Category: Case Study


As a Splunk Elite partner, JDS has a dedicated Splunk practice with expertise spanning ITOps, AIOps, and Security. JDS has proven to be trusted advisors and provide a safe pair of hands to architect, implement and manage Splunk for many organisations across a wide range of use cases.

IT Service Intelligence / Business Service Insights

Customisable business dashboards, mapped to key performance indicators, can provide invaluable real-time visibility into the health of your digital services. Our skilled JDS team have extensive experience in implementing Splunk’s unique platform to assist organisations ensure uninterrupted access to critical services.

IT Operations, Analytics and AIOps

JDS can transform your entire IT Ops approach with a suite of tools that put AI and machine learning at their core, allowing you to predict and prevent, instead of triage and react.  We enable a genuine understanding of the complete environment to get ahead of issues before they occur.

End to End Application Visibility

Gaining End-to-End Visibility means unifying business, application and infrastructure health for full-stack observability of critical apps and services.  With JDS and Splunk, gain the ability to visualise the health of your services at a glance, and make smarter, data-driven decisions.

Enterprise Security and Analytics

Splunk is renowned for its Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) capabilities and JDS has the experience to establish and build out these capabilities along with the integrations to related systems.

Call Centre Visibility

Having insights into how your call centre is responding to customers can improve efficiency, effectiveness, quality of service and the overall customer experience. Using Splunk’s Contact Center Analytics, JDS can unlock this vital visibility, whether you’re working with centralized call centres or remote agents.

Splunk Cloud Migrations

JDS will help you to minimise downtime whilst maximising your architecture when migrating to Splunk Cloud. Our experts lead a collaborative engagement to make the transition as seamless as possible, while maintaining full visibility into your infrastructure before, during and after migration.

Success Stories

Transforming operations at Transurban with Splunk ITSI >

Helping one of Australia’s largest banking institutions migrate seamlessly to Splunk Cloud >

Unifying Insights with a Splunk ITSI and Observability Cloud Integration >

How synthetic monitoring will improve application performance for a large bank

JDS is currently working with several businesses across Australia to implement our custom synthetic monitoring solution, Active Robot Monitoring—powered by Splunk. ARM is a simple and effective way of maintaining the highest quality customer experience with minimal cost. While other synthetic monitoring solutions operate on price-per-transaction model, ARM allows you to conduct as many transactions as you want using under the umbrella of your Splunk investment. We recently developed a Splunk ARM solution for one of the largest banks in Australia and are in the process of implementing it. Find out more about the problem presented, our proposed solution, and the expected results below.

The problem

A large Australian bank (‘the Bank’) needs to properly monitor the end-to-end activity of its core systems/applications. This is to ensure that the applications are available and performing as expected at all times. Downtime or poor performance, even for only a few minutes, could potentially result in great loss of revenue and reputation damage. While unscheduled downtime or performance degradation will inevitably occur at some point, the Bank wants to be notified immediately of any performance issues. They also want to identify the root cause of the problem easily, resolve the issue, and restore expected performance and availability as quickly as possible. To achieve this, the Bank approached JDS for a solution to monitor, help triage, and highlight error conditions and abnormal performance.

The solution

JDS proposed implementing the JDS Active Robot Monitoring (ARM) Splunk application. ARM is a JDS-developed Splunk application which utilises scripts written in a variety of languages (e.g. Selenium) with custom built Splunk dashboards. In this case, Selenium is used to emulate actual users interacting with the web application. These interactions or transactions will be used to determine if the application is available, whether a critical function of the application is working properly, and what the performance of the application is like. All that information will be recorded in Splunk and used for analysis.

Availability and performance metrics will be displayed in dashboards, which fulfils several purposes—namely providing management with a summary view of the status of applications and support personnel with more information to help identify the root cause of the problem efficiently. In this case, Selenium was chosen as it provides for complete customisations not available in other similar offerings in the synthetic monitoring segment, and when coupled with Splunk’s analytical and presentation capability, provides the best solution to address the Bank’s problem.

The expected results

With the implementation of the JDS ARM application at the Bank, availability, and performance of their core applications is expected to improve and remain at a higher standard. Downtime, if it occurs, will be quickly rectified as support personnel will be alerted immediately and have access to all the vital data required to do a root cause analysis of the problem quickly. Management will have a better understanding of the health of the application and will be able to assign valuable resources more effectively to work on it.

What can ARM do for your business?

Throughout the month of November 2017, JDS is open to registrations for a free on-site workshop at your business. We will discuss Active Robot Monitoring and how it could benefit your organisation specifically. To register for this exclusive opportunity,  please enter your information below and one of our account executives will contact you to set up a time to meet at your location.

Case Study: Netwealth bolster their security with Splunk

The prompt and decision

"As a financial services organisation, information security and system availability are core to the success of our business. With the business growing, we needed a solution that was scalable and which allowed our team to focus on high-value management tasks rather than on data collection and review."

Information security is vital to modern organisations, and particularly for those that deal in sensitive data, such as Netwealth. It is essential to actively assess software applications for security weaknesses to prevent exploitation and access by third parties, who could otherwise extract confidential and proprietary information. Security monitoring looks for abnormal behaviours and trends that could indicate a security breach.

"The continued growth of the business and the increased sophistication of threats prompted us to look for a better way to bring together our security and IT operations information and events," explains Chris Foong, Technology Infrastructure Manager at Netwealth. "Advancements in the technology available in this space over the last few years meant that a number of attractive options were available."

The first stage in Netwealth’s project was to select the right tool for the job, with several options short-listed. Each of these options was pilot tested, to establish which was the best fit to the requirements—and Splunk, with its high versatility and ease of use, was the selected solution.

The power in the solution comes from Splunk’s ability to combine multiple real-time data flows with machine learning and analysis which prioritises threats and actions, and the use of dynamic visual correlations and on-demand custom queries to more easily triage threats. Together, this empowers IT to make informed decisions.


Netwealth’s business objective was to implement a security information and event management (‘SIEM’) compliant tool to enhance management of security vulnerabilities and reporting. Their existing tool no longer met the expanding needs of the business, and so they looked to Splunk and JDS to provide a solution.


Netwealth conducted a proof of concept with various tools, and Splunk was selected. JDS Australia, as Splunk Implementation Partner, provided licensing and expertise.

IT improvements

Implementing Splunk monitoring gave Netwealth enhanced visibility over their security environment, and the movement of sensitive data through the business. This enabled them to triage security events and vulnerabilities in real time.

About Netwealth

Founded in 1999, Netwealth was established to provide astute investors and wealth professionals with a better way to invest, protect and manage their current and future wealth. As a business, Netwealth seeks to enable, educate and inspire Australians to see wealth differently and to discover a brighter future.

Netwealth offers a range of innovative portfolio administration, superannuation, retirement, investment, and managed account solutions to investors and non-institutional intermediaries including financial advisers, private clients, and high net worth firms.


Financial Services

Primary applications

  • Office365
  • Fortigate
  • IIS
  • Juniper SRX
  • Microsoft DNS
  • Microsoft AD and ADFS (Active Directory Federation Services)
  • JBoss (Java EE Application Server)
  • Fortinet

Primary software

  • Splunk Enterprise
  • Splunk Enterprise Security (application add-on)

The process

Now that Splunk had been identified as the best tool for the job, it was time to find an Implementation Partner—and that’s where JDS came in. JDS, as the most-certified Australian Splunk partner, was the natural choice. "JDS provided Splunk licensing, expertise on integrating data sources, and knowledge transfer to our internal team," says Foong.  

An agile, project managed approach was taken.  

  1. Understand the business requirements and potential threats associated with Netwealth’s environment.
  2. Identify the various services that required security monitoring.
  3. Identify the data feed for those services.
  4. Deploy and configure core Splunk.
  5. Deploy the Enterprise Security application onto Splunk.
  6. Configure the Enterprise Security application to enable features. These features gave visibility into areas of particular concern.

The JDS difference

For this project, JDS "assisted Netwealth in deploying and configuring Splunk, and gaining confidence in Splunk Enterprise Security," explains the JDS Consultant on the case. "We were engaged as a trusted partner with Splunk, and within hours of deployment, we had helped Netwealth to gain greater visibility of the environment."

JDS were able to leverage their Splunk expertise to give added value to the client, advising them on how to gain maximum value in terms of both project staging, and in the onboarding of new applications. "We advocated a services approach—start by designing the dashboard you want, and work backwards towards the data required to build that dashboard."

