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How Hiscox improved app performance by 2,000% and moved to a user-experience SLA culture

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Jon Pennington, Application Development Manager at Hiscox, will present how their complex web and SOA IT environments supporting business partners, customers and staff benefited from adopting …

Jon Pennington, Application Development Manager at Hiscox, will present how their complex web and SOA IT environments supporting business partners, customers and staff benefited from adopting Compuware’s new Application Performance Management solution.

Published in: Technology, Business

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  • 1. 11 How Hiscox improved app performance by 2,000% and moved to a user-experience SLA culture
  • 2. Agenda 2 • Top Performance Challenges • In detail – why do they exist? • How does Compuware APM solve these challenges • Compuware APM in Action @
  • 3. 4 Top APM Challenges? 1 Applications are becoming more Complex everyday 2 Can't identify and prioritise performance problems that have the greatest Business Impact 3 Lengthy and difficult MTTR (mean time to resolution)
  • 4. 6 Applications Are Becoming More Complex Everyday1 Java .NET PHP C++ Oracle SAP CICS Big Data This is the new application delivery chain…
  • 5. 7 Applications Are Becoming More Complex Everyday1 Java .NET PHP C++ Oracle SAP CICS Big Data
  • 6. 88 1Real Users Real Users access applications through different web-browsers & devices Performance Challenges: • How do we know what the performance is to our end-users? • How do we maintain performance across this different technology? • How can we ensure scalability?
  • 7. 99 Challenges – How do we solve them? The average website contains 14 third-party tags econsulting group, 2012
  • 8. 10 Applications Are Becoming More Complex Everyday1 Java .NET PHP C++ Oracle SAP CICS Big Data
  • 9. 11 Applications Are Becoming More Complex Everyday1 Java .NET PHP C++ Oracle SAP CICS Big Data
  • 10. 12 Can't Identify, Prioritize & Resolve Performance Problems that have the Greatest Business Impact What users are impacted? 2 How do we compare to competition? 0 2 4 6 8 Us Them What’s the impact on revenue? $ Response Time Firefox ✓ Chrome ✗ IE ✓ Browser Hong Kong ✓ London ✓ New York ✗ Geo iPhone ✓ Android ✗ iPad ✗ Device Best way to improve performance? CDN? Hardware? Memory leak? Page size? 3rd Parties? Client? Slow SQL?
  • 11. 13 Application The Application Delivery Chain Application Lengthy and difficult MTTR (mean time to resolution) Infrastructure Monitoring Partial coverage = blind spots and no view of complete app No visibility into users’ experience and related business impact Focus on infrastructure, not application Customers Employees ? ? ? ? ? ! ! !DB Network Server …user is unhappy 3
  • 12. 1414 Compuware APM
  • 13. 15 What’s required TODAY? Lifecycle by Design Unified platform fosters collaboration between production, test & development teams Smart Analytics Real-time and historical business and IT analytics provide Answers, Not Data Fast Time To Value APMaaS platform, smart analytics, & advanced APM automation delivers value within hours Transaction Management 100% transaction visibility with deep-dive diagnostics for rapid problem resolution End-User Perspective Manage user experience across users, devices, browsers and geographies
  • 14. 1616 Deep analysis Application Browsers Mobile apps Compuware APM: Driven by End-User Experience C/C++ Private agents Private Last Mile 150,000+ consumer - grade desktops 168+ countries 2,500+ ISPs Major mobile carriers around the globe Backbone • Synthetic monitoring • Load testing Last Mile • Synthetic monitoring • Load testing Enterprise • Synthetic monitoring • Line of code analytics Data Center and Cloud All tiers, all transactions, all users 150+ enterprise- grade nodes Data centers and cloud providers PurePath Real Users • User experience management
  • 15. 1717 Jon Pennington
  • 16. Compuware APM at Hiscox Lessons learned and benefits drawn from using Compuware SaaS and dynaTrace across multiple projects July 2013
  • 17. About Hiscox • Specialist insurer/reinsurer underwriting a wide range of personal and business risks • Origins dating back to 1901 at Lloyds of London • FTSE 250 company, head-quartered in Bermuda • Offices in 14 countries • 2012 Gross Written Premiums of £1.8 billion
  • 18. Geographic reach Bermuda Hamilton Europe Amsterdam Bordeaux Brussels Cologne Dublin Hamburg Lisbon Lyon Madrid Munich Paris Guernsey St Peter Port Latin American gateway Miami UK Birmingham Colchester Glasgow Leeds London Maidenhead Manchester York USA Atlanta Chicago Los Angeles New York City San Francisco White Plains
  • 19. Product areas Global errors and omissions Large property Marine and energy Tech and media errors and omissions Specialty – kidnap and ransom, contingency, personal accident Local errors and omissions and commercial Art and private client Specialty – terrorism, specie, political risks, aerospace Reinsurance 28% 18% 3% 14% 5% 8% 10% 2% 7% 5% Small property
  • 20. A growing consumer brand UKFrance
  • 21. Technology at Hiscox • Diverse technology base • Mix of 3rd-party / proprietary and in-house solutions • Constant, concurrent application change • Software delivery capabilities are maturing • Relatively low IT spend, stretched team and tight budgets
  • 22. Compuware and Hiscox – The beginning • 2007 - Online sales becoming important • Unpredictable conversion rates – why? • Existing data does not give the full picture • Need to understand the customer experience • Hello, Gomez!
