Monday, 19th October 2020

Travis Perkins enhances its digital business

Riverbed SteelCentral Aternity provides UK’s largest builders’ merchant with real-time visibility to fix problems faster, improving colleague productivity and user experience.

Travis Perkins plc, the UK's largest supplier of materials to the building, construction and home improvement markets, has selected Riverbed® SteelCentral™ Aternity to increase end-user visibility, improving customer service and enhancing colleague productivity. Since deployment, SteelCentral™ Aternity, the end-user experience monitoring solution, has significantly reduced the average time it takes to resolve Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) application issues, effectively removing problems that could affect in-store revenue.

Travis Perkins plc consists of 23 different businesses, operating from over 2,000 sites across the UK. The organization employs over 28,000 people, and its customers range from individuals using its retail outlets such as Wickes, Tile Giant and Tool Station, through to independent builders and large contractors.

Due to the Group’s disparate nature and complex customer base, its digital strategy is focused on delivering a next-generation network that will enhance connectivity between its different businesses and help to migrate services to the cloud in order to make customer service easier, quicker and more accurate. In particular, the Travis Perkins Group needed to ensure that colleagues in every location had a consistent, high quality IT experience, from every day applications such as e-mail to specialist applications such as the Group’s new HR application.

The Group also needed to make sure that customer-facing systems were working well, such as configuring a kitchen via the Wickes’ Vision app or using an in-store Point of Sale (PoS) unit.

“It's important for us to gain visibility into, and monitor the performance of applications across our business – from a user experience perspective, rather than server and network performance. This helps us to ensure users’ experience is of a consistently high standard, which is critical as poor service experiences can affect our customers (and therefore sales figures and brand reputation), just like in any other digitally driven business,” says Matt Greaves, Technology Director at Travis Perkins plc. “Before we engaged Riverbed, we had a large set of monitoring tools that overlapped in functionality, and separate teams would purchase their own tools to do specific things. This resulted in a lack of consistency and no way to achieve a ‘single pane of glass’ view. This has all changed with the deployment of SteelCentral Aternity.”

The implementation of SteelCentral Aternity equips Travis Perkins with visibility into the end-user experience of critical business applications, through dashboards that give a real-time view of performance that enables IT to proactively identify and resolve end- user issues, to validate the impact of IT change on end-user experience, and to communicate the extent to which critical applications meet the service expectations of customers and the business.

“With SteelCentral Aternity, our team can now effectively monitor end-user experience for any business critical application in our vast IT environment,” adds Greaves. “It gives everyone, including key business decision makers, confidence in our ability to deliver digital excellence. People have more enthusiasm to look at the problems, to be proactive, and to make our customer journeys as effective as possible.”

A key feature of SteelCentral Aternity is that it allows IT teams to analyze end-user experience problems from various different angles. They can then be narrowed down to a specific area of concern to change or fix. Greaves shared that he could, for example, investigate a problem from the perspective of the user or the device, or he could analyze by location.

Greaves concludes, “The Travis Perkins Group is in better shape today because we now have insight from SteelCentral Aternity. Before, we had small snapshots of insight, but now we know exactly what our colleagues’ experience is like out in branch and in store. This helps us to ensure we’re investing our time and energy where it really matters, enabling a positive end-user experience — thereby driving colleague productivity and customer satisfaction in a positive direction.”
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