"The JDS team worked well with our team, were knowledgeable about the product, and happy to share that knowledge with our team," says Netwealth’s Chris Foong. "They delivered what they said they would, and didn’t under- or over-sell themselves. We would work with them again."

End results

Chris Foong says that Netwealth was looking for "improved visibility over security and IT operations information and events, to aid in faster response and recovery"—and the project was a success on all counts.

"The project was delivered on time and to budget, and Splunk is now capturing data from all the required sources," adds Foong. "We also identified a number of additional use cases, over and above the base Enterprise Security case, such as rapidly troubleshooting performance degradation."

Now that Netwealth has implemented Splunk, the software has further applicability across the business. The next step is continuing to leverage Splunk, and JDS will be there to help.

Business Benefits

  • Gave Netwealth better visibility into the organisation’s security posture
  • Presents the opportunity for leveraging of Splunk in other areas of the business; for example, marketing
  • Allows Netwealth to have greater visibility into application and business statistics, with the potential to overlay machine learning and advanced statistical analysis of this business information

Implementing an electronic signature in ALM


This is where organisations like the FDA (Food and Drug Administration in the United States) and TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia) come in, enforcing regulatory controls around all aspects of the manufacturing process to minimise risk and ensure a high level of quality.

These regulatory bodies understand that effective quality assurance goes much further than just regulating the raw materials and manufacturing process. Any software used to control or support the manufacturing process must also adhere to strict quality standards, because a bug in the software can lead to problems in manufacturing with real-world consequences for patients. Software quality assurance can therefore literally be a matter of life or death l.

To ensure that medical manufacturers conduct satisfactory software testing and maintain the required quality assurance standards, the FDA have published the General Principles of Software Validation document which “outlines general validation principles that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers to be applicable to the validation of medical device software or the validation of software used to design, develop, or manufacture medical devices.”

The JDS solution

JDS Australia recently implemented HPE Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) for one of our clients, a manufacturer of medicine delivering more than 10,000 patient doses per week to hospitals in Australia and overseas. ALM is a software testing tool that assists with the end-to-end management of the software testing lifecycle. This includes defining functional and non-functional requirements for a given application and creating test cases to confirm those requirements are met. It also manages all aspects of test execution, the recording and managing of defects, and reporting across the entire testing effort. ALM enables an organisation to implement and enforce their test strategy in a controlled and structured manner, while providing a complete audit trail of all the testing that was performed.

To comply with the FDA requirements, our client required customisation of ALM to facilitate approvals and sign-off of various testing artefacts (test cases, test executions, and defects). The FDA stipulates that approvals must incorporate an electronic signature that validates the user’s identity to ensure the integrity of the process. As an out-of-the-box implementation, ALM does not provide users with the ability to electronically sign artefacts. JDS developed the eSignature add-in to provide this capability and ensure that our client conforms to the regulatory requirements of the FDA.

The JDS eSignature Add-in was developed in C# and consists of a small COM-aware dll file that is installed and registered on the client machine together with the standard ALM client. The eSignature component handles basic field-level checks and credential validation, while all other business rules are managed from the ALM Workflow Customisation. This gives JDS the ability to implement the electronic signature requirements as stipulated by the FDA, while giving us the flexibility to develop customer-specific customisations and implement future enhancements without the need to recompile and reinstall the eSignature component.

Let’s look at a simple test manager approval for a test case to see how it works.

To start with, new “approval” custom fields are added to the Test Plan module which may contain data such as the approval status, a reason/comment and the date and time that the approval was made. These fields are read-only with their values set through the eSignature Workflow customisation. A new “Approve Test” button is added to the toolbar. When the user clicks this button, the Test Approvals form is presented to the user who selects the appropriate approval status, provides a comment, and enters their credentials. When the OK button is clicked, the eSignature component authenticates the user in ALM using an API function from the HPE Open Test Architecture (OTA) COM library.

If the user is successfully authenticated, eSignature passes the relevant information to the ALM workflow script which sets the appropriate field values. The approvals functionality can be further customised to do things such as making the test case read-only or sending an email to the next approver in line to review and approve the test case.

As it currently stands, the eSignature has been implemented in three modules of ALM – Test Plan for test cases that require two levels of review and approval, Test Lab for test execution records that require three levels of review and approval, and Defects to manage the assignment and approvals of defects. This can easily be expanded to include other modules, such as the approvals of test requirements or software releases.

The JDS eSignature add-in has a very small footprint, is easy to install and configure, and provides our clients with the ability to effectively implement an electronic signature capability as part of their software testing strategy.

If you have compliance requirements or are seeking ways to automate your test management processes, contact our support team at JDS Australia. Our consultants are highly skilled across a range of software suites and IT platforms, and we will work with your business to develop custom solutions that work for you.

Contact us at:

T: 1300 780 432

E: [email protected]

The Splunk Gardener

The Splunk wizards at JDS are a talented bunch, dedicated to finding solutions—including in unexpected places. So when Sydney-based consultant Michael Clayfield suffered the tragedy of some dead plants in his garden, he did what our team do best: ensure it works (or ‘lives’, in this case). Using Splunk’s flexible yet powerful capabilities, he implemented monitoring, automation, and custom reporting on his herb garden, to ensure that tragedy didn’t strike twice.

My herb garden consists of three roughly 30cm x 40cm pots, each containing a single plant—rosemary, basil, and chilli. The garden is located outside our upstairs window and receives mostly full sunlight. While that’s good for the plants, it makes it harder to keep them properly watered, particularly during the summer months. After losing my basil and chilli bush over Christmas break, I decided to automate the watering of my three pots, to minimise the chance of losing any more plants. So I went away and designed an auto-watering setup, using soil moisture sensors, relays, pumps, and an Arduino—an open-source electronic platform—to tie it all together.

Testing the setup by transferring water from one bottle to another.
Testing the setup by transferring water from one bottle to another.

I placed soil moisture sensors in the basil and the chilli pots—given how hardy the rosemary was, I figured I could just hook it up to be watered whenever the basil in the pot next to it was watered. I connected the pumps to the relays, and rigged up some hosing to connect the pumps with their water source (a 10L container) and the pots. When the moisture level of a pot got below a certain level, the Arduino would turn the equivalent pump on and water it for a few seconds. This setup worked well—the plants were still alive—except that I had no visibility over what was going on. All I could see was that the water level in the tank was decreasing. It was essential that the tank always had water in it, otherwise I'd ruin my pumps by pumping air.

To address this problem, I added a float switch to the tank, as I was aiming to set it up so I could stop pumping air if I forgot to fill up the tank. Using a WiFi adapter, I connected the Arduino to my home WiFi. Now that the Arduino was connected to the internet, I figured I should send the data into Splunk. That way I'd be able to set up an alert notifying me when the tank’s water level was low. I'd also be able to track each plant’s moisture levels.

The setup deployed: the water tank is on the left; the yellow cables coming from the tank are for the float switch; and the plastic container houses the pumps and the Arduino, with the red/blue/black wires going to the sensors planted in the soil of the middle (basil) and right (chilli) pots. Power is supplied via the two black cables, which venture back inside the house to a phone charger.
The setup deployed: the water tank is on the left; the yellow cables coming from the tank are for the float switch; and the plastic container houses the pumps and the Arduino, with the red/blue/black wires going to the sensors planted in the soil of the middle (basil) and right (chilli) pots. Power is supplied via the two black cables, which venture back inside the house to a phone charger.

Using the Arduino’s Wifi library, it’s easy to send data to a TCP port. This means that all I needed to do to start collecting data in Splunk was to set up a TCP data input. Pretty quickly I had sensor data from both my chilli and basil plants, along with the tank’s water status. Given how simple it was, I decided to add a few other sensors to the Arduino: temperature, humidity, and light level. With all this information nicely ingested into Splunk, I went about creating a dashboard to display the health of my now over-engineered garden.

The overview dashboard for my garden. The top left and centre show current temperature and humidity, including trend, while the top right shows the current light reading. The bottom left and centre show current moisture reading and the last time each plant was watered. The final panel in the bottom right gives the status of the tank's water level.
The overview dashboard for my garden. The top left and centre show current temperature and humidity, including trend, while the top right shows the current light reading. The bottom left and centre show current moisture reading and the last time each plant was watered. The final panel in the bottom right gives the status of the tank's water level.

