The journey of retail brand Globus Stores began in 1998, and since then the company has been expanding by opening new stores at different locations across India. Currently, the company has 27 stores in seven states. As a result of this expansion, connecting to multiple locations and resolving their IT issues became a big challenge for the IT team at Globus.
Globus had one engineer per location, and connecting and managing all of them wasn't simple. "Taking end-of-day updates from these engineers, and finding out the status of pending calls was becoming difficult.
Apart from this, there was no centralized call logging system, and I had to depend on the engineers for any information," recalls Sabu Oommen, the manager of IT infrastructure for Globus Stores. To cope with these issues, the company decided to go in for a remote infrastructure management solution.
Planning and analysis of the remote infrastructure management project started in September 2007, the proof of concept (POC) was done in December 2007, and the project went live in January 2008. The remote infrastructure management solution's implementation was done in two phases. Initially, one store was selected for the POC, then implementation was done in 14 stores as part of phase one. Implementation at the remaining stores was completed in the second phase.
Change management was the main issue faced by Globus' IT team while deploying its remote infrastructure management solution. "To deal with this, the IT team spoke to store managers and explained the advantages of remote infrastructure management," says Oommen. "We explained that remote infrastructure management would give them support 24/7, and that it was a cost-effective solution for the company. We also selected a non-technical person from each store to help the central IT team."
With remote infrastructure management, Globus has been able to reduce the number of engineers from 28 to eight. These engineers are now based at a central network operating center (NOC) in Mumbai. "We have created our NOC with the help of Allied Digital. For providing 24/7 services to the users, our engineers work in two shifts—morning and evening. These
engineers monitor all our locations since these locations are connected to our head office using MPLS connectivity," explains Oommen.
With the remote infrastructure management solution, Globus' IT team sitting at the head office can access the desktops of any Globus store in India. Engineers will immediately come to know of any IT-related issue through the call logging mechanism, and they will immediately raise call tickets. "Software issues or any critical IT issue can be resolved remotely, sitting at one location," Oommen informs. "Even if there is a connectivity problem, technical experts will contact the vendor, and vendor will send their engineer to the location. The entire solution and implementation was done by Allied Digital."
"If this NOC team is not available to a particular store manager or user, an escalation will come to me showing that the user is not getting any response. This way we can keep track of the status," adds Oommen.
Business gains all the way
According to Oommen, the most important benefit of Globus' remote infrastructure management solution is that it helps the IT team to provide 24/7 support for users. In addition, it helps provide a centralized management system for better management of the entire system.
Generating reports on an hourly and daily basis is much easier with this solution. Remote infrastructure management, ensure that Globus has a proactive monitoring system in hand. Engineers monitor all IT-based assets such as desktops, servers and critical applications located at remote places. "For example, if a server's utilization goes beyond a certain level, the remote infrastructure management solution will immediately raise an alert about something going wrong. This proactive approach is helping us to reduce the business downtime. With remote infrastructure management we have reduced almost 60% of the running costs—and we have successfully achieved the committed ROI within seven months," says Oommen.