"Having reassessed the market, we quickly realized that Dynatrace was the only provider able to offer the level of visibility that we needed."
Daniel Richardson, Group Chief Technology Officer
Company: Bond Industry: Staffing and Recruiting Software
Bond International Software (Bond) is a world leader in the provision of staffing and recruitment software for in-house recruitment teams and external consultancies of all sizes. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, Bond also has offices in the United States, Australia, South Africa, Peru, Japan, Singapore, and China—with a global team of nearly 500 employees and over 10,500 customers.
The core solution in Bond’s portfolio is Adapt, a staffing and recruitment software system that currently has over 140,000 users. Initially available exclusively on premise, Adapt was later released as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution, which now accounts for around 40% of deployments. The software helps recruitment teams to manage the entire candidate placement cycle, from the posting of vacancies and the receipt of CVs, through all interview processes to final placement.
As Bond’s user base continued to grow, the company came under increased demand for technical support from users that were experiencing slow application performance. However, without full visibility into the complete IT service delivery chain, it was often a challenge for Bond to pinpoint and remedy the root cause of these issues.
"The end-user experience is dependent on a range of different factors, many of which are outside of our direct control and field of visibility; so it was a real challenge for us to accurately troubleshoot and diagnose the cause of these performance issues," explains Daniel Richardson, Group Chief Technology Officer, Bond. "While from our support teams’ perspective Adapt was running well, some users continued to find that the program was running slowly on their systems. We advised them to check in with their hardware and network providers to see if the issues were rooted at their end, but with a resounding ‘no’, the buck came back to us a lot of the time, resulting in a bit of a stalemate."
Bond came to realize that it would be able to add significant value to its service if it was able to pinpoint the exact root cause of any performance degradations, regardless of whether the problems were originating in the customers’ infrastructure or the application itself. As such, in 2011, it began an assessment of the available Application Performance Management (APM) solutions on the market that would enable it to gain the visibility that it needed. Following this search, Bond selected Dynatrace, because it offered the best functionality and represented the best value amongst its competitors. Powered by patented PureStack™ and PurePath Technology®, Dynatrace allowed Bond to capture timing and code-level context for all Adapt application transactions, from when a request leaves a user’s workstation, across all tiers of the IT infrastructure and service delivery chain.
As a result, between 2011 and 2012 Bond was able to identify that around 70% of the problems being reported in on-premise deployments were infrastructure based, enabling its customers to notify the relevant teams and service providers and rectify the issue. Bond was able to remedy the remaining 30% of problems by using Dynatrace to identify where the application code could be optimized to eliminate performance bottlenecks. This capability enabled Bond to significantly cut its support costs by reducing the amount of time spent on troubleshooting performance problems.
"User experience management helps us to focus on what really matters: our users’ actual experience of every interaction, and has significantly improved our customer satisfaction and relationship with our clients"
When Bond introduced the SaaS version of Adapt, it came to realize that there was a new range of factors that could impact its performance. Bond’s support teams were receiving a number of calls from end-users reporting performance difficulties. However, the end-users themselves often did not possess the technical insights needed to fully understand the nature of the problem. As a result, Bond’s support teams found that they were spending around 80% of their time simply trying to identify the root cause of the problem, which delayed the resolution process significantly. It became clear that Bond needed a next-generation APM solution that was able to remove this burden, by providing truly end-to-end performance management. This required the capability to track performance issues right down into individual users’ workstations.
"Having reassessed the market, we quickly realized that Dynatrace was the only provider able to offer the level of visibility that we needed into the performance of Adapt with its user experience management solution," said Richardson.
Beginning with a proof of concept (POC) in April 2014, Bond worked with the Dynatrace team and the various department heads within its own business to tailor the solution to provide the insights that would address its core challenges. Bond can now log on to the user experience management dashboard and analyze every interaction, from any device, application and location to find the root of the problem by seeing exactly what is happening inside each individual user’s machine as it accesses Adapt. The solution quickly proved itself, and Bond made the decision to roll out user experience management fully within just four months from the beginning of the POC.
Richardson continues, "The real issue was that our support teams were only able to see performance problems impacting on a user’s experience from an outside perspective, which often meant they were looking for a needle in a haystack! With user experience management, our staff can put themselves in the users’ shoes and get a better understanding of exactly what’s causing their problem. User experience management helps us to focus on what really matters: our users’ actual experience of every interaction, and has significantly improved our customer satisfaction and relationship with our clients."
"Having reassessed the market, we quickly realized that Dynatrace was the only provider able to offer the level of visibility that we needed into the performance of Adapt with its user experience management solution."
Since implementing the Dynatrace solution, Bond has been able to offer a number of benefits to its customers that it wasn’t able to previously. Not least, Bond is now able to measure and prioritize performance issues impacting users 24/7. Using user experience management, the support team can now look at the dashboard and immediately identify any user that is experiencing performance issues with Adapt. As a result they are able to proactively notify customers of any performance degradation and help to remedy the root cause more effectively. This allows Bond to offer a far greater level of customer service.
Furthermore, Bond is also able to closely monitor the user experience for each client using the Adapt system. This enables the support team to flag when a particular user may be having a poor experience and identify the measures that can be taken to improve the application’s performance for them. For example, Bond has been able to easily identify a number of cases where end-users are running the application in the wrong browser, or on out of date hardware. This capability offers a major value-added service that Bond can provide to its customers.
"User experience management has significantly increased a lot of our troubleshooting capability, which previously ate up a lot of our IT support teams’ time," says Richardson. "Very few providers are able to match the level of service and support that we are now able to offer, so it has also significantly strengthened our competitive advantage. Our IT support teams were initially a little cynical about implementing Dynatrace, but as soon as it was rolled out they were astonished at how effective it was. They’re now telling us that the solution has pretty much paid for itself two or three times over already."
"Dynatrace has significantly increased a lot of our troubleshooting capability, which previously ate up a lot of our IT support teams’ time."