Kroger uses Dynatrace to Build Bridges Across IT Domains to Resolve Issues Faster

"Through a single agent, we’ve been able to gain full-stack observability into our environment in one clear view, and Dynatrace’s AI has provided us with precise answers about performance anomalies. This is why Dynatrace was a clear winner."

Jay Cotton - Performance Engineer Lead, Kroger

Reinvention leads to increased complexity

Kroger is the largest supermarket chain in the United States, with almost 2,800 stores, but around five years ago, it had a very limited digital presence. To address this, Kroger underwent an aggressive digital transformation in an effort to reinvent the business. This introduced a lot of changes, including the move to a hybrid, multicloud environment, comprising a blend of Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and on-premises infrastructure.

As a result, Kroger’s IT stack has become increasingly dynamic and more complex, making it more difficult to monitor and manage. Kroger identified there was a need for greater observability into its environment to ensure its digital teams are able to access the insights and answers they need to deliver frictionless digital experiences to customers. Kroger’s monitoring team, affectionately known internally as the “Captain America Truth and Justice” team, also wanted to bring a common language to those working on problem resolution, to ensure everyone was on the same page and able to resolve problems faster.

The move to automatic and intelligent observability

Kroger needed a new approach to monitoring, one that could handle the complexity of its hybrid, multicloud environment and was futureproofed for new platforms being added to the stack. After evaluating the market, Kroger selected Dynatrace. Dynatrace’s AI and automation capabilities automatically instrument Kroger’s entire hybrid, multi-cloud environment and can process billions of dependencies in real-time. This provides the full-stack observability and precise answers that Kroger’s teams need to maintain seamless digital experiences for its customers.

“We needed a new approach to monitoring that would allow teams to speak the same language – but we couldn’t do this with multiple tools and 16 different agents monitoring all the different technologies we use. This is why Dynatrace was a clear winner,” said Jay Cotton, Performance Engineer Lead, Kroger. “Through a single agent, we’ve been able to gain full-stack observability into our environment in one clear view, and Dynatrace’s AI has provided us with precise answers about performance anomalies. This has helped us to move forward, fast, enabling us to focus on innovation instead of troubleshooting.”

"Dynatrace has given us back so much time – we’re now able to truly focus on innovation and doing cool things."

Jay Cotton - Performance Engineer Lead, Kroger

Life with Dynatrace

  • Automatic and intelligent observability – Dynatrace’s automation capabilities provide Kroger with out-of-the-box observability into its dynamic cloud environment. Its single agent approach means Dynatrace can automatically discover and instrument all application and infrastructure components across Kroger’s hybrid, multicloud ecosystem, eliminating blind spots and avoiding the need for multiple tools and agents.
  • Greater cross-team collaboration – A single source of truth for all Kroger’s digital performance data ensures that its infrastructure, application, and database teams are all speaking the same language and can collaborate more effectively. Teams are also able to self-serve the data and insights they need to understand how digital services can be optimized to create better customer experiences, enabling them to operate more effectively.
  • AI-powered insights – Dynatrace’s AI-assistance eliminates false positives and offers Kroger precise answers and code-level insights into system degradation or performance anomalies, prioritized by business impact. This helped reduce the number of support tickets generated following the launch of a new application from 700 to just 7 per week, in the space of a single month.
  • Accelerating innovation – The AI-powered insights from Dynatrace have reduced the need for war room calls and allowed IT teams and developers to spend less time troubleshooting and more time innovating. Teams are also no longer held back by the need to figure out how to monitor a new application or service before it goes live; Dynatrace automatically discovers and instruments it.

“Dynatrace has given us back so much time – we’re now able to truly focus on innovation and doing cool things, instead of worrying about monitoring and finding the root cause of performance problems. From a personal perspective, it has also given me back time to spend with my family and have a great work life balance, instead of being dragged into lengthy war room calls,” concludes Cotton.

"Dynatrace helps us to move forward, fast."

Jay Cotton - Performance Engineer Lead, Kroger

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