Case study: Performance monitoring at NISA prevents millions in lost orders

By Sooraj Shah
05 Sep 2012 View Comments

Independent retailer and wholesaler NISA has fixed a problem with its ordering portal that could have lost it millions of pounds by implementing IT services provider Compuware's performance monitoring tool dynaTrace.

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The retailer, which has 800 of its own stores across the UK and also acts as a buying consortium for 4,500 other retail stores, had problems after it refreshed its ordering portal, which retailers connect to to share product orders and product files as well as business documents like invoices.

"The refreshed ordering portal was successful in delivering benefits to our retailers, allowing them to order directly with us at later times during the day than the manual orders we used to take. The online platform meant that we could take the brunt of all of our orders – about 1,200 orders a day – within the last half an hour of our cut-off time. As a consequence of doing that, we started experiencing some performance issues," head of IT at NISA, David Morris, told Computing.

NISA worked with Intechnica to attempt to identify the problems.

"We wanted to know if it was down to load, application related, or if there were problems with our database or platform. What we felt at that time was that it was difficult to understand where the problem existed, so we did a trawl of the marketplace to understand what the best tools available to us were," he said.

NISA looked at Compuware's dynaTrace tool after examining similar, competing tools, including SolarWinds and New Relic. 

"We were very impressed with dynaTrace and, as a result of its features, we managed to identify some configuration changes that we would benefit from on the application tier and on the web tier and working with our vendor and software provider we managed to identify where the key areas were and restore the performance in the system," said Morris. 

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