Agder Energi opted for BizTalk360 to overcome the manual efforts required to keep up with their corporate policies and regulations
Senior Associate – BizTalk Server, Partner of Agder Energi
About Agder Energi
Agder Energi, located in Kristiansand, is the third largest power producer in Norway with annual average production of 8.1 TWh. Agder Energi processes and manages the renewable energy sources and their main operations include production, distribution and sale of renewable energy and other energy related services. Agder Energi is owned by the municipalities of Agder (54.5%) and Statkraft Holding (45.5%) with about 1400 employees.
Agder Energi were using System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) to monitor their BizTalk Server environment. The impression of the team on SCOM was that it was suited more for infrastructure monitoring rather than application level monitoring of Microsoft BizTalk Server. In addition, with SCOM in place, there was no easy way to automate repeatedly used actions/tasks. Therefore the management team at Agder reached out to their partner company to suggest a tool for monitoring their BizTalk Server environment.
Agder Energi uses BizTalk Server to manage a very complex system that has about 200,000 transactions passing through the system every day. The team had to keep a constant watch on the environment and understand the root cause of a problem when it occurs. For instance, a particular system that has to feed data into BizTalk Server fails abruptly — this is definitely a violation and the administration team has to be notified about the problem. The Agder Energi team also had strict to adhere to strict policies to make sure the environment was healthy. With SCOM in place, it wasn’t getting any easier for them to configure application level monitoring.
The management team at Agder reached out to their partners asking them suggestions for a good monitoring product that could help them meet their demands. After careful evaluation by the partner technical team, they proposed BizTalk360 for being the market leader in the BizTalk server administration and monitoring space. Agder team validated BizTalk360 and few other available tools in the market on their BizTalk server environment and identified BizTalk360 to be their preferred choice of offering.
One of the main reason why Agder preferred BizTalk360 was the rich Auto Healing capabilities. This feature helped the team to a great extent in reducing the monotonous tasks performed on the BizTalk server environment (such as restarting stopped instances, enabling/disabling artifacts). In addition, with BizTalk360, the team receives notifications for any failure in the environment instantaneously; thereby completely turning the table from reactive to proactive monitoring.
Features of Interest
Agder team extensively use the Process Monitoring feature to keep track of the expected versus actual status of the artifacts. This feature makes their lives easier as they only have to react in case of a state mismatch. In addition to Auto Healing and the notifications capability in BizTalk360, the team at Agder extensively use the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) Portal functionality to view the ESB Exception messages and resubmit the messages, and the Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) Portal to keep track of the activities. A day of a technical person at Agder starts by taking a look at the rich Monitoring Dashboard to see if there are any problems in the environment. The team uses Tracking Manager to keep track of all the tracking settings from a single screen.
Summary of Experience
During our conversation with Anirban Kundu, Senior Associate – BizTalk Server, Partner of Agder Energi, this is what he had to say about the product.
“Given the volume of transactions passing through the BizTalk server everyday, we had strict regulations to keep a watch on the data flow from source systems into BizTalk. With BizTalk360, it was very easy for us configure the “Expected vs. Actual” (Data Monitoring functionality). With this in place, we need not have to worry anymore to keep track on the source system for data.”
We ask the following standard set of questions to every customer for general feedback. The answers are from the customers as such without editing
On a rating scale, how would you consider the overall quality of BizTalk360?
What is the value add of BizTalk360 to your day to day activities?
“Very Good. After Agder started to use BizTalk360, it has become convenient for us to keep track of problems happening in the environment. We are 100% confident that BizTalk360 will handle the problem for us and rectify the problem.”
What are your thoughts on the product usage experience?
“Excellent. I think ease of use was one of the major win factor for BizTalk360 during the evaluation process.”
What are your thoughts on our support/licensing team’s experience/process?
“Excellent! I have always got prompt responses and assistance from the teams. ”