For multi-customer infrastructure management, deploy a cost-effective, broad-based monitoring solution to replace an existing high-cost solution, while adding new functionalities
- Cost reduction on many fronts, for example, by correlating data to reduce the number of incidents handled by operators
- Generation of value, through new capabilities to analyze log data and proactively intervene before a problem occurs
- Support for automation, through a direct interface to the automation system, enabling automated incident handling and reduced labor costs
- A sustainable partnership, with the ability to guide the roadmap and help shape the product, providing benefits for both partners
About the company
Sopra Steria I2S (Infrastructure & Security Services) is part of Sopra Steria Group, created in January 2015 by the merger of Sopra and Steria. A European leader in digital transformation, the company offers a broad portfolio, including systems integration, software development and infrastructure management. In 2016, the Group had over 39,800 employees in over 20 countries, with revenues of €3.7 billion.
How do you grow your business while reducing costs?
That was the conundrum facing Sopra Steria I2S, a leader in infrastructure management with a growing business in France. To rein in costs while maintaining a high level of service, the company called on Axway to implement Axway WideVision and Axway Event Manager to replace a costly monitoring solution from a different vendor.
In the French market, Sopra Steria I2S is known as the go-to company for infrastructure management. They handle any and all aspects of the business, running networks, data centers, applications and service desks for some 30 corporate clients, including major banks, public utilities, French government ministries, large-scale retailers, prominent media firms and aerospace manufacturers.
For most customers, the work involves complex, hybrid ecosystems. Some components may be located at the customer site, others on Sopra Steria I2S premises in France, Poland or India, and still others in the public or private cloud. To manage all this, the company provides shared services centers for customers while committing to meet rigorous service level agreements (SLAs).
Bringing Axway on board to deliver a cost-effective monitoring solution
To run its infrastructure management business, Sopra Steria I2S created a framework for delivering services to its customers. The IT Operations Framework includes modules for configuration management, service management, monitoring, automation and reporting. The modules are based on software solutions supplied by various vendors.
In a major cost-cutting initiative, the company decided to replace several modules by more economical ones. A key target was the monitoring solution, which had high, continuing costs for maintenance and licensing. Many key functions – such as log management and the automation interface – were subject to steep licensing fees.
To replace this module, the company chose Axway's cost-effective monitoring solution (based on Axway WideVision and Axway Event Manager). Axway's solution was financially attractive on many fronts, as it included all required functions without separate licensing fees. To ensure it could supply all needed functionality, the solution was put through rigorous proof-of-concept testing, which it passed with flying colors.
A multi-client solution designed for meeting SLAs
What did Sopra Steria I2S need from the Axway solution? "Our priority is always to ensure we meet our SLAs with customers," said Patrick Bailly, Industrialization and Innovation Director at Sopra Steria I2S. "Our customers expect a very high level of service availability."
To make this possible, the Axway solution had to:
- Monitor multiple customers' systems
- Be integrated with anything in the customer environment or in the cloud
- Collect data from all system components, such as servers, network elements and applications
- Analyze and correlate that data
- Generate incidents only when there is an impact on user services
Improving customer ROI is of equal importance. "Our clients want us to do more at lower cost, which means we have to decrease our expenditures," said Bailly. "With Axway's solution, we can reduce the cost of monitoring."
As part of the solution, Sopra Steria I2S also sought a sustainable partnership with Axway. "We want to be a design partner and help Axway with their roadmap," said Bailly. "That way we'll always have the product we need, and in return we can steer potential customers their way."
"Our clients want us to do more at lower cost, which means we have to decrease our expenditures. With Axway's solution, we can reduce the cost of monitoring."
Generating only those events that impact the user
Axway WideVision is currently being integrated into the Sopra Steria I2S framework, and will go into production by the end of June 2017. New customers of Sopra Steria I2S will be the first to benefit from Axway's solution. Over time, existing customers will be migrated to the new solution as well.
Today, the infrastructure management activity:
- Generates 70,000 events per month
- Involves a total of 40,000 – 50,000 configuration items (CIs), where each customer may have anywhere from thousands to tens of thousands of CIs
"Axway's correlation capabilities will enable us to avoid generating events that don't have an impact on user services," said Bailly. "This will further reduce our labor costs." Meanwhile, customers will have access to Axway's Service Health Dashboard to check the status of applications and systems.
Automating processes to reduce operational expenses
The Sopra Steria I2S Operations Framework includes automation capabilities, in which tasks performed by an operator can be handled by a machine instead. As Axway WideVision will be fully integrated with the ITSM automation system, many events will be resolved via machine intervention rather than operator input, sharply reducing the company's operational expenses.
Currently, when an event is generated (such as a server warning), an operator follows a series of instructions to resolve the problem (e.g., look at the server, see whether the disk is full, and if so, empty it.). With automation, the generation of an event will trigger actions in which a script is executed without operator intervention.
Creating new business opportunities with Axway Event Manager
To offer new capabilities to its customers, Sopra Steria I2S plans to deploy Axway Event Manager, which will collect data from the logs generated by the various configuration items (servers, applications, network elements, operating systems, etc.).
"Gathering and analyzing log data will enable us to see trends and be proactive, intervening before a problem occurs," said Bailly. "I won't have to wait for the news that a server is down; I can take action and switch servers before the incident happens."
"Axway Event Manager will generate value for us, because we can sell this service to customers," said Bailly. "We plan to offer Proactive Event Management, where we analyze log events and extract relevant information to prevent incidents from occurring." Axway Event Manager is set to go live by the end of 2017.
Doing more at lower cost, or benefits of the Axway solution
Sopra Steria I2S already has a good sense of the benefits of the Axway solution:
- Cost reduction. "If you look at a five-year period, the cost of purchase and maintenance for Axway's solution is considerably less than the cost of just maintaining our previous solution," said Baily. "Also, the new functions we need, such as log analysis, are part of the Axway package and are not subject to additional fees."
- Generation of value. Axway Event Manager will create new business opportunities for Sopra Steria I2S, while providing enhanced service for its customers through proactive intervention.
- Support for automation. Axway's solution will include a direct interface to the automation system, providing support for automated incident handling. "This will help us significantly reduce our labor costs," said Bailly.
- A sustainable partnership. "We have an excellent relationship with Axway," said Bailly. "They listen to us and react rapidly when there's an issue. It's a true partnership: we pass on our ideas, and they supply a product that meets our needs. It's win-win."
With so many layers of cost savings built in, it's no surprise that Bailly expects a rapid return on investment. Moreover, he said: "Axway's monitoring solution is essential for us. It's at the heart of our system."
"We have an excellent relationship with Axway. They listen to us and react rapidly when there's an issue. We have a true partnership: we pass on our ideas, and they supply a product that meets our needs. It's win-win."