMS that rely on multiple integrations and the flow of data between many different systems
As a result, most companies rely on extensive manual checks to ensure these kinds of solutions are functioning as they should. Unfortunately, this kind of manual monitoring is extremely time consuming and requires that talented support staff focus their efforts on checking system after system in the hunt for basic errors.
We created Vince Butler (VBU) – a proactive monitoring tool for complex IT systems like ERP, CRM, and CMS – to solve this problem and many more. VBU monitors all the business-critical components within your solution, giving you a comprehensive overview of the status of your environments, integrations, and even the business processes that all this technical wizardry was designed to facilitate in the first place.
Shifting the focus from manual checks to truly proactive, holistic monitoring means VBU is able to identify business-critical issues in real time, allowing your business to take action before there’s an impact to delivery. VBU is an extremely flexible tool that’s limited only by the scope of your imagination, and a small investment of time up front can result in huge savings for your business further down the line, both financial and in terms of increased efficiency and improved processes.
Let’s look at an example of a client of ours, Varner – one of Northern Europe’s largest fashion companies with 11,000 employees and 1,400 shops across 7 countries – who implemented VBU back in 2016.
As part of a drive to streamline their processes, Varner built a new 47,250 sqm warehouse in Sweden as a central distribution hub for all their physical and online stores. The software solution supporting this venture is extremely complicated, integrating with many different systems and handling millions of transactions each day. Small errors in an operation of this complexity have the potential to create huge downstream impact and seriously impede delivery if not resolved immediately. Monitoring a solution of this scale and importance manually would have required a wide range of technical expertise and several support staff working fulltime.
Instead, Varner chose VBU. To begin with, Varner focused on a few vital areas in which they’d been experiencing problems. They configured 5 duties (duties being VBU’s flexible, customisable monitoring tasks) to closely monitor the relevant components and processes, highlighting issues in real time and collecting key data. The information VBU uncovered was presented in customizable shared dashboards and auto-generated daily reports to facilitate root cause and trend analysis, while urgent alerts triggered SMS notifications to ensure corrective work could begin at once. With VBU on the case, these problem areas were soon under control, giving Varner the time to explore further ways of making use of their new tool. It was to be the start of a journey of continuous improvement.
Now, almost 4 years later, Varner runs over 350 duties every single day, taking care of everything from server performance to sales processes, project deliverables and much, much more. As additional duties were implemented, Varner’s approach to monitoring became increasingly proactive, with many new duties incorporating advanced algorithms capable of identifying anomalies and fixing them automatically.
VBU’s ability to tie technical issues to business processes means many monitoring responsibilities that would once have defaulted to Varner’s IT department have now been rerouted to the business areas responsible for resolution, increasing efficiency and reducing the burden on support teams. It’s taken time for Varner to gain the maximum value from VBU, but that investment up front has paid dividends over the years. By optimising VBU for their business, Varner have been able to gather all their business-critical alerts within a single tool that can be used by the whole company.
This has not only minimised the time spent checking system statuses and transaction data, but also dramatically reduced the number of support cases raised and completely removed the ‘uncertainty factor’ that comes from inadequate systems monitoring – with VBU, no news really is good news.
For Varner, VBU isn’t just a monitoring tool, it’s a gateway to a better understanding of how their business runs from day to day, offering valuable insight into the relationship between their business processes and the IT environment that supports them.
If you’d like to learn more about VBU, take a look at our product page here.
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