With this data coming in, I was able to easily understand what was going on with my plants:

  1. I can easily see the effect watering has on my plants, via the moisture levels (lower numbers = more moisture). I generally aim to maintain the moisture level between 300 and 410. Over 410 and the soil starts getting quite dry, while putting the moisture probe in a glass of water reads 220—so it’s probably best to keep it well above that.
  2. My basil was much thirstier than my chilli bush, requiring about 50–75% more water.
  3. It can get quite hot in the sun on our windowsill. One fortnight in February recorded nine 37+ degree days, with the temperature hitting 47 degrees twice during that period.
  4. During the height of summer, the tank typically holds 7–10 days’ worth of water.

Having this data in Splunk also alerts me to when the system isn't working properly. On one occasion in February, I noticed that my dashboard was consistently displaying that the basil pot had been watered within the last 15 minutes. After a few minutes looking at the data, I was able to figure out what was going on.

Using the above graph from my garden’s Splunk dashboard, I could see that my setup had correctly identified that the basil pot needed to be watered and had watered it—but I wasn't seeing the expected change in the basil’s moisture level. So the next time the system checked the moisture level, it saw that the plant needed to be watered, watered it again, and the cycle continued. When I physically checked the system, I could see that the Arduino was correctly setting the relay and turning the pump on, but no water was flowing. After further investigation, I discovered that the pump had died. Once I had replaced the faulty pump, everything returned to normal.

Since my initial design, I have upgraded the system a few times. It now joins a number of other Arduinos I have around the house, sending data via cheap radio transmitters to a central Arduino that then forwards the data on to Splunk. Aside from the pump dying, the garden system has been functioning well for the past six months, providing me with data that I will use to continue making the system a bit smarter about how and when it waters my plants.

I've also 3D printed a nice case in UV-resistant plastic, so my gardening system no longer has to live in an old lunchbox.

Our team on the case

Using Splunk and Active Robot Monitoring to resolve website issues

Recently, one of JDS’ clients reached out for assistance, as they were experiencing inconsistent website performance. They had just moved to a new platform, and were receiving alerts about unexpectedly slow response times, as well as intermittent logon errors. They were concerned that, were the reports accurate, this would have an adverse impact on customer retention, and potentially reduce their ability to attract new customers. When manual verification couldn’t reproduce the issues, they called in one of JDS’ sleuths to try to locate and fix the problem—if one existed at all.

The Plot Thickens

The client’s existing active robot monitoring solution using the HPE Business Process Monitor (BPM) suite showed that there were sporadic difficulties in loading pages on the new platform and in logging in, but the client was unable to replicate the issue manually. If there was an issue, where exactly did it lie?

Commencing the Investigation

The client had deployed Splunk and it was ingesting logs from the application in question—but its features were not being utilised to investigate the issue.

JDS consultant Danesen Narayanen entered the fray and was able to use Splunk to analyse the data received. He could therefore immediately understand the issue the client was experiencing. He confirmed that the existing monitoring solution was reporting the problem accurately, and that the issue had not been affecting the client’s website prior to the re-platform

Using the data collected by HPE BPM as a starting point, Danesen was able to drill down and compare what was happening with the current system on the new platform to what had been happening on the old one. He quickly made several discoveries:

1. There appeared to be some kind of server error.

Since the re-platform, there had been a spike in a particular server error. Our JDS consultant reviewed data from the previous year, to see whether the error had happened before. He noted that there had previously been similar issues, and validated them against BPM to determine that the past errors had not had a pronounced effect on BPM—the spike in server errors seemed to be a symptom, rather than a cause.

Database deadlocks were spiking.
Database deadlocks were spiking
It was apparent that the error had happened before

2. There seemed to be an issue with user-end response time.

Next, our consultant used Splunk to look at the response time by IP addresses over time, to see if there was a particular location being affected—was the problem at server end, or user end? He identified one particular IP address which had a very high response time. What’s more, this was a public IP address, rather than one internal to the client. It seemed like there was a end-user problem—but what was the IP address that was causing BPM to report an issue?

Daily response time for all IPs (left axis), and for the abnormal IP (right axis). All times are in seconds.
Daily response time for all IPs (left axis), and for the abnormal IP (right axis). All times are in seconds.

Tracking Down the Mystery IP Address

At this point our consultant called for the assistance of another JDS staff member, to track down who owned the problematic IP address. As it turned out, the IP address was owned by the client, and was being used by a security tool running vulnerability checks on the website. After the re-platform, the tool had gone rogue: rather than running for half an hour after the re-platform, it continued to open a number of new web sessions throughout the day for several days.

The Resolution

Now that the culprit had been identified, the team were quickly able to log in to the security tool to turn it off, and the problem disappeared. Performance and availability times returned to what they should be, BPM was no longer reporting issues, and the client’s website was running smoothly once more. Thanks to the combination of Splunk’s power, HPE's active monitoring tools, and JDS’ analytical and diagnostic experience, resolution was achieved in under a day.

Case Study: Australian Red Cross Blood Service enhances critical application performance

“We depend on technology to deliver essential services to our people and healthcare professionals around the country,” says Wayne Bolton, manager of Applications and Integration Services for the Blood Service. “If our applications are unavailable, slow or not performing as intended, we’re potentially impacting patient care. In this business, time is critical.”

Historically, the Blood Service tested and monitored its infrastructure and applications in a manual, siloed and time-consuming manner. Given the criticality of its services and the highly regulated industry it operates in, the Blood Service needed more insightful information about the quality, performance, and availability of its applications.

Today, the Blood Service has that insight. Over a period of time, it has adopted best practices to gain visibility into its critical business services and understand what its users are experiencing. This was achieved by taking an end-to-end lifecycle approach to optimising applications from pre-production through to post-production or day-to-day operations management. How? By using Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) with HP Quality Center software and HP Functional Testing software in conjunction with HP Application Performance Management including HP LoadRunner software, HP SiteScope software, HP Business Process Monitor software, HP Business Service Management software and HP Diagnostics software.


Drive improvements in the quality, performance and availability of business-critical services


Engaged HP Platinum Partner JDS Australia to secure application delivery and perform validation services

IT improvements

  • Obtained single point of truth to for application validation records
  • Unified functional, performance and quality management
  • Gained operational efficiencies by migrating to a paperless testing environment
  • Enhanced the Blood Services’ reputation
  • Provided evidence of a code issue to the application vendor to ensure a timely fix


About the Red Cross Blood Service

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service (Blood Services) performs a critical role in Australia’s health system. It provides quality blood products, essential services
and leading-edge research to improve the lives of patients.

A non-profit organisation with more than 4,000 employees, the Blood Service must be ready to respond around the clock to deliver blood and search its extensive records for specialised requirements for particular patients. More than 520,000 Australians are blood donors across 120 collection sites every year.

The organisation’s infrastructure is comprised of a range of servers in two main sites and approximately 40 enterprise applications, of which the mission-critical National Blood Management System (NBMS) has the largest footprint with more than 3,000 users. The performance of its systems is, therefore, a top priority.



Primary applications

  • ePROGESA (Blood management system)
  • Oracle eBusiness Suite (Financials and Procurement)
  • Chris 21 (Human Resources)
  • Genesys Call Centre Enterprise Software
  • Collection Site Reference Application (CSRA)
  • HP Application Lifecycle Management Solution
  • HP Application Performance Management Solution

Primary hardware

  • IBM P570
  • IBM Blades

Primary software

  • AIX
  • Linux
  • Windows® XP
  • HP Application Lifecycle Management including:
    • HP Quality Center Software
    • HP Functionality Testing Software
  • HP Application Performance Management including:
    • HP LoadRunner Software
    • HP Diagnostics Software
    • HP Business Service Management Software
    • HP Business Process Monitor Software
    • HP SiteScope Software

Regulatory compliance drives change

The catalyst came as a result of the need to be able to demonstrate the validation state of the NBMS to both internal and external auditors.

“In the beginning, we were looking for a solution that would allow us to better manage the validation of the National Blood Management System and meet our compliance obligations,” explains Bolton. “In the past, validations were performed on paper, needed considerable manpower and would often take months to complete. In 2006, we decided to do what we could to automate the process and began looking around for a suitable solution.

“We selected HP based on the solution’s deep functionality, automation capabilities, scalability potential and industry leadership.”

Partnering for success

Understanding that it could reach faster time to value with an implementation partner, the Blood Service engaged JDS Australia (JDS) to assist with the project.

