"After an acquisition in 2012, we doubled our daily transactions. Without Dynatrace, this dramatic increase would have had unknown effects on our application."
Director of Application Development, Safeguard Properties
Company: Safeguard Properties
Industry: Mortgage Field Services
Safeguard always has an eye on the home front. With more than 1,700 employees and thousands of contractors nationwide, it is the largest mortgage field service company in the United States. Safeguard’s clients are banks and lenders that hire the company to provide inspection and property preservation services on vacant properties, keeping them secure, safe and well maintained inside and out. Safeguard runs a massive scale operation, processing tens of thousands of work orders a day for such services as property preservation, snow removal and yard maintenance.
When a work order is approved by a client, it is assigned and forwarded to the contractor for completion. Safeguard uses a proprietary application called Vendor Web as the portal for contractors to receive work orders and to submit the results back to Safeguard for review and payment. Vendor Web also contains a Crew Management function, allowing main contractors to manage multiple work crews and work order assignments.
The end-user experience is mission-critical for Safeguard. "When we get an order from a client, that order will get pushed out to our Vendor Web portal," explains Steve Goberish, Director of Application Development. "Our contractors log in to view and complete their assigned work orders. This application and the IT resources that support it are absolutely integral to our company’s ability to provide timely and accurate services for our clients. If there’s any downtime or any issues of slow performance it can create a ripple effect and impact other processes and procedures."
Goberish continues: "Several years ago, we heard comments from our contractors about slow performance. We even experienced some downtime. When we went to investigate, we found no instrumentation for the Vendor Web application to help us determine any possible improvement points. At that time we knew we needed to gain real insight, on a transactional basis, to be able to make our processes stronger." That’s when Safeguard looked to Dynatrace to transform its complex user experiences.
"When we first implemented Dynatrace we discovered that our application was repeatedly calling a specific function that always ended in failure," says Goberish. "It happened thousands of times a day and created noticeable latency. Once we were made aware of this problem, we discovered it in 24 different places within our application—and removed it. With Dynatrace, we could pinpoint the exact issue and resolve it. It only took us four or five hours to fix problems that had been in the application since the beginning."
Goberish notes that this increased stability of the application and the reduced timeframe to resolve issues allows his team to concentrate on more innovative and strategic initiatives. In addition, Safeguard is able expedite updates to its vendor base more efficiently, creating a more positive end-user experience.
"It only took us four or five hours to fix problems that had been in the application since the beginning."
"The main thing that we liked about Dynatrace was that it was lightweight," he explains. "It didn’t put any real strain on our systems. At first we weren’t sure what would happen if we put a monitoring system on something that was already running, but the results were terrific."
Goberish and his team shared a top-ten list of issues they found using Dynatrace with Safeguard executives and built an action plan to proceed. "We have a lot of people using mobile devices and different browsers on our system. Thanks to Dynatrace, we’re now able to handle all web browsers on our Vendor Web application. We also can see how many users utilize different web browsers so that we can continue to improve our service."
"The Dynatrace team helped us get to the bottom of our most important bottlenecks," remarked Goberish. "The relationship we have now is invaluable. The success my team had with the product led to Dynatrace being used by other application teams in our company—especially the client-facing systems."