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Neiman Marcus Chooses Dynatrace for Digital Transformation

Neiman Marcus Group is comprised of 5 luxury retailers and over 42 stores nationwide. As with many retailers, E-commerce has become the fastest-growing segment of their business. As the Neiman brand is synonymous with luxury, the company is adamant that the performance of their website reflect the fact that the experience of their online customers is just as important as that of in-person shopping. The benefits of using Appmon from Dynatrace to monitor performance and collect business data across disparate sites and architectures was known throughout the Neiman E-commerce organization. Yet, the digital transformation initiatives coming from IT compelled the E-Commerce group to look for ways and technologies to become more agile and meet business needs faster. Moving to the cloud became a key part of this initiative, and as Venkat puts it “digital transformation comes with a lot of challenges…it’s not always a win-win situation”.

For instance, while long-standing but disparate teams (such as infrastructure and networking) consolidated to become a single, transparent organization, no one had the expertise with this newer Cloud technology. Key questions soon arose concerning this new architecture, such as:

  • How to deploy new applications?
  • How to size for spacing and provisioning?
  • How will they scale as needed?
  • How will applications and the infrastructure itself be monitored?
  • How will we know what to look for before it’s not working?

As Neiman had opted for the AWS Cloud, the first thought was to use the free Cloudwatch service. They soon realized Cloudwatch was far from an out-of-the-box solution, but rather a toolkit wherein, as Venkat describes, “have to feed it the knowledge” such as building the dashboards, setting the processes, defining the logging etc. But most importantly, it simply did not have the ability to do transaction-based, deep monitoring. It was this complexity of the tool-kit as well as the overall limitations for monitoring which prompted the team to revisit Dynatrace and find out if they had capabilities beyond the Appmon product they were already familiar with that could address their current application monitoring needs which arose from their digital transformation and Cloud strategy.

The Dynatrace solution was fit-for-purpose and “built for Cloud”. The Neiman Marcus team opted for a quick POC to test out the new functionality, and discover how the newer features made their job easier; an example being that instead of instinctively beginning at the Purepath, the Dynatrace solution takes you to the exact genesis of the problem, for quick root cause analysis. The results the team found were:

  1. Auto instrumentation worked as advertised
  2. Identified root case for all edge case scenarios
  3. OOB anomaly detection removed the overhead of manual baselining
  4. RUM metrics provided much more valuable information

The benefits were so apparent, Venkat proclaimed that Dynatrace is “Problem detection at its best”. Neiman was so satisfied with the new Dynatrace solution, that they have decided to deploy it across the organization as a migration path from Appmon company-wide. Their future roadmap for Dynatrace is

  • Pull the trigger on Appmon
  • Move out of Synthetic Classic
  • Plain infrastructure agents to replace legacy monitoring solutions

Neiman also opted to deploy the Dynatrace One-Agent in the SaaS context. This allowed them the ability to immediately begin collecting their business information without building a collector, mapping or worrying about maintenance or upkeep on the back-end. This mapped perfectly to their “Cloud First” strategy, with a roadmap to eventually phase away from infrastructure all-together.

You can watch the entire session by clicking on the player below:

This is just one of the many compelling stories and real-life use cases that our customers have shared with us at the Perform 2018 conference in Las Vegas. To watch even more stories around Business Transformation, we invite you to register and join us for Perform Europe taking place May 23-25, 2018 at the W Hotel in Barcelona.