Mutuelle SMI (COVEA Group)

Application monitoring with ServiceNav

The context

Founded in 1926, SMI specialises in group health and provident contracts.
Mutual is certified ISO 9001/2015 for all its activities.
A non-profit organization, which distinguishes it from commercial insurance companies, SMI is a member of the Fédération Nationale de la Mutualité Française, a key player in the health and social protection system that manages 2,400 care and support services for its members.

With its entry in November 2013 into the Société de Groupe d'Assurance Mutualiste Covéa, which brings together MAAF, MMA, GMF and the APGIS provident institution, SMI has strengthened its position as one of the leaders in collective social protection.

In the past, the IT department of the SMI Mutual Insurance Company has already used several monitoring solutions (Centreon or others...) without ever pushing their use and exploitation to 100%.

In the context of Covid-19, Coservit helped us to set up the supervision of all the VPNs: those provided by the partners and those used by the users of Mutuelle SMI. We therefore have a real time vision on the performance of the VPN services.

Business issues

But what is the specific need that can only be answered by ServiceNav? 

"We wanted to have a more global view: not only indicators, but above all an application view. To be able to see at a glance the impact on the application after an event. Especially since new projects - an application distributed over several servers in particular - required us to adopt a monitoring solution worthy of the name."

"In addition, the IT team was looking for the ability to focus on the user's impact when an alert occurs. One of the criteria for successful monitoring is the relevance of the information. Avoiding the continuous flashing of an indicator for everything and nothing, which would distort the analysis, was therefore an obvious choice.

"After defining the application monitoring needs among the members of the IT department, consulting the market through a call for tenders, ServiceNav was selected and adopted."

Why ServiceNav?

The answer

Today, after integration of the solution, does ServiceNav meet the objectives?

"Absolutely. We are preparing to extend its deployment. The solution, which was mainly used for the management backoffice (specific development in .NET / SQLSERVER), will soon be extended to all RDS farms. Then, as time goes by, to all the elements of the IS to ensure complete visibility."

So you go beyond the initial objectives of the project?

"The solution is rich enough to go beyond what we had planned. For example, we implemented VPN monitoring, which was not in the initial scope. After seeing that the monitoring templates provided by ServiceNav matched our firewall, we also implemented the display of our VPN status directly in our offices."

"With the Covid-19 context, Coservit helped us to set up the supervision of all the VPNs: those provided by the partners and those used by the users of Mutuelle SMI. We therefore have a real time view on the performance of VPN services."

The benefits

Could ServiceNav be a support to measure and decide on the next investments?

"ServiceNav allows us to anticipate power or disk space requirements. We can therefore use this data to forecast budgets. After more than seven months of using the platform, we are beginning to have an interesting history for forecasting."

Concerning application monitoring, did you define the metrics yourself? Have you worked in collaboration with the business departments? Are there internal service contracts?

The IT teams know the applications very well and therefore knew which metrics to monitor when drawing up the "application monitoring" specifications. In particular, the most important indicators were to be aware upstream of a slowdown that would degrade the quality of service for the IT department's customers.

"We are currently working on availability metrics using ServiceNav: defining existing relationships between different application blocks."
"For the time being, the IT department has no commitment to the business departments or management regarding the availability of applications. With ServiceNav we will now be able to work on this aspect and market the work of the IT department."

"I (infrastructure/operations manager) use the ServiceNav app on my smartphone. So I know in the morning if all the apps are up and running at 8am or if there is something in particular that needs to be addressed."

Have you created an application map in ServiceNav with the map?

"First, we created an application vision map. Then a more technical, summary map, which is displayed in the team's office and allows them to see the status of equipment/services at a glance."

And do you share this application mapping with business services via the URL provided by ServiceNav's Dashlink feature?

"We share it internally, within the IT department. Indeed, even if we know that a shared service weather report results in fewer user support tickets - especially thanks to the comments that can be added - we prefer not to burden the business services, which only expect availability to be guaranteed. We share the URL if that expectation is not met."

"However, in this sharing logic, the ServiceNav mobile application is installed on the smartphones of several people on the management committee who can check in real time that IS availability is assured."

Was SaaS in your specifications?

"Initially, there was no particular desire to opt for SaaS, but the management of the platform is much simpler. It fits well with our current way of working, ServiceNav can be accessed anywhere, and the time saved on upgrades and platform maintenance is undeniable."

Has ServiceNav been able to prove itself on real cases?

"We've already detected code-related problems with ServiceNav. We've also been able to see performance degradation, and report it to application teams before the user is even impacted."
"We also detected memory leakage problems on the application. The solution allowed us to prevent incidents by reacting very quickly. We are able to do prevention thanks to ServiceNav!"
"In addition, the application view makes me much more productive. The orange dot on the dashboards allows you to see directly which elements are causing this alert state by clicking on them."

"The exploded view of the service weather with dependencies is the one I use the most."

What are the long-term goals with ServiceNav?

"The medium-term objective is to orient SMI Mutual towards a catalogue of services and a notion of SLA between the IT department and the business lines."

What do you think of the ServiceNav support team? 

"We are very satisfied with the support of the ServiceNav teams. They came in when we needed them. For example, we were recently struggling to integrate GLPI (= ticketing tool) with ServiceNav. The support team intervened and the problem was quickly solved.

Do you recommend ServiceNav?

"In a small team like ours, time is precious and we have to be efficient. With ServiceNav we gain in quality of service, in visibility on the critical applications of the mutual, the solution is packaged, easy to use, user friendly, shareable with non-IT users; for all this it is clearly a solution that I recommend."

"In terms of speed of deployment too, less than 7 days to build up 5 application meteos, I have never seen such a long implementation time for IT monitoring anywhere else than with ServiceNav; believe it in my many years in the business!"

We would like to thank Arnaud DEMAY for his time spent answering our questions.

First, we created an application vision map. Then we created a more technical map, which is displayed in the team's office and allows them to see the status of the equipment/services at a glance.

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