An HP Platinum Partner and winner of coveted HP Software Solutions Partner Excellence Awards for six consecutive years, JDS is regarded as an expert in the field of software testing, application/infrastructure monitoring and service management.

JDS believes that for most organisations getting a partner on-board takes the risks out of deployment and maximises return on software investment. “For the Blood Service, leveraging specialist services from JDS has really paid off. It allowed the organisation to focus on core competencies and strategic direction, while we managed testing and monitoring execution. It also brought something else – a roadmap for the future.”

“Embarking on this project without JDS would have been a difficult, if not an impossible undertaking,” explains Bolton. “With their assistance, we were up and running on HP Quality Center very quickly and had standardised on a central quality platform. We were managing and controlling software requirements and test cases with relative ease. Not long after this, we implemented HP Functional Testing and began functional and regression testing of more than 70 percent of our core business processes.

“For the first time in our history, we had a single source of truth for our testing assets and could much more easily demonstrate our validation efforts to internal and external audit. Our people could go to a central location to access, manage and reuse test cases.

“We gained operational efficiencies by migrating to a paperless testing environment and achieved real-time visibility into our validation progress. Overall, HP Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) unified functional, performance and quality management. It increased visibility and enabled us to better align business and technology requirements.“

Today, there are numerous examples where the Blood Service is realising benefits. “For instance, we can now run execution reports on the validation scripts on our blood manufacturing application in 30 minutes, rather than perhaps spending days recalling paper records from off-site storage,” adds Bolton.

“In addition, when we encountered an issue with HP Functional Testing not recognising a certain JAVA class, we asked JDS for help. They collaborated closely with the HP R&D team and within three weeks a global patch was released. This would not have been possible without the high-level relationship JDS has with HP.”

Broadening the HP horizon

Getting results on the board quickly with quality and compliance management paved the way for the next phase of evolution with HP and JDS. The Blood Service decided to upgrade its NBMS to take advantage of significant technical enhancements.

This third-party application, known as ePROGESA, is used by many blood banks around the world. Yet the Blood Service was cautious in its approach towards the upgrade as it was such a major undertaking and others had experienced issues.

“If we were going to execute this upgrade successfully, it became clear that we needed performance testing,” says Bolton. “We were transitioning from a green-screen application that was not scalable to a new n-tier J2EE environment. It was not a trivial matter and we needed to ensure it would perform as intended when launched.”

Once again, the Blood Service engaged JDS. This time, it was to validate system performance prior to going live on ePROGESA and ensure the vendor was meeting its contractual obligations. JDS leveraged Application Performance Lifecycle solutions including HP LoadRunner to emulate predicted loads and HP LoadRunner Diagnostics to deep-dive into the detail. HP SiteScope was also used to correlate infrastructure metrics while the system was under load.

Bolton says the project was unusually complex, “We were working with three different suppliers - one was responsible for the infrastructure, another handled the application and JDS was looking after performance testing. It made for an interesting working relationship, because we had to marry input from three sources prior to going live.”

Predicting and proving system behaviour

“During this time, we had a situation where ePROGESA was simply not performing as intended,” says Bolton. “After evaluating a range of possibilities, we threw more memory at it. When this didn’t yield any results, we began to suspect there could be a bottleneck in the application’s code.”

“When discussing this with JDS, we again turned to HP for answers. We needed to have a detailed look at the problem. Within hours, JDS had isolated the specific line of code that was causing the problem.”

JDS explains, “We used HP LoadRunner in conjunction with HP LoadRunner Diagnostics to deep-dive into the detail and independently ascertain that the performance issues experienced were indeed code-related. It was the silver bullet the Blood Service needed and a patch for ePROGESA was issued.”

Subsequent performance testing and tuning allowed the Blood Service to meet its objectives and deliver response times that were acceptable to the business.

“This gave us the confidence to go live,” says Bolton. “The beauty of HP LoadRunner is that you can draw a line in the sand to benchmark performance and correlate this to what is happening on the hardware. By using it alongside HP LoadRunner diagnostics, you can access all the detailed information you need. This was incredibly valuable and the insight obtained helped us make informed decisions about the readiness of ePROGESA and minimise the risks.”

Monitoring end-user behaviour

Next on the Blood Service’s agenda was enterprise-grade production monitoring. JDS recommended HP Business Service Management (BSM) and associated tools including HP SiteScope, HP Business Process Monitor (BPM) and HP Diagnostics.

These tools were complemented with HP BPM transactions to synthetically gauge end-user performance and availability across its distributed locations and learn of potential issues before end-users were impacted.
Within a short period of deploying these solutions, the Blood Service realised significant operational benefits. “We quickly had evidence to show the business that we were meeting the ePROGESA service levels of 99.98 percent availability,” says Tony Oosterbeek, Acting ICT manager. “Actual response times on business transactions were being met, and in fact, far exceeding expectations. We had an early warning system to resolve issues before our users were impacted. More importantly, we had complete traceability between the performance and availability our end-users experienced.”

Since then, the Blood Service has adopted this same proactive approach to address system availability for other applications including its Collection Site Reference Application – an in-house system used by its national call centre. “Recently, we needed to find out if the application could scale up from 100 to 135 users,” explains Brett Renton, IS Acting operations manager. “HP LoadRunner was put to work and we quickly determined that the user breakpoint would be 180 people. This gave us the confidence we needed to go ahead.”

“Another example of the benefits we are realising with HP Business Service Management (BSM) is with our Oracle™ Financials suite. After we decided to upgrade the software, hardware and database elements to improve performance, we leveraged HP Business Process Monitor (BPM) to better understand the timing issues around business transactions and used this data to justify the cost of the upgrade. It was a really good way to make a clear business case and the results speak for themselves. We now proactively know exactly what our end users are experiencing and can detect any performance or availability issues across all key geographic locations”.

Business Benefits

  • Improved ability to meet regulatory audits by access to validation data in hours rather than days or weeks
  • Achieved availability of 99.8 percent for National Blood Management System (NBMS)
  • Achieved proactive end-user visibility of business transaction times for Oracles™ Financials application
  • Mitigated risks of deploying applications in critical functions

Solid future

Adopting a lifecycle approach to quality, performance and availability of key business applications has enhanced the Blood Services’ capability.

There is now a focus on extending the discipline of validation to other systems, “Although we’ve improved processes in areas including requirements, testing and performance, the greatest outcome is that we have brought all these best practices together. This combination provides collaborative processes and analysis capabilities for traceability and consistent reporting across the lifecycle. It has brought the organisation to a common place that allows us to achieve governance, compliance and accountability at a lower risk.”

“Thanks to HP and JDS, we’ve realised the full advantages of adopting a lifecycle management approach to managing our applications – from testing, through to pre-production through to go-live. We’ve mitigated risks, ensured quality and delivered more responsive, stable services to support our users and the organisations mission to improve the lives of patients,” says Bolton.

Case Study: Flash Group optimises performance of the Global Corporate Challenge Website

In 2009, Flash experienced some performance issues with the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) website—the world’s first virtual health program that encourages corporations to help their employees get active and healthy—that resulted in speed degradation, functionality errors and site downtime

With the number of GCC participants predicted to double in 2010 to 120,000, Flash needed to drive a higher level of application performance and mitigate the risks it had previously. As a result, the company turned to HP Preferred Partner, JDS Australia, for a solution. The company adopted a Business Technology Optimization (BTO) approach to application performance with HP LoadRunner software for predicting the behaviour and performance of the GCC website under load.


Flash Group wanted to mitigate the risk of performance issues for the launch of the 2010 Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) website.


Flash engaged HP Preferred Partner, JDS Australia and adopted a Business Technology Optimization (BTO) strategy with HP LoadRunner software to obtain an accurate picture of end-to-end system performance.

IT improvements

  • Ensured the quality and performance of the GCC website for the 2010 programme.
  • Established a standardised procedure for load testing the website.
  • Identified and eliminated performance bottlenecks to tune for better performance.
  • Matured its website development methodology.
  • Raised its profile and credibility as an organisation that produces high-performing, user-friendly websites.
  • Delivered 99.99 per cent uptime on its systems with web servers only reaching 20 percent system capacity, and page response times of less than two seconds which resulted in a high-quality user experience and enhanced the programme’s brand value.

About Flash Group

Flash Group (Flash) is one of Australia’s fastest growing full-service advertising agencies, offering integrated services including above and below the line advertising with in-house digital, strategy and design.

