Benefits and Results
By providing factual and empirical data, the IT team gains to two key capabilities:
- On the tactical side, IT receives real-time alerts when site performance problems occur due to a malfunctioning protocol, a broken trace route, a hanging screen shot, a database issue, or other causes.
- On the strategic side, AlertSite generates weekly, monthly and yearly system logs and stats so IT can prove to senior executives that the websites perform as required by the company.
The combination of real-time alerts and log analysis has enabled the company to ensure high up-time 24x7 for all of its websites. This is critical because energy is a commodity that everybody can shop for at any time. There could be a potential customer logging onto a website at 3 a.m. to sign up for services, or an existing customer trying to pay a bill. If applications aren’t working, customers may go elsewhere for their energy service provider.
“Real-time website monitoring has become even more critical for us as we have accelerated our application release cycle from monthly updates to the point where updates now come out on-demand,” adds the Project Management Director. “We average about 10-12 deployments or updates per day, and despite all that we have to monitor along with the many changes and variables, AlertSite helps us make sure our customers as well as our service agents and sales consultants all have 24x7 access with 99.99% up-time.”
Using a tool like AlertSite is particularly helpful when end users make subjective comments such as reporting that a site was down for twenty minutes or that they couldn't execute an enrollment. The IT team can’t be sure what was truly happening at that time, but the AlertSite data is always accurate.
“The empirical data generated by AlertSite allows us to investigate situations such as when an alert occurs but no users complain, or when users from three states experience an issue but not the users from other states,” explains the Project Management Director. “We can also investigate involvement flows.”
Achieving nearly 100% uptime is necessary due to all the money the energy company has invested in hardware, software and the databases to run the websites. “AlertSite allows us to establish a solid baseline and then improve on that baseline—we're always looking at how many clicks users need to make and how we can advance to the next level,” says the Project Management Director. “We want to keep improving and looking at the stats to determine why things are happening. AlertSite plays a significant role today and will continue to do so the future— even if we expand into mobile and cloud applications.”
“We first focused on up-time, but we’re now starting to also push for performance to make sure all of our applications and sites are snappy,” adds the IT Manager. “We don't want users to sit there on a page for thirty seconds waiting for their name to appear. We want to make sure that the experience of our customers is top-notch.”
“We also want to insure we spend our dollars wisely,” concludes the Project Management Director. “With AlertSite pinpointing areas in which our websites need improvement, we review every incident with our CIO on a weekly basis to make sure we proactively take the right steps to improve the experiences of our customers, service agents and our sales consultants.”
- Ensure websites function optimally so customers, service agents and consultants can always access information.
- Document abnormalities and inefficiencies when performance problems occur.
- Discover and remediate issues before end users experience problems.
- Avoid reacting to false positive alerts on website performance.
- Produces accurate alerts on website performance issues based on preset thresholds.
- Eliminates false alarms to keep IT from wasting time investigating issues.
- Enables IT to analyze and understand end-user experiences.
- Generates overall picture of how customer, service agent and sales consultant websites perform.
- Helps ensure high up-time 24x7 for all websites.
- Provides real-time alerts when issues occur and drills down into errors to determine root causes.
- Provides customizable reports and graphs to compare time periods and user experiences when analyzing long-term trends.
- Enables IT to present factual information to senior management to prove how well websites perform.
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