This high growth technology services firm outgrew a problematic premises-based monitoring platform. Hardware requirements were prohibitively expensive. Upgrades were labor intensive and required unacceptable amounts of downtime. Support was unreliable, and most importantly, there was a sense of diminished partnership with the vendor.
The consulting firm started looking for a more scalable, cloud-based monitoring solution.
West Monroe Partners is a Chicago-based multinational management and technology consulting firm that specializes in a number of industries including Financial Services, Private Equity, and Healthcare.
“We help our clients maximize the return on their technology investments,” says Nathan Ulery, Managing Director at West Monroe Partners. “We do that by combining a mix of business acumen and deep technical knowledge.”
West Monroe has boasted a 30 percent compound annual growth rate for eight consecutive years, which drove a need to scale the company’s technology platforms.
The Pain of Premises-Based Monitoring
“We monitor thousands of devices on our clients’ networks,” says Kristen Stenglein, Operations Manager for West Monroe Partners. “Our legacy monitoring solution was deployed on-premises. It was increasingly difficult to use, and it wasn’t able to scale to report on the number of devices we were monitoring. It was very hard to visualize trends so we could spot trouble as it was brewing.”
Upgrades were also problematic, as they required West Monroe to turn monitoring off during the upgrade process. This happened as often as four times a year, and the process was not only complex and time-consuming, but it also introduced unacceptable risks to a rapidly growing infrastructure.
West Monroe needed a monitoring solution that was scalable and easy to deploy. “Our previous monitoring tool became our most expensive application to maintain, both from a hardware perspective as well as from the amount of staff time it took to manage it,” says Ulery.
“We realized that a cloud-based solution would have major advantages for us,” says Stenglein. “There was no hardware to purchase, install and manage. It provided much better scalability. We can access the tool from any device, anywhere and at any time. And, critically, upgrades happen in the background and don’t require downtime.”
When the incumbent tool succumbed to several outages, the die was cast—West Monroe needed to find a replacement. “We were committed to making a change, but it was no easy task as we had just 11 weeks before the license with our legacy vendor would expire,” said Stenglein. “We needed a partner who understood our business, had a solution that could scale with us and was willing to partner with us to make this work in a short period of time.”
We’ve calculated internally that our investment in LogicMonitor paid for itself within 6 months. We couldn’t be happier.
Managing Director, West Monroe Partners
Partnering With LogicMonitor
“We looked at a lot of monitoring solutions, but LogicMonitor quickly rose to the top,” says Ulery. “I was impressed they understood that the monitoring needs of a service provider are different from those of an enterprise. LogicMonitor understood the dynamics and economics of our business. Most importantly, they listened carefully as I explained the challenges and risks I was concerned about.”
“It was clear from the start that LogicMonitor would be a partner as opposed to a vendor,” adds Stenglein.“ During the proof-of-concept phase, we insisted that they use their standard support team members and not a ‘white-glove’ new account team. They did, and we immediately felt comfortable with their support teams’ expertise, commitment and approach.”
Bringing LogicMonitor Onboard
After the selection process, West Monroe had eight weeks to replace the previous vendor’s monitoring, a process that usually requires months. Given the compressed timeframe and the need for a seamless switch from one vendor to another, the team decided to define the scope of the project very specifically: achieve parity between LogicMonitor and the existing solution.
“We had zero time to do any kind of real analysis, so we had to limit the scope to simply replicate what our existing tool was providing,” says Stenglein. “The LogicMonitor team understood this and rose to the challenge.”
To accomplish the switchover, LogicMonitor assembled a rapid implementation team including members from professional services, customer support, customer success, and training and certification.
Their four-step approach was clean and comprehensive:
1. Audit the existing monitoring framework to identify every device, data point and associated alert threshold being monitored by incumbent tool.
2. Recreate this framework in LogicMonitor to run in parallel with the existing tool.
3. Train West Monroe’s internal teams to ensure uninterrupted business processes and workflow.
4. Cut-over to LogicMonitor before West Monroe’s license with the legacy monitoring tool expired.
In total, the project migrated 4,300 devices within the time constraints. It also required that the corresponding alert thresholds and escalation chains were matched while maintaining seamless business continuity throughout.
It was clear from the start that LogicMonitor would be a partner as opposed to a vendor.
Managing Director, West Monroe Partners
“LogicMonitor achieved parity with our legacy tool in a compressed timeline,” says Stenglein. “But right out of the box, they were able to exceed what we were getting from our prior tool. They support more devices. They have native automation capabilities that let us create workflows to greatly simplify both monitoring and remediation of problems. LogicMonitor’s reporting and analysis tools help us spot trends early. In fact, we now spot problems – and fix them – before our clients even notice an issue. And, they work with on-premises, hybrid, and cloud environments.”
One critical “out-of-the-box” capability was LogicMonitor’s integration with ServiceNow. “We are a big ServiceNow shop,” says Stenglein. “When LogicMonitor spots a problem, it can automatically initiate a trouble ticket with ServiceNow. What’s more, when our tech looks at the alert, ServiceNow communicates back to LogicMonitor acknowledging that the alert is being dealt with. This has enabled us to look at alerts as an opportunity to avoid an issue, as opposed to a notification that we have an issue.”
“LogicMonitor allowed us to reduce our operational costs while improving our ability to service our clients,” says Ulery. “We’ve calculated internally that our investment in LogicMonitor paid for itself within 6 months. We couldn’t be happier.”