We recently interviewed the IT manager for the Corporate Information Systems Company, a Division of Panasonic Asia Pacific, about their success with NetGain’s Infrastructure Monitoring as a Service. He mentioned a lot of great benefits Panasonic’s IT team have experienced since signing up for our service, but one of the comments that stood out was:
“Since Panasonic signed up to NetGain’s IMaaS, I definitely know that I can sleep more peacefully. It is the peace of mind it delivers that makes the difference. Problems are identified before we even know there is a problem, which means we can be more preventative. It has resulted in a significant improvement to the way we run our operations.”
We’d like to share this fantastic case study with you.
The NetGain Team
Panasonic IT Team Sleep More Peacefully with Mission Critical Datacenter Monitored
For more than 50 years, Panasonic has delighted the world’s consumers with innovations for home and business. Panasonic’s consumer electronics and technology products range from award-winning VIERA High Definition Plasma and LCD TVs and LUMIX Digital Cameras to ruggedized Toughbook® laptop computers, communications solutions, networkable office solutions, security systems, home appliances, personal care products, components and entire in-flight entertainment and information systems.
One of the largest electronic product manufacturers in the world, Panasonic Corporation comprises over 680 companies. One group within this global corporation is the Corporate Information Systems Company, a Division of Panasonic Asia Pacific. Responsible for IT infrastructure management for Panasonic’s Asia Pacific regional datacenter and service operations (excluding China and Japan), this team ensures all mission critical services are delivered to its customers – the Panasonic regional employees. Managing 200 back-end devices, the regional ERP systems, as well as in-house systems, the IT team for Corporate Information Systems Company has a huge responsibility to ensure the mission-critical regional datacenter is operational 24×7.
What was the business challenge you needed to address?
The support and scope requirements on our team were increasing at a rapid pace, with more and more systems coming into play. At Panasonic, we follow ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) – a global best practise standard – and we identified three processes that needed to be strengthened to ensure adherence to these standards. The three processes were:
- Change management
- Problem management
Now that we had identified the processes requiring improvement, what changes did we need to make to achieve these goals? We were able to come up with solutions for change management and problem management, but affordability was an issue.
Until this point, we had always managed our infrastructure monitoring in a traditional way, with the script developed internally. However, we did not have a standard script across the organisation, and were too dependent on individual administrators who had designed the scripts. As such, if people changed roles or were unavailable, other team members did not necessarily understand these scripts.
That was the first problem. The second problem is we had alerts issued but we did not have clear guidelines or escalation processes in place to ensure problems were solved immediately. It was a messy situation, it wasn’t centralised, and it wasn’t allowing us to achieve our Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with our internal customers. Essentially we were spending a lot of time monitoring our own systems and it was taking up an enormous amount of team resources.
The essential issue we faced is alerts were issued, but there was no centralised procedure around the alerts, and many times, we were not acting until the next day. The next day is too late because the end-user is already experiencing a problem.
Why did you decide on NetGain Systems?
Once we identified the need for an infrastructure monitoring solution, we agreed that the solution must suit us. Additionally if an alert was issued, the solution provider needed to demonstrate how they would ensure appropriate action took place. We saw three companies, and decided on NetGain Systems.
Not only did they meet our escalation process requirements, NetGain Systems could deliver Infrastructure Monitoring as a Service (IMaaS) – something that really appealed to us. The other contenders could not deliver a service.
Cost was also a key factor in our decision, and NetGain Systems’ Infrastructure Management as a Service is very cost-effective.
When did you deploy this infrastructure monitoring service?
We have been working with NetGain for 18 months and during this time, Panasonic has gone through many changes – infrastructure, people and services. All throughout our working relationship, I have communicated my requirements and they have configured the infrastructure monitoring service to suit those requirements.
When we signed our service agreement with NetGain Systems, we agreed an escalation matrix with them, so when alerts are issued, they make sure alerts are escalated to the right people until action is taken. It’s been extremely efficient and we have had no major issues with NetGain since this service has been in place.
Currently we have two NetGain Enterprise Manager devices sitting in our regional datacenter. The boxes feature high availability architecture and track our South East Asian systems from a central location. Our data center is where we manage our mission critical IT services – such as email – so this is where everything is consolidated in one place.
What business and IT benefits have you experienced?
On a day-to-day basis, we know that our mission critical operations are being monitored and alerts issued based on pre-defined criteria. We cannot experience downtime, so once an alert is issued, we must act and provide a resolution within two hours. With NetGain, we are in a position to pro-actively monitor our mission-critical infrastructure, which ensures an incident is picked up and an alert issued.