The company’s 30 staff are dedicated to servicing a group of high profile clients that spans retail, healthcare, travel, fashion, hardware, consumer electronics and entertainment. This includes leading brands such as Pioneer, Stanley, Global Corporate Challenge, Contiki, Origin Energy, Clive Peeters, and more.

Every year, the company assists Global Corporate Challenge (GCC), a world-first virtual health programme that encourages corporations to help their employees get active and healthy. The programme sees people from around the globe form teams and don pedometers for a period of 16 weeks and record their daily step count on the GCC website, which was designed and built by Flash.


Marketing and Advertisement

Primary hardware

  • Multiple Virtual Web and Database Servers hosted externally running Windows Server 2008

Primary software

  • HP LoadRunner software

Predicting system behaviour and application performance

“The stability and performance of the GCC website is critical to the long-term success of the programme,” explains Carla Clark, digital producer, Flash Group.

“While we undertook some basic testing in 2009, we did not have adequate visibility to obtain an accurate end-to-end picture of the website’s performance, particularly at peak loads. This was apparent when we experienced issues during the 2009 program and it was the impetus for us to seek a performance validation solution.

“Despite the broad experience of our team, we wanted to leverage specialised expertise in performance validation, so we invited JDS Australia to recommend an appropriate software solution. We settled on HP LoadRunner software, due to its functionality, reliability and versatility.”

Partnership provides expertise and speeds time to benefit

An HP Platinum Partner and winner of the coveted HP Software and Solutions Partner of the Year Award for the past four years, JDS is widely regarded as a leader in the BTO space. The company provides extensive and in-depth knowledge of HP’s suite of testing and monitoring solutions, offering support to clients in a variety of industries.

The account manager at JDS Australia believes this is quite an unusual project, as Flash is one of the first creative agencies he has come across that realised the importance of performance validation for a website it had developed. “Ensuring that mission-critical systems such as the GCC website are available and performing as intended is something that all organisations grapple with. However, we don’t often see creative agencies trying to predict system behaviour and application performance at this level – that’s usually the domain of IT teams or developers.

“For organisations (such as Flash) that don’t have in-house performance testing expertise, getting a partner on-board takes the hassle out of deployment. In this instance, JDS provided a roadmap to help Flash mitigate the risk of deploying the GCC website and prevent the costly performance problems it had previously incurred. We helped the team stress test the website to handle the large increase in participants and determine the peak loads and transactional volumes, which in turn enabled us to recommend how best to setup the IT infrastructure. The testing also identified bottlenecks, which the website developers rectified this year.”

Carla Clark believes that having an HP partner involved made all the difference to this project. She says, “Having JDS on board meant that we could focus on our core competencies, while allowing them to do what they do best—provide the services needed to ensure the GCC website would be available and performing as and when required. JDS has assisted Flash in getting the most out of HP LoadRunner in a short space of time.”

Mitigating risk and gaining confidence

The company’s vision in adopting HP LoadRunner was to ensure the GCC website would be scalable in line with the rising number of users. “We wanted to adopt a long-term approach to this project and create a robust website to keep pace with the programme’s planned growth,” explains Tim Bigarelli, senior developer at Flash. “This also entailed the migration to a new IT infrastructure to further enhance our ability to support the website’s evolution.”

Flash began preparations for the launch of this year’s website by having JDS test the previous application on the old infrastructure to establish performance benchmarks. The next round of tests were applied to the new code base using both the old and new infrastructure. “The results uncovered were extremely beneficial as it enabled us to redevelop the website for maximum performance and functionality. But more importantly, it provided us with complete visibility into the performance of the application from end-to-end, which enabled us to verify that the new application would sustain loads of 1,000 concurrent users over the first peak hour on the launch day with an average login time of 7-8 minutes per user and average response times for all pages under two seconds to avoid abandonment,” adds Bigarelli.

Better decisions, operational efficiencies and improved client satisfaction

As a result of deploying HP LoadRunner to validate the performance of the GCC website, Flash has realised considerable benefits. The organisation has facilitated better decision-making, particularly on the development side, experienced operational efficiencies and improved client satisfaction.

Clark says, “HP LoadRunner software takes the guesswork out of the GCC website’s development. It provides confidence that the application will work as intended and it gives us the data we need to support our decisions. In short, it helps us avoid application performance problems at the deployment stage.

“By giving us a true picture of end-to-end performance, diagnosing application and systems bottlenecks and enabling us to tune for better performance, we mitigated the risk of failure for the GCC website. And with access to facts, figures and baseline measurements, we were able to tune the application for success.”

Putting the website to the test

Following considerable testing, Flash launched the GCC website on May 13, 2010. As expected, traffic was extremely high, with an average of 130,000 visitors on the first two days, and a peak of 8,403 visitors in the first hour.

“The GCC website performed according to our expectations and we are delighted with the business outcomes of HP LoadRunner software,” says Clark.

“Thanks to the preparative measures we put in place, our systems thrived and delivered 99.99 percent uptime, with our web servers only reaching 20 percent system capacity and page response times of under two seconds. This enabled us to provide a high-quality user experience, which is enhancing the programme’s brand value.

“Overall, HP LoadRunner software helped us solve key issues this year and identify areas for performance improvements for next year. We have benefited from knowing that performance testing prevents potential failures - such as the ones we experienced last year. As a result, we have considerably reduced the opportunity cost of defects, while driving productivity and quality in our operational environment to deliver a robust GCC website this year, that performs as intended.”

Business Benefits

  • Mitigated the risks of poor performance with a consistent approach to load testing.
  • Adopted a consistent approach to load testing to make confident, informed decisions about the performance and scalability of the GCC website.
  • Gained a true picture of end-to-end performance, which enabled better decision-making and functionality changes.
  • Increased client satisfaction through a fast, high-performing website.
  • Resolved issues with the production architecture and configuration before users were impacted.
  • Gained understanding and confidence in the performance characteristics of the website prior to going live.

Looking ahead

HP will continue to play a key role as the performance validation backbone of the GCC website. By leveraging the functionality and flexibility of HP LoadRunner software, Flash will continue to derive value from predicting system behaviour and application performance. The company is also exploring options to extend its HP investment by utilising the HP LoadRunner scripts with HP Business Availability Center software to monitor the performance and availability of the GCC website from an end user perspective.

In the future, Clark is keen to have someone in the team take the lead on testing. She says: “This project has demonstrated to us just how important testing really is, so we are focused on ensuring it becomes part of our routine development. We are also keen to share the functionality of HP LoadRunner to other clients with similar-sized projects.

“On the whole, HP LoadRunner software has helped Flash mature its website development methodology. We deployed a higher quality GCC website, improved client satisfaction and raised our profile and credibility as an organisation that produces high-performing, user-friendly and scalable websites,” concludes Clark.

Case Study: Bendigo Bank delivers a higher quality customer experience with HP

Bendigo Bank provides banking and wealth management services to individual and small to medium businesses. It is represented in all states and territories with almost 900 outlets, including more than 190 company-owned branches, 250 locally-owned Community Bank® branches, 90 agencies and 800 ATMs.

With a tradition of adding value for customers through quality personal service, the bank recently began to look to technology as the enabler of service delivery and business performance. Realising its existing systems were account-centric and not customer-focused, the bank embarked on an ambitious program to align technology more closely with its business strategy. The result? It purchased Siebel Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Universal Customer Master (UCM) applications to streamline customer-facing operations.

Known as ‘Enable Customer Phase 1’, the objective of this 18-month project was to introduce CRM and UCM capability across the organisation. As this would significantly impact 5,000 users and would result in considerable change management, the bank knew it had to deliver high-quality applications that functioned and performed at the levels demanded by the business.

“Enable Customer Phase 1 is the single largest implementation undertaken across the Bank in the past 15 years,” explains Robert Murphy, the project’s Technical Implementation Manager. “We had one chance to get it right and we knew quality assurance had to play a big part in the equation. We decided to make use of HP Quality Center software, which has been in the organisation for the past seven years. By leveraging an existing quality management solution, we could reduce our total cost of ownership and ensure a smoother transition to our new CRM platform.”


