Imerys Group unifies and modernizes its application and network monitoring
The Imerys group, producer of mineral specialties for industry, has selected the Maltem Insight Performance (MIP) solution to monitor both its critical applications and its network.
A global producer of performance minerals and high-temperature materials for industry, the Imerys group has replaced its application and network monitoring tools with a unified SaaS solution, opting for Maltem Insight Performance (MIP). Today, it monitors the performance of critical applications as well as the network connections of 250 sites in France and abroad.
In 2018, the group’s IT department began the search for a SaaS-based solution to replace an outdated network monitoring tool. The flexibility of the cloud was a prerequisite: at the network level, the total number of connected sites and buildings rises to 350, all in some 40 different countries. The company ultimately chose to implement the Maltem Insight Performance (MIP) solution, which provides near real-time network monitoring. “Alert systems are able to notify us by email when a site goes down or is no longer available, or when bandwidth is insufficient. We can be proactive and anticipate before users come and report the incident,” says Carole Heritier, network and telecom manager at Imerys. The result is considerable gains in terms of visibility and time. The solution also allows to challenge the different telecom operators. “They can report incidents themselves, but sometimes they can’t detect them. The MIP solution allows us to alert them before an incident occurs,” continues Carole Heritier. Monitoring data is fed into dashboards and KPIs that provide a managerial perspective on network performance, such as the overall availability rate for each site. “This allows us to have a more qualitative vision of the service provided by the team,” says Carole Heritier.
Replicate the user experience
If the need first appeared at the network level, the question quickly arose for application monitoring. “Was it appropriate to keep two different solutions?” said Jimmy Baboulene, infrastructure project manager at Imerys. In 2019, the company then decided to also migrate the existing application monitoring to MIP, which has the ability to replicate the user experience across different scenarios. An internal process is designed to deploy monitoring on the various applications, and each year between four and five of them migrate to MIP. Currently, nine critical applications are already monitored in the solution, including the ERP system, financial applications and budget request management.
One of the objectives was to measure the availability of sites and applications every 15-20 minutes, with complete test scenarios, from connection to disconnection. The scenarios already implemented were designed with the editor and Imerys’ application managers. One of the most complex is the financial consolidation system. “The Maltem agent simulates the opening of a connection, then the opening of the application. It then searches and opens a defined tax package. It launches the validation process and measures the time required to complete this action. Finally, it disconnects from the application and closes the connection,” explains Jimmy Baboulene. Each step must be completed within a given time frame to determine whether the application is working normally, slowly or not at all. “This scenario is executed on three agents installed in our main datacenters in Europe, Asia and the United States,” says the infrastructure project manager.
Provide visibility to users and managers
Today, the team plans to go even further in the visibility provided to managers and users. In particular, it plans to set up a page on the intranet to highlight the availability of applications and some key statistics, an initiative that could then be extended to the network. “On the network side, we are going to capitalize more on the metrics to exploit them,” adds Carole Heritier.