Note: It is very common for mid-level managers, such as this Regional CIO, to request anonymity. Large companies often have rules that allow only designated staff to act as public spokesmen. So, even if a mid-level manager has an interesting thing or two to say, they can't say it using either their name or their company's name. So the following customer profile does not disclose either the company or the mid-level manager's name.
From time to time, I have an opportunity to communicate with someone who is actually using a vendor's products. I find those conversations helpful and informative. I expect you will too. This time, I heard from a regional CIO of a global provider of wireless telecommunications services. Thanks for taking the time to give me some insight into what you were doing.
Please introduce yourself and your organization?
I'm the Northeast Regional CIO of a leading provider of wireless telecommunication services and a major cellphone carrier in the U.S. with more than 94 million retail customers. Our 2,000 company-owned Communications Stores, kiosks and stores-within-a-store across the country provide the vital link in bringing our products and services to new and existing mobile device customers. Reliability of these point-of-sale systems and visibility into their performance are critical success factors for us to maintain our leadership position and growing market share.
What were you doing that needed this type of technology?
My department's goal is delivering 99.95 percent system uptime. But POS outages through the first four months of 2012 had brought the IT organization very close to its annual budget for downtime minutes, with the all-important holiday season still ahead.
More and more, heading into the holiday retail season, it feels like we're Best Buy and not just a telco company. The revenues for Black Friday through the end of the year are responsible for 50 percent of the annual sales generated through these channels.
To achieve our aggressive uptime goal for our POS and account provisioning application, my organization determined that it would have to become more proactive in managing application performance and create a dedicated proactive ops team equipped with the best tools. We follow all of the functional criteria in what Gartner calls the five dimensions of application performance monitoring. The fifth dimension, IT analytics, focuses on the correlation of all the data gathered to provide visibility into patterns of application behavior, isolate issues for root-cause diagnosis, and deliver proactive notification of performance anomalies so they can be resolved before they spiral out of control and impact the business.