Deploypartners Case Study
Streamlining Harvey Norman’s Enterprise Management System
Harvey Norman is a publicly listed company operating a franchised business model to retail home and office products. They trade in the Electrical, Computers & Communications, Small Appliances, Furniture, Home Improvements, and Lighting categories. As of 2012 over 200 franchised complexes exist throughout Australia (trading under brand names Harvey Norman, Domayne and Joyce Mayne). The company has experienced rapid offshore expansion over the past few years, and there are 70 company-owned stores located in New Zealand, Europe & S.E. Asia.
Within Australia, Harvey Norman has become a household name, recognised for not only it’s advertising jingle, but the competitive range, quality and pricing of the retail outlet products.
The Design Requirement
The project required DeployPartners to update Harvey Norman’s aging Enterprise Management infrastructure without losing any of their current functionality. The existing systems of the company were reaching end-of-useful life and availability of external support limited. DeployPartners needed to design the best way to build the current Harvey Norman infrastructure into the enhanced configuration of the Tivoli Netcool suite.
Harvey Norman had configuration information about their network stored in many different locations. This included Excel spreadsheets, hard coded in software, and in network design documentation. Centralisation of all configuration information into the one location would benefit Harvey Norman on several levels: reduced overheads of maintaining the information in a single location, accurate and reliably maintained data, and providing a launching platform to develop system tools that would reduce network downtime.
Harvey Norman required a real time Enterprise management system to support their critical applications, such as the point of sale system at each store that spans across Australasia. The company also required a system that can easily integrate processes with an evolving retail industry moving rapidly towards online selling. Harvey Norman recently deployed an e-commerce site that the new Enterprise management system will need to monitor real-time.
- Replace the existing aging infrastructure with a modern strategic solution.
- Retain the existing functionality provided by the current infrastructure.
- Equip Harvey Norman operations with the capacity they would need to effectively and efficiently support extensive company services.Ensure the replacement model can scale to the expected growth of the business.
- Create a platform that is able to accommodate future functionality additions.
The key functional components of the solution built into the Harvey Norman Enterprise involved:
- Probes & Ticketing
- Reporter Database
The hub of the operational solution designed by DeployPartners is Tivoli Netcool OMNIbus – the master event repository for the fault management system. OMNIbus integrates each of the Netcool components to deliver real-time, centralised monitoring of complex networks and IT domains. A fit-for-purpose OMNIbus server was developed for Harvey Norman to handle the events and data sources currently being experienced, approximately 400-500 events per hour.
OMNIbus was able to be integrated into a tool already embedded within Harvey Norman’s system which ‘polls’ the network. The poll outputs discover fault occurrences and forward the results to Netcool, initiating ticket creation. A feature of DeployPartners’s successful delivery was the ease of this integration into a Service Management application already in place. Omnibus was also integrated with the environmental system, monitoring mains power, uninterrupted power supply (UPS) and temperature probes located within the distributed store network.
Impact is a powerful tool used by DeployPartners to enhance real-time event management systems. Impact is primarily used to integrate different systems into OMNIbus to provide operators with as much information as possible.
Logical Event enrichment is the process by which Impact adds topology data to events, thereby enriching the event and making it easier for the Resolver Group to analyse. This occurs once a situation is triggered and passed through the Service Management system to the support team.
Probes & Ticketing
Probes connect to an event source, detect and acquire event data, and forward the data to Netcool’s ObjectServer as alarms. Three probes were designed into the Harvey Norman solution to handle a large throughput of information. Probes not only acquire data but will be used to enrich events with specific Harvey Norman configuration information.
Harvey Norman’s existing setup used a Service Management (SM7) ticketing system. This project comprised creating, testing and validating the interface between the SM7 system and Netcool, and migrating the existing system over. This further boosted effective network monitoring, keeping senior management and stakeholders updated with near real-time information.
“Netcool OMNIbus offers a richer array of event sources from which it can correlate and trigger critical alerts to downstream stakeholders on the health of services that Harvey Norman Information Technology support. HNIT plan to add many more elements to the transaction monitoring layer without any adverse affect on the overall performance of the solution”.
Harvey Norman Information Technology
WebGUI is a user-interface that Harvey Norman operators can use to view events and network topology graphically. WebGUI works as a ‘dashboard’ to view the health of sites throughout a company, using a ‘traffic-light’ colour system to indicate problem areas. With this view operators can rapidly determine the health of a site and/or service, and zone in on areas needing fault resolution.
The Reporter database is used to hold the historical events within the Harvey Norman enterprise to provide operations with the ability to run reports on the availability and capacity trends of those services being monitored. The reporter database was set to retain the events from the Object Server for 90 days.
Standout features of this DeployPartners installation, and consequent advantage to Harvey Norman included:
- Ease of integrating 3rd party systems like element managers and environmental systems.
- Scalability to handle a large volume of events and event floods without losing service.
- DeployPartners consultants provide seamless transition from existing system to Netcool Omnibus to end-users.
- Best practice built system that reduces the amount of maintenance support required whilst allowing growth.
Facility to sustain business growth with movement towards online retail. Harvey Norman have recently deployed an e-commerce site – with real-time monitoring being provided by the new Netcool management system.