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Informa plc

Informa engaged Devoteam to help deliver new fault and performance monitoring of their networks to improve operational efficiency across the business while reducing costs.

Informa is a £1.1bn company with more than 6,500 employees operating in over 20 countries, generating annual revenue of over £1.1bn. It is a leader in the knowledge economy, specialising in academic publishing, business intelligence, global exhibitions, and learning. To give an idea of the scale of its operation, Informa produces 110,000 books, 2,400 journals, 100+ BI subscriptions products, and organises 150 exhibitions
and 3,000 conferences each year.

Main challenges

Monitoring complex IT networks effectively

Informa was moving away from a geographically distributed IT management structure spread across five data centres on three continents to a centralised IT function in order to save money while improving efficiency. With a mixture of physical, virtual and cloud environments, the distinctive nature of the IT teams meant that they used many monitoring tools around the world to achieve the same objective of maintaining Informa’s IT and business services.

Such duplication of effort meant that technicians in one location were fixing problems to which others elsewhere were already alerted! This waste of computing resource increased the cost of delivering services to internal customers in the Academic Publishing, Business Intelligence and Global Exhibitions divisions.

James Brunner, Director of Global Network Services, Group Technology at Informa, encountered a number of shortcomings around the infrastructure management software the company was using. A major issue was the inability of the network management tool to discover the correct topology of the network links and its failure to display a proper graphical view. There was no integrated configuration management for the work devices located in five different data centres. The network tools could not keep pace with the client’s use of the latest technology or be easily enhanced for application awareness and application performance management.

James Brunner explained: “We are an ambitious and fast-moving company. Our toolsets did not reflect this or support us in our goals of providing excellence to our internal customers and best possible end user experience to our external customers.”

What did we solve?

Unify fault and performance management

None of the tools Informa was using to monitor applications offered the range of functionality and scalability required. James Brunner decided to look outside for expertise. He had collaborated with Devoteam on a large project at another customer site, where Devoteam had integrated configuration, fault and performance management systems into a single solution. Informa’s decision to work with Devoteam was down to the SI’s pedigree in network fault and performance management as well as its record of providing integrated solutions.

As a recognised expert in service assurance, customers engage Devoteam for their real world experience and ability to navigate the technology landscape, while delivering solutions that help them to drive their business forward on the ‘digital battlefield’. With the primacy of infrastructure management in the application economy, Devoteam helps customers realise the ultimate aim of providing an excellent end user experience.

James Brunner added, “I knew that Devoteam had the expertise in this area and I believed that the quickest way to identify the optimal solution was to work with the experts”.

James Brunner, Director of Global Network Services:

“I knew that Devoteam had the expertise in this area and I believed that the quickest way to identify the optimal solution was to work with the experts”.

To assist the selection of a new tool, Informa defined a list of 34 requirements around fault discovery and performance management, all of which were classified between low and critical. SolarWinds and a number of other tools, including CA Spectrum, were reviewed against these criteria. Following a demonstration of CA Spectrum, Informa undertook a successful proof of concept to gain confidence in it of its 12 prospective users.

CA Spectrum is designed to help enterprise IT manage and improve dynamic, complex IT infrastructure — including physical, virtual networks and cloud environments — in order to realise important benefits around cost, performance and business productivity. CA Spectrum was chosen by Informa for its ability to perform root cause analysis, especially of the client’s WAN topology upon which the business worldwide depended.

The solution was expanded to include performance management using CA eHealth, business intelligence reporting with Spectrum Report Manager, and application awareness from CA Network Flow Analysis.

Main benefits

Ensuring IT performance for business

The benefits that Informa gained from this transformation of its Infrastructure management solution included:

  • Prevention of business disruption
  • Ensure enterprise productivity
  • Improved IT operational efficiency
  • Cost reduction