Magazine Article | January 1, 2003

Monitoring Tool Cuts Downtime By 50%

Source: Field Technologies Magazine
Integrated Solutions, January 2003

Diversified Information Technologies (Diversified) (Scranton, PA) is a business-process outsourcing services firm that provides technology-based information management services. The company has more than 450 clients in the financial, insurance, and healthcare industries. Over 75% of those clients rely on Diversified for scan, data capture, and conversion services. As a result, the company produces up to 750,000 images a day. At this production level, if a server crashed or an application went down, service levels would be compromised. Because of the type of clientele Diversified works with, time-sensitive applications are not uncommon. When Diversified had no automated monitoring tool in place to watch over the processes and modules running in its server room, a data capture server could be down for half an hour before it was attended to. This downtime led to the implementation of a monitoring application that allows Diversified to monitor its data capture environment in real time.

Application-Level Notification
Before April 2002, IT personnel at Diversified manually monitored all of the different processes and modules running on the data capture servers, 24/7. Diversified wanted a monitoring tool to free up these resources while implementing real-time status of the data capture environment. The solution had to go beyond the network and servers. "A lot of monitoring tools will monitor servers and the network. We needed to go a step further and wanted to plug in directly to the scanning software we were running at the time, which was InputAccel from Captiva Software. Reveille from Silas Technologies proved to offer notification on the server level as well as the application level. This was the one of the major deciding factors when selecting a monitoring tool," Joe O'Boyle, senior VP of Information Technology at Diversified explained.

Real-Time Status Of Data Capture Environment
Installation of the monitoring system took only hours, and the complete system was up and running in a day. Silas' Reveille was installed on a Windows workstation, and it connected to the InputAccel environment Diversified was already running. This monitoring tool can be used in multiple server environments. For Diversified, it allowed the company to monitor its complete document capture environment from scanners to software to servers. The browser-based application is permission accessed and it gives a real-time status of the applications running on the company's four data capture servers. During the six-month sales cycle, Diversified was able to test the monitoring system. According to O'Boyle, "The system offered quick notification and reports on all processes, including downtime, length of time it took for tasks to be completed, and a breakdown on what was and was not working in our data capture environment so corrective action could be taken." These are all mission-critical tasks that Diversified was unable to perform prior to the installation.

When a server goes down, a batch gets stuck in the modules, or an application goes down on any of the data capture servers, this monitoring software has the technology to recognize exactly what is going on in the system, and then to remedy that problem by calling on the correct IT employee on duty. The monitoring tool sends out a page to that specific person. If there is no response in a predetermined amount of time, a page is sent to the next employee on the list. "With this monitoring tool, we have freed up two IT people per shift. Now these employees are working in other areas of the company, bringing in additional resources to the production process," says O'Boyle. With this application, Diversified is better utilizing their staff because there is no longer a need for physical monitoring. "Our business has many time-critical applications and deadlines, and due to the monitoring system we are now able to meet or exceed these deadlines on a consistent basis. Overall, we are more efficient because we can identify issues with our data capture servers quicker," O'Boyle said.

Diversified has recently upgraded the Silas Reveille software, and O'Boyle says that as the company grows and adds more data capture servers, it will expand its site license for this monitoring tool.