One of the largest investment firms in the world walked away from a long-standing customer relationship with TeamQuest Corporation in favor of one with a traditional Big 4 systems management vendor. Lured by the notion of fewer vendor relationships and the promise of a better deal, management turned to a Big 4 vendor for their capacity management software needs. It took less than a year for the IT manager to realize TeamQuest was the best option, but the organization chose to stay with the larger vendor for two more years — trying to make it work.
“We worked very hard with that vendor to progress the issues, but ultimately, it didn’t work right.” In the end, “it took years of attempting to make the product work before realizing we had to step back and go in a different direction,” said the IT Director.
Initially, management believed the replacement software had capabilities similar to those in TeamQuest software. The IT staff, however, disagreed, voicing concerns about the difficulty, time requirements, and lack of productivity with the new software.
Undeterred, management moved forward. After several months of effort with unsatisfactory results, management implemented a 6-month ‘fix it’ plan. Six months passed before moving forward with another 6-month ‘fix it’ plan. “There was enough support for the vendor so they got another extension,” said the IT Director.
Before a third “fix it” plan could be ordered, a change in management personnel occurred.
“The product that had been brought in to replace TeamQuest didn’t work right,” said the IT Director. “It was never able to work on every platform and reliably collect the data we needed.”
During this two-year span of starts and stops, the team was unable to perform proper capacity management activities across the environment, which hampered the team’s ability to partner with business units and meet IT objectives.
“We lost at least two to three man-years during this process,” said the IT Director. “It was a large effort on our part to attempt to make the product work. We worked with the vendor to try to fix the product and to document all of this appropriately.”
Meanwhile, as the IT staff struggled to implement the new software, TeamQuest software continued to run in the background. The TeamQuest Capacity Management Information System (CMIS) continued collecting and managing performance data from their systems. The IT team used that data to consolidate systems as they moved toward a large-scale virtualization strategy as a means to control costs.
The IT Director commented that it took TeamQuest Performance Software three months to erase two years of frustration.
“TeamQuest provides a consistent data set that we can use wherever and whenever we need to,” he said. “We chose it – twice – because it covered all the platforms we needed to support and it did it without any major technical glitches or operational issues.”
The IT team, realizing the benefits of proper planning, is now focused on aligning IT with business priorities and building an enterprise-wide capacity planning practice, with TeamQuest as the centerpiece of their strategy. Analysis work has now been moved out of the business units, and over to the IT manager’s team which provides the governance.
As a result, capacity planning is playing a central role with the business. Currently, the IT Director meets monthly with business unit leaders to discuss and align objectives, while establishing priorities that move the company forward. “Part of it is listening to what they want and part of it is educating them on what’s possible so it fits.”
Currently, TeamQuest Performance Software has been rolled out on more than 10,000 physical servers, 6,000 virtual instances and numerous operating systems which include AIX, Solaris Zones, Windows, VMware and Red Hat Linux.
His experience with TeamQuest has been positive, and the software hasn’t displayed any major problems. In fact, the team has based its relationship with TeamQuest on the quality and consistency of performance data collected and managed by the TeamQuest CMIS. “TeamQuest is the bread and butter of our operations,” he said. “This product is a real workhorse and is very reliable for providing the core data we need. It provides us with the data we need to help us do our job.”
The investment firm can, once again, collect data at one second granularity which provides a competitive advantage in the hyper, always-on trading markets.
“TeamQuest has been very, very good to us over the years,” he said. “The product is stable. The product delivers. The company and people are excellent to work with. Those are big differentiators for us.”