To drive the business value of its new customer facing solutions, Bendigo Bank sought to standardise system quality and performance 


Bendigo Bank adopted a quality and performance assurance approach using HP Quality Center software and HP LoadRunner software

IT improvements

  • Standard platform manages every aspect of system quality and performance
  • Centralisation enhances productivity
  • Isolated and fixed defects quickly
  • Established benchmarks for future enhancements
  • Fine-tuned testing efforts around data migration

About Bendigo Bank

The Bendigo Bank is the retail arm of the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Group, an Australian company formed in November 2007 as a result of the merger between Bendigo Bank and Adelaide Bank. A publicly listed company, the group is owned by more than 82,000 shareholders.


Banking and Finance

Primary applications

  • Siebel CRM
  • Siebel URM

Primary software

  • HP LoadRunner software
  • HP Quality Center v9

Partnership provides valuable and timely expertise

To complete the quality approach and ensure all aspects of the new system were tested, the bank appointed JDS Australia to provide services in load testing and performance management.

An HP Platinum Partner and winner of the coveted HP Software Partner of the Year Award for the past four years, JDS is widely regarded as a leader in the Quality and Performance testing space. The company provides extensive and in-depth knowledge of the HP suite of testing and monitoring solutions offering support to clients in a variety of industries.

Steve Smith, JDS Australia’s Account Manager, believes that validating performance of newly deployed mission-critical systems is the key to achieving high user adoption and enhancing the consumer experience. Ensuring that applications are available and performing as intended is something that all organisations grapple with. JDS assisted Bendigo Bank by deploying HP LoadRunner to stress-test its Siebel CRM/URM system to ensure it could handle the peak loads and transactional volumes it would be subjected to, once live.

A quality ownership imperative

Prior to the adoption of HP Quality Center, the bank performed quality assurance on its core systems using a mixture of spreadsheets and documents. Following two mergers, the bank expanded rapidly and decided it needed to standardise its approach to quality assurance as a way of gaining some unity across the business and driving competitive advantage in a tough financial market. Today, the bank is firmly focused on retaining and growing its customer relationships, increasing loyalty and delivering personalised and consistent service experiences.

“We began the quality assurance part of the Enable Customer Phase 1 project by putting the ownership of quality in the hands of the business. We sought to make the business accountable for its operational outcomes. In short, we wanted quality management to be part of everyone’s mandate and HP Quality Center enabled us to do just that,” says Murphy.

“The quality management structure of this project was somewhat unusual. We used an iterative approach to development and put the business analysts, testers and developers into the one team. This allows us to fast-track time to success by facilitating communication and collaboration. But more importantly, it bridged the gap between business and technology expert, aligning testing more closely to business outcomes.”

Standardised processes improve decision-making

By providing a seamless, repeatable process for gathering requirements, planning and scheduling tests, analysing results and managing defects, HP has brought structure to managing quality for this project.

Murphy explains, “HP Quality Center creates an end-to-end quality management infrastructure to enforce standardised processes and best practices, such as our policy of ‘no work without a ticket’. It has given us the ability to streamline the management of defects, so that we can make effective ‘go/no-go’ decisions.

“By standardising on one quality platform we can do a lot of work in a short space of time, knowing that it is all contributing to our overall quality objectives. We can monitor the advancement of our work against these objectives to determine whether we are on track, on budget and on time. Having such insight into our progress delivers good governance and greatly improves decision-making.”

Testing what’s needed reduces risk

With quality firmly embedded in the centre of the organisation’s development mandate, ensuring that testing is prioritised according to business need was vital to achieving timely results for the bank.

HP Quality Center provides risk-based quality management to objectively assess and prioritise the highest-risk, highest-priority requirement, so testing efforts can be fine-tuned based on quantifiable business risk.

“HP Quality Center supports our approach of not wanting to test everything,” adds Murphy. “It enabled us to marry testing priorities with risk. We focused our testing efforts around data migration from our legacy systems into Siebel, as this was an integral part of future functionality.

“Prioritising our testing was also cost-effective in terms of centralisation and reusability. It meant that our people could store tests in one central location, review test planning information and reuse entire test plans or amend test cases across project components. Plus, having access to quality metrics put the business at ease because we could show that elements had been effectively tested and would work as intended.”

Validating performance

Gaining an understanding of how the Enable Customer project would meet the performance and scalability of the business was another objective the bank sought to achieve. Specifically, it wanted to obtain an accurate picture of end-to-end system performance before going live.

HP LoadRunner software was used to emulate the bank’s working environment with thousands of concurrent users. It stressed the application from end-to-end, applying consistent, measurable and repeatable workloads and identified issues that would affect its users in production.

“As we drove loads against the system, HP LoadRunner captured end-user response times for key transactions. It showed us that had we gone live, our users would have experienced slow performance when printing following a query. We rectified the issue in five days, but without HP LoadRunner it could easily have taken us a month or more to fix it.

“In the end, HP LoadRunner verified that our new Siebel CRM/URM system would meet specified performance requirements including sub-second response times,” confirms Murphy.

Quality, confidence, and success

After extensive testing and a successful pilot in two branches, the bank recently went live on Enable Customer Phase 1 without any showstoppers.

“We are delighted with the success of the project’s deployment and have achieved good outcomes through quality and performance testing,” adds Murphy. “Throughout the course of the project, we were able to isolate and fix defects quickly, automate quality processes and establish benchmarks for future enhancements. Quite simply, we delivered a high-quality, high-performing, robust system to support our people.”

“The value that HP Quality Center has brought to Bendigo Bank can be summarised in terms of standardisation, visibility and insight. We gained an end-to-end quality management infrastructure that gave us visibility into every element of the system and the insight we needed to make good decisions.”

Business Benefits

  • Gained 360-degree visibility into application quality
  • Went live on the single largest IT implementation in 15 years (Siebel CRM/URM) which functioned and performed at levels demanded by 5,000 users
  • Rectified performance issue in five days instead of a month
  • Aligned testing to business outcomes by facilitating communication and collaboration among business analysts, testers and developers
  • Reduced application deployment risk
  • Streamlined management process to assist with go/no-go decisions
  • Monitored the progress of work against objectives to track timeliness, budget and readiness

Looking ahead

HP Software will continue to play a key role as the backbone of Bendigo Bank’s quality and performance validation engine.

“We have successfully deployed one of the largest customer-facing projects in the history of the bank. Our focus now is on continuing to manage quality and performance of this system on a quarterly basis, ensuring that updates, changes, and upgrades are validated prior to release.

“Overall, HP has helped Bendigo Bank set the benchmark for ensuring our mission critical applications are high in quality and give the best performance to support our users in delivering excellent products and services,” concludes Murphy.

Case Study: Superpartners optimises IT operations with HP and JDS

With a mission to achieve efficiency and effectiveness through operational excellence, Superpartners sought to strengthen the end-user experience by gaining greater visibility into its IT infrastructure. The company turned to HP and adopted a Business Technology Optimization (BTO) approach to optimize the availability, performance and effectiveness of its business services and applications with HP Business Availability Center software.


To try and maximise the end-user experience, Superpartners sought to proactively monitor IT availability and performance


Superpartners adopted an HP Business Technology Optimisation (BTO) strategy with HP Business Availability Center software as the centrepiece in its application management strategy

IT improvements

  • Problems isolated, and issues resolved efficiently and effectively
  • Increased the quality of services to the business, its customers and employees
  • Better understanding of the complexities and interdependencies of the IT infrastructure including networks, systems and applications
  • Improved SLA compliance and reduced exposure to risk

About Superpartners

Superpartners is one of the largest superannuation administrators in Australia, employing over 1,500 people in eight offices Australia-wide. The company services about 6 million member accounts, 667,000 employer accounts and has over $72 billion in funds under administration.

Recognising that technology is a key enabler of its success, Superpartners develops core applications in-house, and sources third party products and services that complement its offering. Operating a business on considerable scale and complexity, the company has embraced a service-oriented technology strategy with business efficiency and service delivery as its focal points.



Taking a Proactive Approach and Gaining End-to-End Visibility

In supporting such a large user base, Superpartners is keenly focused on ensuring its business processes and technology operations deliver value to the business. Prior to implementing HP Business Availability Center, the company had outsourced monitoring of its infrastructure, which proved limiting. And with the growth of the organisation’s application portfolio, the need to comprehensively and proactively monitor the health of its systems became increasingly apparent.

Gary Evans, Chief Information Officer, Superpartners explains, “We needed to gain a better understanding of our environment and we wanted to become proactive and respond more effectively to incidents. The early warning systems that we had in place just weren’t enough. We also wanted a more accurate way to determine if we were meeting our Service Level Agreements. Put simply, we needed a comprehensive application management solution and HP Business Availability Center met our requirements.”

