Hansgrohe AG has been using Lotus Notes since 1996. It started inside the IT department with 20 users and has now expanded Lotus e-mail and other groupware services for more than 2,200 users in 30 countries all over the world. The company employs two e-mail administrators to constantly monitor 29 Domino servers, one Sametime server and one BlackBerry Enterprise Server to ensure that the e-mail infrastructure has nearly perfect uptime and that there are no problems sending emails that secure product orders and generate revenue for the company.
E-mail continuity has become mission critical for Hansgrohe. The Company is a world leader in the kitchen and bath product and design industry, and a reliable worldwide e-mail system is a necessity because it is a central part of Hansgrohe’s revenue-generating process. The company utilizes confirmation e-mails to initiate suppliers to deliver specific parts for production. If these are delayed,production stops because of missing parts.
“Production is a critical step in high-end kitchen and bathroom fixtures, where sales are generated by made-to-order products. If there are any problems or delays, especially when it comes to BES servers and BlackBerry service, high-level executives begin to take notice and start asking what is wrong,” said Matthias Ratz. “Furthermore, the customer experience suffers because Hansgrohe is in a high-touch segment where “fast” is synonymous with “good” for customer service. Also as a global company, e-mail continuity has become a necessity for its internal communication capabilities.”
Another major challenge the company faces is its fast growth in emerging markets in different time zones with weak technical infrastructures. Since 2002, the company has hired 660 new employees. Manually maintaining a constantly growing massive global infrastructure with 31 different e-mail servers required several personnel for management and large amounts of resources because of the scale and specialization in monitoring tasks. With two administrators assigned to e-mail monitoring,
Hansgrohe needed to maximize its capacity in order to support the company’s employees and maintain its growth. Effective monitoring solutions have to be very specific to the applications, and Lotus Notes is no exception. With only two administrators, it was nearly impossible to manually check for errors on all server log files and/or mail boxes. Furthermore, monitoring major Domino tasks was not possible solely with administrators.
Matthias and his team constantly juggled different tools needed for specialized monitoring for specific applications on its IT infrastructure. Amplifying this burden, the IT team needed a solution that handled the specificity of Lotus Notes and Domino while still being flexible and robust enough to monitor its BlackBerry and Sametime servers. Additionally, the solution needed to integrate seamlessly with and cascade into the central system monitoring tool implemented for the whole Hansgrohe IT infrastructure.
This tool acts as IT’s central nervous system, and although it provided sufficient monitoring tools for Hansgrohe IT’s applications, it did not have the capabilities needed to monitor the company’s heterogeneous email environment.
Originally, Matthias was not searching for an e-mail monitoring tool. However, he was introduced to GSX and decided to evaluate GSX Monitor when he saw all the advantages it could provide. Matthias especially appreciated how easy it was for Domino administrators to use GSX Monitor, which prompted him to check if other tools in the market were comparable. After an evaluation of alternative solutions, he concluded that none were easy to implement and use as GSX Monitor.