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SVD supplies outsourced back office services to social insurance schemes such as SVA, BVA, SVB and VAEB. Services include construction, procurement, print services, facility management, cleaning services and information and communication technology.

IN BRIEF

Challenges

  • Service quality was not measurable
  • SVD was only able to offer customers basic Service Level Agreements (SLA)
  • It was not possible to evaluate applications from the user’s perspective

Solution

Benefits

  • Faster troubleshooting
  • Clear dashboard provisioning
  • Evaluation of performance for end-users
  • Preliminary testing of new applications

Since its decentralization in 2002, SVD Büromanagement GmbH has been a service provider to the national social insurance institutions in Austria. SVD supplies outsourced back office services to social insurance schemes such as SVA, BVA, SVB and VAEB. Services include construction, procurement, print services, facility management, cleaning services and information and communication technology. The ICT division of SVD is responsible for providing all IT services at 30 locations, as well as operating two data centers. Each social insurance company has its own IT department responsible for application development.

With its existing IT monitoring systems, SVD has had little opportunity to evaluate the applications from approximately 4,500 connected users. The tools were able to monitor performance, but were unable to expose or diagnose root causes when problems occured.

Concrete data makes quality measurable

SVD had worked with local IT consultancy, Schoeller Network Control, to increase the transparency of the services delivered to its customers. SVD reapproached Schoeller to identify and implement a solution for monitoring its IT infrastructure and services. Schoeller proposed Riverbed® SteelCentral™.

Schoeller led the implementation based on SVD’s needs, migrating applications when required, without affecting the stability and transparency of the network performance.

“Prior to the installation of the Riverbed solution, our SLAs were very basic. Now we are able to measure and diagnose service quality, which gives us greater control,” explains Herbert Scheibelhofer, Head of IT Systems Technology at SVD Büromanagement. “We are currently revising our SLAs and increasing the quality parameters we offer our customers. With Riverbed SteelCentral, we have greater visibility into applications, networks and systems, and their impact on user experience. We are now able to identify issues swiftly, and offer this capability to our customers’ development departments.”

For SVD, the key beneifts of SteelCentral are the faster identification and resolution of errors, and fewer errors during operation. The application developers at the social insurance agencies, are now able to see how their applications behave in live production environments. Previously, they simply relied on test environments which did not simulate real world conditions. Developers can now trace transactions across web, application and database tiers to find inefficiencies and potential performance issues. “The developers are able to test their code and underlying systems for performance, to ensure that applications are built for real world conditions,” Mr. Scheibelhofer explains.

SteelCentral combines application, network and system performance, and their resulting impact on end user experience. “We are delighted with SteelCentral because it gives us a single pane of glass upon which we get end-to-end visibility. We’re able to monitor the application stack, network, systems and the user experience delivered in real-time.

Managers have role-based dashboards that focus on metrics they care about, for example, a list of applications with green or red performance beacons. It is then easy to identify whether an application, network, system or user device problem is the cause of any customer issues. From there it is easy to drill down to the root cause, diagnose the problem and hand off information to the team responsible for fixing the issue. Further, Riverbed’s networking expertise has been a major benefit. “When I attempt to isolate an error and gain more information, I am able to do this at our data center by drilling down to the individual data packages on the network layer,” Mr Scheibelhofer explains.

The separation of data from the different social insurance companies was crucial in ensuring the system worked effectively. The Schoeller Network Control team ensure that policies were in place to separate data handling and transport for each of the social insurance schemes. “This innovative project was very demanding and required excellent communication among the participants. Thanks to the collaboration between Riverbed, Schoeller and SVD, the project was implemented quickly and with great success.”

Information preparation streamlines search

Mr Scheibelhofer also likes the way the information is aggregated: “In addition to highlighting errors, the solution provides very detailed support in root cause isolation and diagnosis. For me, the ability to automatically create meaningful analyses from the collected information is a key benefit of Riverbed SteelCentral.” There are a variety of information sources, one of which is network traffic metering data. SVD also uses agents on the application servers, allowing them to view the workflow within the application server, and monitor how it interacts with the web server and the database. Because SVD customers mainly use terminal servers, software agents are also used on these terminal servers to provide a user’s perspective of the applications’ experience.

According to Mr Scheibelhofer, the installation and planning of the application monitoring systems was a large and complex project, the success of which was primarily attributable to the excellent support provided by Schoeller Network Control and Riverbed. “For me, our partners’ strengths lay in successfully analyzing and taking control of problematic situations.”

This innovative project was very demanding and required excellent communication among the participants. Thanks to the collaboration between Riverbed, Schoeller and SVD, the project was implemented quickly and with great success.
Herbert Scheibelhofer
Head of IT Systems Technology
SVD Büromanagement
We’re delighted with the outcome. With Riverbed SteelCentral, we now have greater visibility into applications, networks and systems, and their impact on user experience.
Herbert Scheibelhofer
Head of IT Systems Technology
SVD Büromanagement

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