Partnering to Fast-Track Time to Benefit

To facilitate deployment, Superpartners engaged HP Business Partner, JDS Australia, experts in software testing and monitoring with HP solutions. JDS provided specialist services in application monitoring to help Superpartner realise value from its HP investment. Steve Smith, General Manager (Victoria) JDS says, “Superpartners was quick to recognise the benefits of application monitoring, particularly in terms of enhancing their end-user services. In a matter of weeks they were monitoring the availability and performance of their application, and gaining true end-to-end visibility into what was happening behind the scenes. By having access to vital and detailed information about their systems, they can now be appraised of issues ten minutes before their end-users experience an outage, and begin resolution.

“Overall, Superpartners is realising the benefits of proactive visibility and access to a consolidated end-user and infrastructural view of their application performance. They have achieved much improved SLA compliance and have considerably reduced risk. We are delighted with the outcome and believe that the collaborative approach we established with Superpartners is the key to success.”


Fast Resolution of Problems, Productivity Gains, and Reduced Risks

A comprehensive business application management solution, HP Business Availability Center has allowed Superpartners to monitor the health of its systems. Specifically, the organisation is keeping a close eye on the end-user experience, continuously isolating problems and assessing the status of key services and applications.

Gary explains, “HP Business Availability Center has enabled us to see the actual performance of our systems as experienced by our customers. It provides us with an early warning system and we can drill down to the transaction level to examine potential issues. We now have the ability to pinpoint exactly where a problem might be and potentially fix it before our end-users experience degradation in our systems.

“In addition, HP Business Availability Center has helped us better understand the complexities and interdependencies of our IT infrastructure including networks, systems and applications. In turn, this provides us with the information we need to diagnose, isolate and fix problems quickly to maintain business continuity. As a result, we have improved the quality of our services and are benefiting from increased productivity by having the ability to concentrate resources where needed and by achieving quicker resolution time. We have also enhanced SLA compliance and we can now report on both infrastructure and application availability. Finally, the synthetic monitoring that HP Business Availability provides reduces our application deployment risk and we have gained confidence that our applications will perform as intended.”

Business Benefits

  • Improvements to the performance and availability of Superpartners’ IT Infrastructure and Applications
  • Association with JDS Australia delivered fast time to value
  • Gained true end-to-end visibility of its systems to improve the end-user experience
  • Improved service quality, increased productivity and gained confidence in the availability and performance of its applications.
  • Operational efficiencies, alignment of business and IT, and delivery of better governance

Better Governance and Future Plans

Today, Superpartners’ Technology team is able to undertake forward planning, proactive management and maintenance of its systems, instead of functioning in a reactionary state. This is delivering added benefits as the organisation’s business operations and future direction can be fully supported by a high-performing technology infrastructure, capable of adapting to market changes.

Gary elaborates, “We are yet to capitalize on the full potential of HP Business Availability Center. We still have additional functionality and capabilities to leverage to further optimize our systems, but we’re now in a strong position to react and fix issues quickly. Not only are we also enabling a much more efficient environment, but we are delivering better governance, particularly around our SLAs.”

Looking to the future, we are aiming to ensure HP Business Availability Center is rolled out across all our application environments. This will enable us to gain true alignment between our monitoring capabilities and our user experience, to achieve end-to-end optimization of our services and applications.”

On the whole, HP Business Availability Center is enabling Superpartners to manage and optimise the quality, performance and effectiveness of its business services and applications.

Case Study: CitiPower and Powercor take action to ensure quality

“Technology underpins the ability of CitiPower and Powercor to safely and effectively deliver power to more than a million customers. It’s critical that our applications are current, functioning and available,” says Fiona Hocking, CSA assurance team leader, Powercor.


To deliver top-quality, high-performing business applications that are current, functioning and available


Develop an effective Quality Assurance (QA) discipline for application lifecycles across the enterprise

IT improvements

  • Provides HP Quality Centre (QC) to application groups with zero outages
  • Provides a holistic view of an application testing status
  • Allows application teams to manage up to 30 test cycles with 500 test cases, resulting in the management of over 6,500 defects

About the Client

CitiPower and Powercor are Australia’s leading electricity distributors owned by Cheung Kong Infrastructure Ltd (CKI) and Power Assets Holdings Ltd. Combined, the group operates the largest electricity distribution network in the state of Victoria, servicing over a million customers.

Operating in a highly controlled industry and tasked with providing critical services around the clock, the group relies heavily on its IT infrastructure to deliver energy to customers and to meet regulatory requirements.

This infrastructure is complex to say the least. With over 11 critical business applications, 2,000 users, and multifaceted interfaces to a central information hub for the business facing systems alone, delivery expectations on the IT department are high. Field staff, the group and the government regulator all need real-time information from the electricity network, such as usage patterns, meter data and consumption. Information accuracy and availability can mean the difference between someone getting power or not. Significant penalties apply for missing the mark, so it’s important that the IT department gets it right.



Primary software

  • HP Quality Center

High availability

To deliver on its strategic objectives, the group mandates that its IT department provides high-performing business applications with a 99.8 percent availability rate. There is zero tolerance for level one defects.

As an internal service provider, the Quality Assurance Team had to define how to best facilitate enterprise testing capabilities with limited resources and tight timeframes. At any one time, an application could be managing 20 to 30 test cycles, with over 6,500 defects being handled across its project lifecycle. The Quality Assurance (QA) Team quickly identified that HP Quality Centre (QC) could be of immediate benefit to application owners. Providing a holistic view of an application’s testing status would allow an application owner to assess priorities, allocate resources and deliver quality applications on time and to specification.

In order to be effective and highly responsive when called upon by stakeholders, the QA Team identified three key areas for HP QC success. Firstly, they enlisted support services from HP Platinum Partner JDS Australia to ensure that HP QC continued to be operational with fast issue resolution.

“When it comes to HP Quality Center, JDS keeps the lights switched on. We simply don’t have to worry about HP QC not being available or operational. JDS ensures that we are aware of product developments, new features and functions, and that our system is kept healthy. I know that any time I call them, they can answer my questions. Our HP QC users have aggressive targets, and using JDS as support means that we can keep our users happy,” said Hocking.

Tester training

Secondly, the QA Team packaged training programs that could be easily rolled out when required. As each testing requirement is based on secondment, an application owner can nominate different testers as deemed appropriate. Given that testing groups have often never used testing tools, the QA Team has to equip new testers with the skills needed to get the job done.

“HP QC is very customisable to meet the needs of each specific project. This means that we have to be nimble enough to roll out project-specific training,” says Hocking. “The fact HP QC is intuitive makes the training process easier. In some cases, we can train large groups on the basics in less than thirty minutes. Thirdly, the QA Team assists project teams by helping define testing requirements, developing test scripts, and leveraging HP QC for optimal outcomes.

“Since we were tasked with rolling out HP QC capabilities across the enterprise, we have increased its use by 78 percent and improved user-uptake by 67 per cent.”
With a solid QA platform in place that is supported by JDS, CitiPower and Powercor are now better placed to maintain quality applications under pressure and amidst rapid change.

When the government of Victoria announced its smart meter program for improved accuracy of billing, faster connections and disconnections and real-time usage information, the group welcomed the challenge. The project includes a tight time-frame for the installation of 1.2 million smart meters that can transmit two-way data to a central repository.

Leveraging the capabilities provided by the QA Team, the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Network Management System (NMS) support team used HP QC to drive the testing. HP QC is used to ensure that a third-party vendor meets Service Level Agreements (SLAs), that the AMI NMS application (Utility IQ) functions as it is supposed to, and that changes to the application do not present performance risks. HP QC allows the application owner to deliver quality solutions that meet company standards.

Field Mobile Applications

Further adhering to government regulations and business drivers, the group has deployed the Ventyx Service Suite to enable the accurate capture of real-time information from the field through over 500 PDAs. Adopting a thorough end-to-end testing process, the application group has aligned business expectations and security issues with the application itself, according to Alan King, manager, Field Mobile Applications. Incorporating HP QC allowed the team to effectively manage over 500 test cases and improve application functionality with the third-party vendor, based on discovered SLA deficiencies.

“HP QC allows us to manage our vendors and internal customers, as we can negotiate patches and articulate the priorities. It also improves our service levels to our internal customers as they have visibility into the defects and can contribute to the priority fix list,” says King.

