A market-leading international cooperative group adopts Centreon to implement an innovative, company-wide monitoring process. The result is real-time visibility into their entire IT system and streamlined IT practices.
The client is a global player in the agri-food sector relying on their IT department to deliver continuous, impeccable service to a 10,000-strong workforce covering all lines of work, based in over 50 locations across the world. They were looking to improve company-wide policies and processes relating to the delivery of IT services, a crucial aspect of their operations.
- Centralize monitoring for over 200 sites across the globe
- Deploy a scalable solution
- Integrate graphic rendering of data and analytics
- Ensure availability and quality of service to thousands of users
- Provide a single tool to support the entire IT team
Benefits to the Customer
- Revolutionized IT practices
- Real-time visibility for IT teams
- Added value to IT operations
- A single monitoring tool—that can be used by all
The Full Story
Our client was looking to deploy a monitoring solution that would support their globally distributed infrastructure, offer real-time visibility, guarantee service quality and availability—no matter where in the world users were located, all the while complying to best practices and streamlining IT operations. In short, they were looking to adopt the best practices that would bring their entire IT team increased control and efficiency in supporting crucial company-wide operations. They chose Centreon to achieve all of their objectives.
IT leaders identified Centreon as the solution that would best suit the company’s needs. Based on this future-proofed solution, the infrastructure team developed an innovative monitoring policy. An exemplary project all around, it led to the implementation of a single monitoring solution that revolutionized IT practices across the company, opening a crystal-clear, real-time window on IT operations, for increased flexibility and proactivity in managing the systems at the core of the group’s activities worldwide.
“Our coop group manages 250 IT sites and close to 5000 applications distributed in 55 different countries. To be able to monitor in real time our expansive IT system, we needed to adopt a single, flexible solution, accessible to all of our teams. We also wanted advanced BI and data visualization capabilities.”
Generating several billion euros in sales yearly, the group relies on a wide range of skills and expertise in the agricultural sector—from seed harvesting to the production and worldwide distribution of finished products, including provisioning and packaging. Within the IT department, 180 people manage over 200 sites spread across the globe, with more than 1400 servers, 5000 applications (including 14 ERP and 17 different CRM), along with 400 routers, 700 switches and 400 access points … and counting. “We manage multiple IT sites around the world and on average integrate one to two new sites each year,” explains the group’s Director of Development & Monitoring Service Manager. “Ours was a complex equation to solve: how to guarantee service quality to some 10,000 employees, provide the necessary visibility to IT teams, engage business leaders—all of this in an international environment in perpetual motion?” “Complexity is what led us to Centreon initially,” recounts the manager. “Someone came up with the idea of testing Centreon’s open source-based solution. It was love at first sight. Enjoying its intuitive and graphic UI, the team decided to display the solution on three large screens in the office. At some point, company executives noticed the screens and were in turn seduced by the idea of a fully centralized and visually attractive monitoring solution.” The IT department jumped at the opportunity, launching the project, along with a call for tenders to source potential partners.
“The flexibility and ease of use of Centreon combined to Centreon’s unique culture has helped tremendously in achieving our objectives, through the seamless and rapid deployment of a centralized monitoring solution spanning the globe’s five continents.”
As the group evolves in a highly global and fast-paced environment, they based their choice of a solution provider on four essential criteria:
- Centralized supervision of each sites’ infrastructure, business applications and IT projects
- Single solution and access for all the entire IT department
- Exceptional scalability to allow for the integration of new sites
- BI and data visualization capabilities to leverage the data that is collected through monitoring activities
From the onset, it was clear that not only was Centreon meeting all of the criteria, they were the team with which there was the strongest fit. Complex projects require a strong team spirit. “Centreon is a solution provider with an authentic culture that we found was very compatible with our own. It proved true throughout the implementation process. We specially appreciated their proactivity in finding solutions to each and every problem that came up,” mentions the manager. “As we were facing important challenges, they guided us at every step. They turned a complex project into something quite manageable. Centreon was truly the solution we needed to equip ourselves with all the tools our objectives required.”
Planned over three years, the project started with the constitution of a multidisciplinary global team of 12 people, and the mapping of every single item connected to the group’s IT system worldwide, about 4000 pieces of equipment representing 16,000 monitoring services. Monitoring screens were then implemented in all of the regional IT hubs. “From the early stages of the project, we chose to work hand in hand with Centreon. We wanted to ensure we’d waste no time mastering our monitoring system,” explains the Monitoring Service Manager. “We first had to focus on changing mindsets inside our company as we needed our full IT team on board in acquiring fresh habits and a clear understanding on the relevance of day-to-day, real-time monitoring. Essentially, we revolutionized our internal IT practices. We created a brand-new reality for our teams based on Centreon views and custom dashbords. Our monitoring data finally came to life, telling the full story of what was happening within our group on a daily basis.”
“Driven by our own IT department, the project deeply changed IT practices, significantly enhancing the value of its contribution within the company. Exactly as does an electrocardiogram for human health, our advanced monitoring practices now provide a real-time picture into the health of our global IT system, a critical organ for the group’s operations. Today, thanks to Centreon, we are empowered to manage priorities based on facts, not on the number of calls the helpdesk receives.”
As soon as the tools were in place to collect the data, the monitoring team started to create views in order to facilitate its analysis and its transformation into relevant intel for the business. The IT team now enjoys clear, split-second views on the current state of each of their 250 sites, all of their applications (including 50 satellite applications) as well as on PC deployment and the necessary follow-ups on incidents.
One of the main benefits of centralized supervision is the continuous, real-time knowledge on the current status of the IT system. With Centreon, the helpdesk can now accurately pin point what the situation is for any given site. This makes all the difference in responding to users’ service calls. “Thanks to our new monitoring practices we can swiftly apply the appropriate preventive or corrective actions,” explains the Monitoring Service Manager. “For example, one branch was reporting numerous service interruptions. We discovered that incidents there were frequent but resolved quickly, while another site failed much less frequently but for a longer periods of time. Through our new monitoring system, we were able to better manage resource priorities for each of these sites. In addition, we were able to reduce considerably the time required to prepare encrypted data required for service meetings, from two hours to just a few minutes.”
Yet another benefit was the improved perception of the contribution and value brought by IT services within the company. “We’re much more visible, says the Monitoring Service Manager. Users passing by our offices notice the large monitoring screens and the display of bright graphics—they now understand the role we play in making their work easier every day.”
Centreon is used by all members of the IT team, but it’s also relevant elsewhere in the business. For example, our research center, which performs calculations on very powerful servers previously used many monitoring tools on its own. The center’s manager has enrolled the IT team to oversee the supercomputers as well now, providing his team with instant information on the performance and data processing times, which allow them in turn to optimize their work processes.
The group’s brand new centralized monitoring solution continues to evolve each day, as was initially planned by the IT department. “Centreon was aligned with our intention to deploy an evergreen solution. We know we can count on Centreon to support us in this regard,” confirms the Monitoring Service Manager. “We have so many projects underway: a Worldwide Site Map, monitoring helpdesk tickets, application indicators so our department can better advocate for resources and showcase its work… Meeting the numerous business challenges that relate to service contracts is evidently a priority. Overall, we want to continue adding value to the business and make a clear case of it,” our client concludes.
“With Centreon, we’re confident in our ability to manage our IT systems and respond to user issues in real time. We have made a smart investment: a solution that we can grow and develop every day and a single point of access and visibility into our entire, worldwide infrastructure. As far as we’re concerned, we’ve happily landed in the future of IT monitoring.”