"We have chosen Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold based on our long-term experience in the IT industry and other enterprises' user experience of the platform. After a thorough evaluation which proved that WhatsUp Gold v16.3 Service Pack 2 met our needs, we introduced WhatsUp Gold v16.4 to the company in 2015," said Merlin Kao, Assistant Manager of Application Architecture at the Taiwan Car Rental & Travel Group.
The purpose is to enable the headquarters to manage all systems in a heterogeneous environment effectively via Progress® WhatsUp® Gold unified infrastructure and Application Performance Monitoring (APM) module.
With annual revenues of NT$950 million, the Taiwan Car Rental & Travel Group is the largest travel and transportation company in Taiwan. Taiwan Car Rental & Travel Group runs several travel agencies as well as a wide range of vehicle services such as airport pick-up services, transportation services for airline cabin crews, car rental services for sightseeing, mobility buses, welfare buses, SNG vehicles, long-term car rental services for business clients and tour buses. All in all, the Taiwan Car Rental & Travel Group is a specialized car rental and travel service provider.
Following the integration of their computer systems with the ERP systems, the Taiwan Car Rental & Travel Group introduced a variety of systems to meet their business needs including smart dispatch, customer online search and vehicle mobility systems. As the number of vehicles, routes and service models increased, the company's business grew increasingly complicated. Given the time-sensitive nature of the transportation industry, ensuring IT infrastructure operations were always optimal in order to support front-line business such as vehicle dispatch, dynamic arrangement, and customer orders became the major challenge for the Taiwan Car Rental & Travel Group.
With digitization and mobility in mind, Taiwan Car Rental & Travel Group chief executive director Hsu Hao-yuan expanded the IT department with new recruits. The new IT team was entrusted with the responsibility to revamp the company's IT infrastructure. Three goals were set. The first goal was to create a solid foundation for higher productivity by improving client devices at the front line. The second goal was to upgrade the company's data center by replacing the existing equipment, servers and infrastructure. The third and most important goal was to create an IT management platform for all heterogeneous systems.
After updating over 100 client PCs sequentially, upgrading the servers and introducing the virtual structure, the company moved on to the management of a complicated heterogeneous environment. In the past, the company outsourced their maintenance tasks to external IT companies with only one consultant in charge of the IT department. However, the combination of new and old equipment from different vendors and complicated internal connections put the IT infrastructure at risk of unplanned downtime.
For example, the IT staff must identify the root causes immediately when they were notified of the problems such as "the computer was too slow to schedule orders" or "applications failed to work properly". However, there were many possible causes including server failure, low CPU performance, database access issues and hardware problems. If the IT staff failed to identify the cause, system operations and business would be interrupted, striking a lethal blow to the Taiwan Car Rental & Travel Group.
In case of a problem or system failure, the IT staff must check every server and spend a lot of time identifying the root causes.
To overcome this challenge, the Taiwan Car Rental & Travel Group has adopted the Progress WhatsUp Gold integrated solution with high availability for monitoring networks and servers. WhatsUp Gold provides an integrated view of equipment from different suppliers in the heterogeneous environment, allowing the IT staff to see everything on the network on one single platform.
When installing the Progress WhatsUp Gold platform in 2016, the Taiwan Car Rental & Travel Group was helped by USO's WhatsUp Gold-certified engineers. All servers, routers, switches, wireless devices, and the virtual infrastructure were connected to the WhatsUp Gold platform in two weeks, successfully integrating the multi-vendor solutions in the heterogeneous environment.
With the Progress WhatsUp Gold network management platform, the IT staff can view CPU and memory utilization and hard disk drives while accessing logs and checking network status based on the data collected from file and application servers, network devices, firewalls and printers - all without logging in. "After using WhatsUp Gold to monitor the internal network and even the connections between physical and virtual machines, the IT staff can locate any problems immediately with the help of the WhatsUp Gold dashboard. The result is a 50% reduction in troubleshooting time and optimal operations of the network and infrastructure," said Merlin Kao.
With a variety of products and services, the Taiwan Car Rental & Travel Group has developed over 40 applications for human resource management, customer relation management, enterprise resources planning, workflow planning, mobility and welfare bus reservation, and banking services. Therefore, the Taiwan Car Rental & Travel Group has also installed the Progress WhatsUp APM module to help manage these applications.
With APM, the IT staff can greatly simplify application monitoring processes and tasks under the SLA (Service Level Agreement) while tracking application status more easily. By producing SLA-compliant reports, the Taiwan Car Rental & Travel Group can analyze their large volume of data effectively to help enhance application performance and reliability, ensuring stable and uninterrupted operations of their business.
"Our front-line employees are the major beneficiaries of the introduction of the WhatsUp Gold platform as they have experienced higher troubleshooting efficiency, more stable computer operations and a reduction in server failure," said Merlin Kao. "The biggest advantage of the WhatsUp Gold platform for us is that it saves 50% of our daily maintenance time as we can review and process events more rapidly." With a significant decrease in management time, the staffing of the IT employees can be more efficient, allowing them to have more time for developing new applications. Overall, a 50% cut in labor costs has been achieved. Looking to the future, the Taiwan Car Rental & Travel Group will continue to embrace new technologies such as container, big data, and mobility to develop more user-friendly services. The company will stick to their corporate philosophy of professionalism, simplicity and customer orientation to fulfill their commitment of providing premium services.