Hocking adds: “selecting a high performing tool such as HP QC was the first step but having a skilled group of testing and monitoring consultants behind us makes all the difference. Put simply, JDS keeps the testing technology working so that other critical applications continue to be highly available with minimal defects. We would not have achieved the results without them,” says Hocking.

Powercor and CitiPower will continue to draw upon JDS’s expertise in the areas of technical testing, IT monitoring, and HP Software Support for the future.
“JDS Support has provided outstanding service levels. In the past three years, 60 percent of all support calls have been resolved instantly, and the rest within days,” concludes Hocking. “I can have skilled technicians on-site quickly if I need and can access a large pool of expertise for troubleshooting. With JDS, the Quality Assurance Team has been able to deliver on its service levels and we will continue to work together as we further enhance QA capabilities.”

Business Benefits

  • Rolled out HP Quality Centre across the enterprise to improve uptake of QA processes by 78 percent and increased application performance quality
  • Leveraged HP QC’s capabilities to support application testing for the Smart Meter project
  • Improved quality processes to enable IT application teams to deliver on service levels

Our team on the case

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Why choose JDS?

At JDS, our purpose is to ensure your IT systems work wherever, however, and whenever they are needed. Our expert consultants will help you identify current or potential business issues, and then develop customised solutions to suit you.

JDS is different from other providers in the market. We offer 24/7 monitoring capabilities and support throughout the entire application lifecycle. We give your IT Operations team visibility into the health of your IT systems, enabling them to identify and resolve issues quickly.

We are passionate about what we do, working seamlessly with you to ensure you are getting the best possible performance from your environment. All products sold by JDS are backed by our local Tier One support desk, ensuring a stress-free solution for the entire product lifecycle.

Case Study: RMIT implementation of LoadRunner

Twice a year, RMIT publishes course results for its students on the student portal of the university’s website. These two days in the calendar generate the highest volume of website traffic. With such huge spikes experienced in a 24-hour period, RMIT’s student portal was being saturated and not handling the volume effectively. This resulted in poor performance and students reported difficulties in accessing their results in a timely fashion.

Tim Ash, RMIT’s senior production assurance and test manager, explains, “The single most important aspect of our students’ lives, apart from the education they receive, is knowing how well they are doing in their studies. Having a stable student portal is critical to satisfy our students’ needs and deliver a high level of service. It also impacts on our credibility and future success.

“For this reason, we identified performance testing as an essential part of future application delivery. With limited resources available in-house and a tight deadline, we invited JDS Australia (JDS), an HP Platinum Partner, to help us to predict future system behaviour and application performance."


Predict system behaviour and application performance to improve student satisfaction


RMIT University verified that its new critical student results application (called MyResults) met specified performance requirements

IT improvements

  • Achieved 100 percent uptime on MyResults
  • Delivered student results 60 per cent faster than predicted
  • Gained a true picture of end-to-end performance of MyResults
  • Emulated peak loads of 20,000+ student logins per hour – more than six times the average loads
  • Uncovered and rectified functional issues prior to going live
  • No helpdesk complaints logged for poor system performance
  • Optimisation opportunities were identified that enabled the student portal to be scaled more appropriately

About RMIT University

As a global university of technology and design, RMIT University is one of Australia’s leading educational institutions, enjoying an international reputation for excellence in work-relevant education.

RMIT employs almost 4,000 people and has 74,000 students studying at its three Melbourne campuses and in its Vietnam campuses. The university also has strong links with partner institutions which deliver RMIT award programmes in Singapore, Hong Kong, mainland China, and Malaysia, as well as research and industry partnerships on every continent.

RMIT has a broad technology footprint, counting its website and student portal as mission-critical applications essential to the day-to-day running of the university.


Higher Education

Primary applications

  • SAP Financials
  • PeopleSoft Student Administration

Primary software

  • HP LoadRunner software
  • HP Quality Center
  • HP QuickTest Professional software

Selecting an industry standard

A long-term user of HP software including HP Quality Center, HP QuickTest Professional and HP Business Availability Center, RMIT chose HP LoadRunner software, as its performance validation platform.

“HP LoadRunner is the industry standard for performance testing,” explains Tim. “It was a natural choice for RMIT, due to its functionality and integration capabilities as well as our investment in other HP software.”

Predicting system behaviour

In seeking to prevent future student portal performance problems, RMIT had identified a number of potential solutions.

Tim explains, “Due to the complex nature of our student portal, it was unclear which solution design would provide the best performing architecture. HP LoadRunner was used to obtain an accurate picture of end-to-end system performance by emulating the types of loads we receive on result days. We tested all the options. Our objective was to handle the loads and satisfy 100 percent of our students’ results queries in under five seconds.”

Emulating loads

By leveraging the experience of JDS, HP LoadRunner was used to emulate peak loads of 20,000+ student logins per hour, which is more than six times the average loads experienced on non-results days. “The data from our tests revealed that we needed our student portal platform to have the ability to scale considerably, to handle traffic up to six times the usual volume on result days,” explains Tim. “As we drove loads against the various design options, we also captured end-user response times.

“Based on this, we selected the design solution that had the best performance. There were several options to choose from with some going through a portal which put unnecessary load on the system. The brand new application chosen is called MyResults, which, during testing, met our performance objective and delivered response times in less than two seconds.”

The JDS account manager for the case says, “As well as testing the performance of the various design solutions, optimisation opportunities were identified that enabled the student portal to be scaled more appropriately. Using HP LoadRunner, JDS consultants identified bottlenecks in the application and platform. By working with RMIT, they were able to direct efforts to remediate the problems prior to going live.”

Successful go-live drives student satisfaction

While MyResults is a simple application that delivers results, its structure is quite complex as it receives inputs from various databases. Ensuring it would perform as intended on results day was key.
Tim says, “By using HP LoadRunner, we significantly decreased the risk of deploying an application that would not meet our performance requirements. On results day, MyResults proved an outstanding success. It handled the loads and spikes extremely well, consistently delivering results in timeframes sub-two seconds. This would not have happened if we had not validated performance beforehand.

“Our students certainly noticed the difference. We received a number of tweets praising the system’s performance. Many of our students couldn’t believe how quickly they obtained their results. Another great indication of our success was the low impact on our helpdesk. They didn’t receive complaints or issues regarding the system and that’s a big plus.”

Boosting reputation

As a result of deploying HP LoadRunner to validate the performance of MyResults, RMIT has realised considerable benefits. The institution has facilitated better decision-making as information is more readily available, and experienced operational efficiencies.

Tim says, “We are delighted with the outcomes of HP LoadRunner. First and foremost, we rectified poor performance issues to provide a results system that exceeded our own goals and those of our students. Thanks to the preparative measures we put in place, our system thrived and delivered 100 percent uptime. This enabled us to provide a high-quality student experience, which culminated in increased user satisfaction.

“Operationally, HP LoadRunner helped us to identify the most suitable option to improve our performance. It gave us confidence (prior to release) in MyResults’ ability and allowed us to make informed business decisions, which reduced our deployment risk. In addition, we saved money, because we were more efficient and did not experience any downtime. Plus, we were able to fix issues in development which is always a cheaper option, and we saved considerable time during testing by having the ability to re-use and repeat tests."

Business Benefits

  • The university's reputation was boosted by providing students with reliable and fast access to results—students tweeted their satisfaction.
  • Money was saved through having zero downtime and the ability to fix issues early.
  • RMIT could make informed decisions and reduce the risk of deploying poor quality applications.
  • University and student confidence in IT systems was improved.

Next steps

HP LoadRunner will continue to play a key role as the performance validation backbone of MyResults. Tim believes RMIT is certainly up-to-date with testing technology with the HP Solutions it utilises, as well as adoption of a stringent testing methodology.

“Students are early adopters of technology. So it’s logical that our next big push is mobility and wireless applications. More and more, our students are accessing RMIT’s website using mobile devices and we need to make sure our applications are optimised accordingly. We want students to be able to log in from home and attend a lecture from their laptop or access their results from their mobile phones. HP LoadRunner will be used to ensure we can meet the wireless requirements of the university’s future.

“Looking at the big picture, HP LoadRunner is an essential component of RMIT’s technology footprint. It allows us to perform due diligence on our applications, make go live decisions with confidence and provide statistical information that is trusted and relied upon by the institution.

“Ultimately, HP LoadRunner gives me peace of mind that RMIT’s systems will work as intended and deliver the quality of service our students and staff expect.”