In Shenzhen, China you’ll find Mindray Medical International Limited, the country’s largest medical equipment manufacturer.
From R&D centers and subsidiaries across the globe Mindray’s employees develop, sell, install and support medical devices and solutions for patient monitoring, diagnostics and digital imaging.
And they rely on an in-house developed self-service portal to support their various needs.
Mindray CIO Henry Wu explains. “We built a platform, an internal self-service portal for all staff across the globe.
“It needs to be available 24x7 to support staff in every location and time zone because it gives them access to business and approval processes, application entry points, HR, sales, procurement, expenses and so on.
“It’s a highly integrated platform servicing more than 200 business processes, and is built on multiple layers of hardware and software. Its scalable architecture is continuing to expand in capacity and capability.”
Get to your problems before they get to your users
The portal is now a vital part of Mindray’s infrastructure, but the in-house built nature of some of the applications makes them challenging to support and manage.
So when staff experienced performance issues, Henry Wu looked for a solution to monitor the infrastructure’s performance by application, by person, and by location.
Existing monitoring tools could inform him that portal services were ‘up’ but only as a ‘round-trip’ value. Without deep insight to portal traffic across the architectural layers no one actually knew where the problems lay.
Wu adds “My vision is to know by user and by location what the user experience actually is, and IR Prognosis provides me with that capability.”
Take back control
IR’s consulting team set about monitoring the performance of the different server types, breaking them down by application, IP and login address, region and user id and identifying the worst performing sessions.
They scripted logins to synthesize transactions and closed the loop by correlating the results. From this they could answer questions like -
“Is it the web servers, the application or databases?” and
“Where exactly is the problem?”
Correlating all the collected information meant they could see where performance issues began and the impact they had across the whole user experience.
This information forms a critical part of the portal’s performance monthly review.
Give your users the best experience you can
Wu says “These reports give us a whole heap of information with which to solve problems. Every month I look at the top 10 applications that trigger thresholds, which location they’re in, which transactions are involved, and so on.
“In the review we identify which applications have a high percentage of transactions exceeding our thresholds and we can do back-end analysis by location and establish a geographical pattern.”
He continues “For example if 40 or 60% of transactions exceed our expectations we can eliminate the scenario whereby the transaction becomes unusable which affects a whole group of users.
“We make it more painless by being proactive.”
Achieving this hasn’t meant a whole lot more expenditure on hardware.
Mindray’s staff have refined what’s in place already and made very effective application and database optimizations.
Real time performance management and optimization mean that users have the best experience possible, there is less firefighting and more time to deliver strategies.
“Now our portal has become a strategic platform supporting a wide range of our mission critical business processes” adds Wu. “It’s become the place where the business can go to find more and more solutions.
“Prognosis has been effective here” he says. “I have little doubt that it will be useful in other organizations who place similar emphasis on the quality of the user experience.
“You need to have this capability to pro-actively manage your applications and IT access. That’s why we came to IR.
“This has been our driving force, to find a technical solution, and we selected Prognosis to achieve those requirements.”
“My vision is clear. I need to monitor users actual quality of experience.
“I need to be able to tell what happened by location, by user, by transaction and IR Prognosis actually gave me that capability.”
Henry Wu, CIO
Mindray Medical International Limited.