Kwik-Fit are experts in automotive parts repair including tires, brakes, exhausts, MoT testing, car servicing, air conditioning recharge and windscreen repair. Kwik-Fit is the leading fast-fit supplier of tires in the UK with over 600 branches and is part of the Kwik-Fit Group, owned by PAI, a leading European private equity firm with offices in Paris, London, Madrid and Milan. Kwik-Fit operates from almost 1,800 service points across Europe and includes Kwik-Fit Netherlands and Speedy in France as well as the UK operation. The company services the requirements of almost 7.5 million motorists a year and is Europe’s largest fast-fit services provider.
“Before we installed WhatsUpGold, troubleshooting network issues was a lot harder,” said Mitchell. “It would often mean manually ploughing through router configs, device logs, etc to try to get to the bottom of an issue. Often some problems would remain unsolved.“
With a large number of remote branches, WhatsUpGold enables the IT department to quickly determine whether a device is down. With over 700 remote sites (including branches, offices, etc), Kwik-Fit required a means to monitor the network status of these sites, so they evaluated a number of different products before opting for WhatsUpGold.
“WhatsUpGold allowed us to do exactly what we wanted to do – provide up/down monitoring of all our remote sites (with alerting, etc) and bandwidth utilization of critical offices, while also allowing us to expand our monitoring capabilities through SNMP and WMI monitoring,” said Mitchell. “We are now also monitoring things like mail queues, number of remote VPN users connected, core device environmental data, etc. The (Network Traffic Analysis) plug-in is also being used at some of our critical offices, which enables us to see exactly what traffic is flowing in more detail. This can be very useful for troubleshooting network issues.”
With WhatsUpGold installed the IT department can be much more pro-active in fault resolution. As Mitchell explained, it often knows when there is a problem before the users have even realized themselves. “We can also determine patterns, for example, if a site has gone down a number of times in a short period, it may indicate a circuit stability issue, or we can check for network problems retrospectively - if one of our overnight processes has failed we can check to see if there were any network issues at the time.”
“When our helpdesk starts to get calls with users complaining of lack of connectivity we check the live WhatsUpGold data and can determine that a number of sites are down. Quite often we are able to determine that these sites are all connected with one particular service provider. Therefore, the most likely cause is some form of ‘outage’ on the ISP network. We are then able to raise a call with the ISP and provide this information. Using the historical reports we are able to advise the ISP of exactly when and for how long a particular site was ‘down’.”
The financial advantages for the company are that the IT Department, as a whole, can spend less time troubleshooting issues, as WhatsUpGold does all the groundwork, and more time working on IT projects.
“As our business develops, the importance of network connectivity becomes more critical. WhatsUpGold certainly helps in the time taken to resolve issues,” said Mitchell. “We are making more and more use of our online presence (e.g. customers booking online) and this involves connectivity with head office resources and individual branches. In the event of problems, WhatsUpGold helps enormously with troubleshooting, which gives us the capability to respond quickly.”
“We will probably make more use of the (Network Traffic Analysis) plug-in (e.g. increase the devices being monitored) and will also look to make more of configurable monitors for application servers that are becoming more critical to the business. We will also be looking to make use of the SMS alerting capabilities.”