One2Team : continuously improving the service delivered to users
ONE2TEAM, a French software vendor, offers collaborative SaaS (software as a service) solutions for operational management of projects. Its missions are twofold, involving strategic transformation projects (IS, ERP, performance plans, rollout, etc.) and project portfolios. By facilitating collaboration and control of results in real time, ONE2TEAM keeps project steering on target and cuts project costs.
For over ten years ONE2TEAM has been assisting its enterprise-class customers with four types of offer: information systems-ERP, reorganization, deployment, and project portfolios. Today more than ten thousand people rely on ONE2TEAM software in France and across Europe.
Acclaimed for its innovative, high-performance solutions, ONE2TEAM has been awarded the French “Indice Pertinence Innovation” seal and was placed among the “niche players” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant.
Quality of service (QoS), one of the pillars of SaaS
In 2004, ONE2TEAM launched its first SaaS offering. The customers, mainly operations staff, were frontrunners because outsourcing was still in its fledgling state. They were attracted by how easy the solution was to use, how fast it was to set up, and the reasonable financial outlay it required. To win the loyalty of its first customers, ONE2TEAM made quality of service a pillar of its culture, guaranteed user response times and the availability of its online solutions, and drew upon a pool of partners specialized in specific fields. ONE2TEAM called on ip-label and selected Datametrie to measure the quality perceived by users of ONE2TEAM services. ip-label’s user-oriented vision enabled ONE2TEAM to achieve one of its main goals: to demonstrate its expertise in end-to-end service.
ONE2TEAM is a part of any ITIL undertaking as regards the formulation and guarantee of service level agreements (SLAs). In this the Datametrie Web solution plays a decisive role: robots are set up to simulate a user connecting to the service on line, execute several typical actions, and measure response times. With Datametrie, ONE2TEAM proactively checks whether its commitments are being met.
SaaS, QoE, and Web 2.0
In 2007, in response to the spectacular rise of Web 2.0, ONE2TEAM decided to update its solutions and renovate its interfaces. Screens were redesigned, and new icons enhanced the user friendliness of the page to meet new demands in web navigation. At this stage, quality of experience was recognized as a major issue because of the disparity between the promises Web 2.0 made and the reality that users actually perceived.
“We wanted to be part of an increasingly sophisticated approach to user quality of experience. ip-label helps us proactively and effectively to maintain our quality of service”, David Blavier, CTO, One2Team.
In phase with this technological changeover ONE2TEAM undertook testing of its new versions and discovered dysfunctions. Clients using Internet Explorer 6 or earlier versions of the browser were experiencing much longer response times. ONE2TEAM worked alongside ip-label to solve these performance problems, and chose to switch its testing to Datametrie RIA (Rich Internet Application) in order to elaborate versions that were Web 2.0 compatible.
Datametrie RIA provided a global view of performance and identified, in terms of the big picture, all of the existing problems on the tested server and, in terms of detail, displayed in-depth object information, pinpointing the reasons for longer page loading times. ONE2TEAM checked its Datametrie reports to know precisely which fixes to implement in order to improve page availability and response times.
Virtualization, a major move
In 2008, a few months after its Web 2.0 versions were deployed, ONE2TEAM decided to shift its production to a virtual environment. Once again the company turned to ip label to consider how to implement the move. The 1 client = 1 server model had reached its limit and was no longer practicable. The teams worked conjointly to define a new model that was appropriate to the context of virtualization. When the model was ready, a load test was carried out for all of the scenarios to view their sensitivity to changes in load. ONE2TEAM tested every possible combination, identified thresholds and bottlenecks, and then validated the new architecture. These efforts yielded very fine performance results that were as good as those obtained on conventional architectures.
«ip-label brought us its expertise for setting up virtualization. Without this load test the project could not have got off the ground,” says David Blavier.
Making guarantees more relevant
In addition to its virtualization efforts, ONE2TEAM strengthened its commitment to continuous improvement of QoE and set itself new goals. The company now offers its customers new upgrades every 3 to 6 months. ONE2TEAM is maintaining its rhythm of releases, renegotiating the contracts of all of its customers, and in some cases proposing updates every three days. For ONE2TEAM, new releases are a mark of quality. The company thereby commits to improving its response times and availability rates. With the help of Datametrie reports, ONE2TEAM tracks its performances and very closely monitors its installations to improve the service it delivers to users. This commitment moreover has won the company praise from its customers, and fosters a climate of trust in the relationship between ONE2TEAM and those it serves.
“With these new versions, we hope to elicit rapid feedback from our customers, react proactively, and readjust in line with needs… In this way we can keep track of any regressions affecting our solutions”, Mr Blavier explains.
Plans for the future
ONE2TEAM’s plans over the coming years have already been defined. The company strives to guarantee optimum QoE for ALL of its users and to offer even more sophisticated quality monitoring with reports tailored to each customer and every user. It is ONE2TEAM’s permanent aim to provide users with better quality of experience.