Case Study

Large Fashion Retailer Turns to NETSCOUT to Reduce Application Slowdowns and Improve Customer Experience

Large Fashion Retailer Turns to NETSCOUT to Reduce Application Slowdowns and Improve Customer Experience


Business Challenge
  • Lack of network monitoring tools
  • Frequent slowdowns and performance issues
  • Failing to meet service level expectation
  • nGeniusONE® Service Assurance Platform
  • InfiniStreamNG™ platform
  • vSCOUT™ software
Business Value
  • Higher quality of customer experience in stores
  • Increased uptime and availability of essential store services such as POS application running on cash registers and Voice Services
  • Improved employee productivity, lower risk of lost sales & revenue

Customer Profile

This large fashion retailer has been in business for nearly a century and operates hundreds of stores across the U.S. The company has earned an industry-wide reputation for style and service, providing value to shoppers with compelling apparel, cosmetics, and home furnishings, complemented by exceptional customer care. With tens of thousands of employees in stores and operations centers, one of the retailer’s top priorities is delivering the very best customer experience, whether in stores, online, or on the phone.

The Challenge

For any retail business, keeping the customer happy is a make it or break it proposition. Any disruptions to the customer experience can result in lost sales and harm to the reputation of the business. In the case of this large retail organization, problems were occurring unbeknownst to IT. Store locations were experiencing frequent slowdowns and performance issues with critical applications, such as voice services and the company’s point-of-sale (POS) cash register application. With no real network monitoring tools in place, IT only became aware of service degradations and outages after end-users complained about the challenges they were experiencing accessing corporate resources.

As a result, IT was failing to meet service level expectations (SLAs) with the company’s network of stores. In short, employee productivity suffered and there was potential impact to store revenue. IT needed to find a way to get ahead of these problems and gain visibility at the WAN edge and in stores to proactively uncover problems before they impacted the business.

Solution In Action

To solve its application performance issues at its operations centers and across geographically disbursed store locations, this large retailer turned to NETSCOUT®. The nGeniusONE Service Assurance platform was implemented to provide much needed visibility into all network traffic at primary and backup datacenters. InfiniStreamNG appliances were supplemented with vSCOUT software-based instrumentation to extend visibility into the retailer’s virtualized environments.

NETSCOUT provided a unified solution for monitoring networks, applications, and unified communications (UC) in a single platform. IT developed custom dashboards in nGeniusONE to gain vitally important at-a-glance views into the performance of all store locations and achieve rapid drilldown to application and network performance. With InfiniStreamNG appliances situated in the company’s primary and backup datacenters, IT developed service level visibility into critical applications such as VoIP, Office 365, Citrix, and their cash register software. IT extended that visibility by deploying vSCOUT software in their virtualized environment, to facilitate visibility into east-west traffic of key virtualized applications as well.

nGeniusONE’s Service Dependency maps revealed interdependencies, enabling IT to solve problems far more rapidly. Armed with dashboard views for each store, IT was able to drill down and monitor site traffic utilization and application bandwidth consumption. As a result, they were able to uncover the common root cause of application issues, which frequently turned out to be a QoS misconfiguration. Once the traffic was reconfigured into the proper class of service, performance returned to expected levels. These insights proved indispensable to the IT team.

The Results

The NETSCOUT solution has been literally transformative for this large retailer. Since implementation, the IT team has realized a significant reduction in mean-time-to-repair (MTTR) which in turn benefits the customers and sales associates at the stores with quicker purchasing experiences. In addition, IT experienced dramatically improved visibility, speeding up SLA response times and reducing network slowdowns and disruptions. This means the availability of essential store services such as Point of Sale (POS) applications running on the cash registers and voice communications are far more reliable.

As a result, improved network and application performance has enhanced employee productivity and lowered the risk of lost sales and diminished company revenue. Now employees can process more sales per hour and reduce the time it takes to answer questions about inventory availability. Perhaps most important of all, the NETSCOUT solution has helped the IT team to improve the quality of the end-user experience, which is vital to the continued success of the business.