European service provider T-Systems chooses AppDynamics to monitor critical customer applications

Building on a global infrastructure of data centers and networks, T-Systems operates information and communication technology (ICT) systems for multinational corporations and public sector institutions. With offices in over 20 countries and global delivery capability, the telecom subsidiary provides support to companies in all industries. Some 52,700 employees combine expertise with ICT innovations to add significant value to customers' core business all over the world.

Challenge: Wanted code-level visibility to optimize custom applications on T-Systems networks

One of the services T-Systems provided was the management and support of custom applications for customer call centers and online stores in the U.K. These applications were built by a third-party development team that also provided Level 3 support, but T-Systems was responsible for maintaining the infrastructure on which the applications ran. This meant that T-Systems was responsible for ensuring these revenue-critical applications were available and performing 24x7, even though it didn't have access to the application code. The IT teams at T-Systems knew there was an opportunity to provide a better service to customers by helping the development teams optimize the performance of their applications. Unfortunately, they did not have visibility into these applications at the code level, which made it difficult to find opportunities for improvement. What T-Systems needed was code-level visibility into the production applications to identify which changes would have the greatest impact on performance.

Discovered lightweight, easy-to-use AppDynamics APM solution

Several teams at T-Systems had previously used application performance management (APM) solutions to monitor their applications, but they found that these solutions incurred too much overhead for the production environment and required too much manual instrumentation and configuration. In addition, the licensing and maintenance costs for these legacy APM solutions were too high for T-Systems to instrument all of its applications with the budget available. Then T-Systems discovered the AppDynamics solution, which was designed to monitor complex and distributed applications running in production. T-Systems found that the tool was much easier to use than its predecessors, installing in a matter of minutes. In addition, the AppDynamics solution required minimal overhead, making it suitable for monitoring the T-Systems production environment.

Illuminated inefficiencies to help customers save time and money

With the AppDynamics platform, T-Systems was able to quickly find areas for optimization in several applications. For example, it found that a customer call center application was calling the database hundreds of times per transaction, which was causing the transaction to be slower than necessary.

“I can already see an enormous amount of benefit here, for us and for the customer.”

As a result, call center agents were spending time on the phones waiting for the application to respond. By optimizing the application, T-Systems was able to reduce the time that agents spent waiting on the phone, reducing call times and improving productivity for the call center. In addition, with the intelligence from the AppDynamics platform, the T-Systems operations team could now quickly identify bottlenecks in the code and send this data to the third party development team, which meant less time spent in war room sessions over weekends. “I can already see an enormous amount of benefit here, for us and for the customer,” said a technical services manager at T-Systems. “The quicker the application is, the less time the customer service agents are on the phone, and the more money the customer saves.”