Case Study

Revolutionising Monitoring and Consolidation at Specsavers

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Case Study Introduction

Setting the Scene

Specsavers used to use multiple siloed monitoring tools for Service Health, Application Performance and Security. They have transitioned to analysing and aggregating all their systems into a single pane of glass leveraging Splunk ITSI and Observability. Learn how this change has significantly saved time on diagnosing and interrogating multiple logs.

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Specsavers' Requirements

In the summer of 2019, Somerford was engaged by Splunk to provide support to Specsavers with an IT Service Intelligence (ITSI) proof of value. Since then, Somerford has continued to support Specsavers across Splunk Enterprise Security (ES), ITSI, and Observability. This support has included a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution roll-out, ITSI development, and Cloud migrations and consolidations.

What Was Achieved

These efforts have ultimately resulted in the deployment of a single, comprehensive monitoring solution across Specsavers' entire business, including:

Enabling Real-Time Monitoring

Real-time monitoring of critical infrastructure and business services across their supply chain, corporate IT and retail estate.

Utilising Monitoring Solutions

Consolidation and cost optimisation of multiple monitoring solutions (Datadog, AppDynamics, Nimbus, SolarWinds)

Levelling Up Skills

Providing expert advice and skill training to enable users to use the system in line with best practice

Business Challenges

Specsavers' IT team grappled with the need to analyse and consolidate numerous system and security logs. The existence of disparate monitoring tools for different aspects of their operations resulted in prolonged diagnosis times due to the requirement of examining multiple logs. Recognising the need for enhanced efficiency, the Service Management team, in collaboration with the InfoSec team, opted to leverage Splunk for log aggregation and analysis. Their journey with Splunk began in the UK and has expanded globally over the years.

Tool duplication across global IT estate

Moving from legacy infrastructure to cloud & microservices

Tool sprawl - replacing CA Tech

Consolidation of Tools

The central objective was to eliminate tool redundancy and overlap, effectively preventing the ingestion of data multiple times in different toolsets. The decision to aggregate all logs in a single platform and deploy agents across servers for comprehensive logging made practical sense. This led to the cost-effective replacement of legacy monitoring tools, yielding substantial savings by eliminating the need to invest in multiple tools when Splunk offered comprehensive functionality.

Incident Response Enhancement

Splunk's impact was particularly evident in incident response. By employing Splunk IT Service Intelligence (ITSI) to monitor and alert key performance indicators (KPIs), Specsavers established a streamlined process for incident management. With targeted alerts routed to the ops bridge, the ops bridge used Splunk ITSI data for incident investigation and resolution, or escalation through integration with ServiceNow. Splunk's data collection and correlation capabilities expedited incident root cause identification and solution discovery, allowing Specsavers to extend 24/7 monitoring across regions.

Value of Business-Level KPIs

Splunk enabled Specsavers to gain a holistic view of event and log data, facilitating prompt identification of IT issues and mitigating severe incidents (P1s) and downtime. This transparency of cause and effect further solidified the business value of the solution.

Application Performance Monitoring (APM)

Rapid deployment and configuration within hours demonstrated APM's efficiency, as alerts and notifications flowed in moments after environment setup. A process that would've taken weeks or months without APM now unfolded within minutes, empowering swift technical interventions.

Somerford's Essential Support

Throughout their journey, Specsavers relied on Somerford's professional services and augmented support. Somerford's expertise proved indispensable for ITSI deployment, dashboard creation, and knowledge transfer. The partnership extended to developing use cases for network monitoring and Meraki. Somerford's continuous support bolstered Specsavers' internal expertise and capabilities.
Custom Workshops Splunk with Somerford Associates as a Partner

Listen to our Podcast with Specsavers to Learn More

In embracing Splunk and partnering with Somerford, Specsavers revolutionised its operational landscape. With Somerford's guidance, Specsavers efficiently harnessed Splunk's capabilities, optimising both internal operations and customer experiences. For more information or to explore how Specsavers achieved these remarkable results in more detail, listen to the podcast below:

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