  • 23. Gomez at Hiscox – Implementation • New concepts for Hiscox, mindset changes required • Straightforward to implement – visible data very quickly • Initial uncertainty – can we believe the data? • Initial MI impact – filtering required • Original agents struggled to keep up with technology • Hiscox-driven change impacts Gomez stability • Baselines defined for website journey time • Baselines quickly become SLAs • Breaches of SLA are quickly identified • IT know about problems before the business • Gomez now default monitoring tool for Hiscox websites
  • 24. Gomez at Hiscox – Big wins • Agreeing a baseline with the business • Better managing business expectations • See what our customers see • SLA-based service culture • Improved perception of IT within the business • Separating Hiscox-hosted & 3rd-party content • Understanding latency for US customers • Demonstrating long-term service improvement
  • 25. Next steps – APM at Hiscox • Application performance becoming a problem for Hiscox • Initial conversations about dynaTrace after Gomez implementation • Hiscox liked the concept but struggled to find business support • US Direct brought the opportunity
  • 26. US Direct • Online quote-and-buy for Small Business Insurance in the US • Covers most US states and a wide range of products • First of it’s kind in the US market • Integrated with Hiscox back office and 3rd party contact centre • Major performance concerns during build project
  • 27. US Direct - Solution Overview Underwriting Platform Call Centre Application Rules Engine Internal Supporting Services External Supporting Services Static Content UI Application Claims Platform ESB & Process Orchestration
  • 28. US Direct – technology challenges • Very complex application • Multitude of technologies • Mix of internal, external 3rd party and proprietary services • Huge number of servers, services and components • Each component generates log information but not consolidated • Debugging performance issues can be ‘Needle in a haystack’
  • 29. dynaTrace for US Direct • On paper, great candidate for dynaTrace • Potentially expensive due to number of servers • dynaTrace trial was initiated, good level of business support • Initial results promising but sessions were ‘lost’ during tier hops • Investigation highlighted issues with support for webMethods
  • 30. US Direct - Solution Overview Underwriting Platform Call Centre Application Rules Engine Internal Supporting Services External Supporting Services Static Content UI Application Claims Platform ESB & Process Orchestration
  • 31. dynaTrace at Hiscox
  • 32. dynaTrace on Hiscox CMS • Claims management for all Retail products • 300 users worldwide • Major in-flight project • Ongoing focus on historic performance issues
  • 33. dynaTrace on Hiscox CMS • Sponsor declares CMS unfit for purpose • Internal monitoring tools not suitable • dynaTrace agents deployed to test environments • Problem areas quickly highlighted • Further dynaTrace configuration to drill down • Huge number of contributing issues –”death by 2,000 cuts”
  • 34. dynaTrace on Hiscox CMS • 2,000 potential issues reduced to 25 • Unnecessary duplications identified • Intensive period of analyse > trial > retest • Package of change requests produced • Performance significantly improved • 2000% improvement in one procedure • Sponsor happy, project moved on • dynaTrace now being considered for Production monitoring
  • 35. dynaTrace on BUD • BUD – Better Underwriting Decisions • Portal for Hiscox London Market underwriters • Multiple application interfaces, providing single dashboard to support underwriting decisions • .NET 4.5 • ASP.NET and MVC • IIS 7 • RESTful services • DROPTHINGS portal framework • SQL Server 2008
  • 36. dynaTrace on BUD – the problem • After a release, application is increasing unstable • Periodic application recycling was required • Disruption to users • Opportunity to put dynaTrace to the test on a real life scenario • dynaTrace trial carried out in parallel with standard investigation
  • 37. dynaTrace on BUD – Results • Senior developer found the issue after 4 hours of investigation • dynaTrace identified the same issue within 30 minutes • Much of this time was set-up and configuration • Diagnosis was swift and precise • Issue was fixed with a patch release, stability was restored
  • 38. dynaTrace on BUD – Next steps • Potential future implementation into Production environments • Real-time performance monitoring • Implementation into CI platform • Visibility of performance under load • Developers alerted immediately to build issues caused by recent changes
  • 39. dynaTrace for US Direct – Take 2! • Compuware took on the webMethods challenge • Confirmed to Hiscox in 2012 that dynaTrace now supported webMethods and this had been confirmed by softwareAG • US Direct PoC number two was instigated
  • 40. dynaTrace for US Direct • PoC over 3 days –transaction visibility within the 1st hour • Quick deployment of dynaTrace agents within the application: US Direct Database LB/FW Users Transactions IIS UI (Jboss) JRules Retail WebMethods B2B WebMethods Core IS WebMethods
  • 41. dynaTrace for US Direct • Auto discovery of application tiers & relationships • Tracing transactions across multiple components • Easy insight into complex architecture
  • 42. dynaTrace for US Direct - Results • Isolate steps in the process with long elapsed times • Target performance improvement efforts • New concerns around webMethods tracing • If we can demonstrate business value, this could be a great APM opportunity for Hiscox
  • 43. Conclusions • Great belief in the product, demonstrated results • Has not always been a smooth ride • Difficult to sell to the business • We have the need, dynaTrace has the capability – can we use it? • Good support throughout from the Compuware team • Integration with Gomez is an exciting prospect • Potential future uses: • Production monitoring • Integrated into development environments • Benchmark for Managed Services monitoring
  • 44. Any Questions?