NetGain helps us meet our SLAs, as well as our customer KPI’s. In the last 18 months, this service has identified every problem and we use it to track all devices, including network devices. As a general rule, our network is reliable enough, so the infrastructure we benefit most from monitoring includes: services; OS; and application services. Therefore, the major focus is on server availability.
By tracking our server performance, we are tracking hardware, ERP, and resource trends – CPU and memory usage. However, it also helps capacity planning, financial planning, and essentially, we know exactly what is needed to ensure our business unit runs smoothly. The main business benefits we experience include:
- Access to real-time, business ready information
- We know our capacity
- We can track our growth
- We can identify waste
But it is also tremendously useful in financial year planning. Because NetGain delivers business-ready reports with this service, we can capture valuable data and see trends. Now we know the problems that occur over a year, we know where improvements can be made, and that means we now allocate appropriate budgets easily and effortlessly in our planning process.
Is partnership with your monitoring service provider key for success?
Absolutely. In the beginning and throughout the relationship, we have planned with NetGain Systems – they are an extension of our team. They know the trends and understand what is mission critical, and they also met with my general manager and understood our business needs.
They know the expectations, understand the business and IT problems and were able to deliver an appropriate solution to meet our needs. In fact it was their idea to deliver the solution as a service and we appreciate this flexibility. But it’s an on-going relationship and last week, we had a problem. The NetGain team were easy to access, responsive and were able to quickly drill down to the problem, which means we could get it fixed. That’s the sort of service and partnership we require.
How has your IT team benefited from this service?
We have more time, we are able to utilise our budget more effectively and we can deliver a superior level of service to our internal customers. For example, if the management team requests a usage report for the last three months, before it would have taken one man-day to get the information together. With this solution, we can get it anytime, anywhere, and the information is available immediately.
My team can now focus on strategic IT solutions, such as virtualisation and future IT opportunities, and as such, I believe my team is more professionally satisfied and happier. For me personally, I don’t worry so much anymore. Don’t get me wrong, this is a complex, mission-critical datacenter so there are still problems, but I am free now to focus on the more complex issues, because the basic and essential ones are taken care of. Now, we only need to act when things go wrong. NetGain’s Infrastructure Monitoring as a Service also enables us to meet SOX – the global security compliance we adhere to.
Initially, when we installed NetGain’s services, my management team were able to see immediate results and were extremely satisfied. They could see the results. Now, 18 months later, they just expect this level of service. It has been extremely valuable for our company. Monitoring is such a basic thing, but it can create very big problems if you don’t manage it properly.
The most important benefit is we feel safe. We know our infrastructure monitoring is in very good hands. It’s definitely the reassurance we needed.
What would you say to peers about infrastructure monitoring?
Find a partner that is able to deliver a service. Don’t follow the traditional monitoring path. Infrastructure Monitoring as a Service (IMaaS) is the way forward, and it will help you improve operational efficiency, reduce costs and your IT team will be more professionally satisfied.
Since Panasonic signed up to NetGain’s IMaas, I definitely know that I can sleep more peacefully. It is the peace of mind it delivers that makes the difference. Problems are identified before we even know there is a problem, which means we can be more preventative. It has significantly improved the way we run our operations.
Do you have plans to grow this service within Panasonic?
Currently we use this service in our regional data centre, but we expect to use it more comprehensively across the different Panasonic businesses in this region. So yes, we are planning to expand our use of this service.
This case study is based on an interview with the IT Manager, Corporate Information Systems Company, a Division of Panasonic Asia Pacific.
About NetGain Systems
NetGain Systems delivers the world’s first plug & play IT Infrastructure Monitoring as a Service, which means our customers are proactive rather than reactive. We combine performance, availability, event, and impact management with predictive analytics that detect and reduce time to repair – and we achieve this BEFORE our customers or the services they offer are negatively impacted. Launching our global headquarters in Singapore in 2002, we have since opened offices across Asia Pacific, delivering our highly regarded and award winning IT Infrastructure Monitoring as a Service to more than 200 of the regions’ Fortune 500 companies. Our customers cover all industry sectors, large and small, including Nanyang Technological University, China Mobile, Murphy Oil Corporation, CIMB Group, Mount Alvernia Hospital, amongst others, and we were the infrastructure monitoring partner for the Beijing Summer Olympics 2008 and the Singapore Youth Games 2010. We are proud to deliver a service that is cost-effective, extremely easy-to-use, and grows with our customers as they grow and evolve. You can learn more about NetGain Systems at www.netgain-systems.com or ‘Like’ us on Facebook www.facebook.com.NetEzen
For more information on Panasonic and Panasonic products, you can visit http://panasonic.net/