The historic city of Alphen aan den Rijn in the Netherlands is home to more than 100,000 people. The municipality needed a state-of-the-art solution to monitor its complete IT environment, which became even more critical in 2014 when two other municipalities, Rijnwoude and Boskoop, merged with Alphen aan den Rijn.
Getting Rid of the Clutter
The merger resulted in an increased number of residents who rely on the municipality’s website and back-end applications to be highly available for a number of reasons. For example, applying for a passport or a driver’s license are just two of the many critical services the town offers to its residents. To support these services, Alphen aan den Rijn’s IT team adopted System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) to track problems in its environment. Unfortunately, many SCOM alerts ended up cluttering inboxes instead of quickly notifying IT staff about disruptions.
“If there was a problem in SCOM, we would get countless email alerts that wouldn’t necessarily point out what or where the problem was,” said Peter Bol, the municipality’s Systems Engineer.
“Live Maps helped us change the way we look at IT – from a traditional way of measuring the availability of individual applications and components of the IT infrastructure to a more end-to-end service experience.”
Resolving Issues Before they Become Critical
Due to the complexity of the environment, after the merger, Bol turned to Live Maps to give him the visibility he needed. By mapping business services and their underlying IT components, the IT team is immediately notified about infrastructure problems even before they impact performance.
“Before, if the municipality’s website was down, we would find out when residents filed complaints. Live Maps does an excellent job of telling us where we need to look so we can quickly get to the root-cause of the problem and solve issues before the residents are affected,” Bol said.
Live Maps keeps the city’s IT environment healthy. Bol estimates that it has helped reduce his team’s resolution time of service-impacting issues by up to 25 percent, drastically improving the service quality to the residents.
Service Monitoring on the Fly
“When I implemented Live Maps, I could see problems that I didn’t know existed before,” Bol said. “Being able to monitor proactively was a huge step for us. Today, all of the municipality’s core business services are monitored with Live Maps and we are the first to know when something is wrong.”
For Alphen aan den Rijn’s CIO Ron Meijer, being able to view the health of his IT department from any mobile device, at any time and place, is a big plus. Before Live Maps, he’d have to contact his IT staff when department heads asked him about an issue.
“Live Maps helped us change the way we look at IT – from a traditional way of measuring the availability of individual applications and components of the IT infrastructure to a more end-to-end service experience,” Meijer said. “Live Maps supported us as we implemented this cultural change in IT and lets us think more and more in terms of business value and customer benefits.”