The BVA Family subsidiary Hubicus secures its service level thanks to observability 
To satisfy its 120 customers and 60,000 users of its #HQM solution, Hubicus needs to monitor its real-time operations, from infrastructure to code.
A developer writes code for programs

Hubicus helps firms to gauge the quality of their customer relations, via consulting and a dedicated SaaS solution, which is used daily by 60,000 agents, who expect strict respect of the SLA. IBM Observability by Instana contributes to rapid detection of any incident affecting the #HQM solution.

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Challenge

Quality customer relations are a key performance factor for businesses. For over 15 years, The BVA Family subsidiary Hubicus has helped professionals to gauge the quality of their customer relations and implement action plans enabling them to improve them. In addition to consulting activity, Hubicus proposes a SaaS tool allowing automation of the customer interaction quality analysis process: Hubicus Quality Monitoring, #HQM.

In order to support the growth in the number of users of the #HQM solution, the teams at Hubicus have switched from a single-server approach to a scalable architecture, with an application broken down into different services deployable on multiple virtual machines. The company initially used its own virtualised servers, before switching to a hyperscale offering.

“Traditional monitoring solutions, such as logs, became insufficient when we moved from a monolithic architecture to a cloud-based micro-service offering,” notes Pierre-Henry Langlois, Technical Director at Hubicus. “Our SaaS solution is based on a set of technologies which each have their own role… and therefore specific failure possibilities. In order to respect our service commitments towards #HQM solution users and improve the overall quality of their experience, we needed to implement a more elaborate solution for monitoring performance of these different building blocks”.

The number of entry points proposed by the solution makes this a complex issue. This functional and architectural complexity makes it difficult to identify the reasons for a problem: when a phone call is not traced back in #HQM or analyses are not fed down to the client’s BI, is it linked to the solution, the connector or one of the tools on the client’s IS?

Results 60,000 Number of active users of the #HQM solution 

Every day, the #HQM solution analyses the client interactions of more than 60,000 agents.

230   Number of containers monitored by IBM Observability by Instana  

The #HQM solution is based on 230 containers spread over 11 worker nodes.

We need a sophisticated, easy-to-implement monitoring solution giving us a both global and detailed view of our cloud infrastructures. Pierre-Henry Langlois Technical Director Hubicus
Transformation: A solution adapted to cloud application monitoring

“Initially, we wanted to focus on open-source solutions,” underlines Pierre-Henry Langlois, Technical Director at Hubicus. “However, the monitoring solution deployed at the time proved to be complex to maintain. When we switched to a hyperscale offering, it gave us a turn-key monitoring solution While it meant that we no longer had to maintain our own application, several features were missing and assembling certain KPIs was still expensive”.

Hubicus examined the offers available on the market before choosing the IBM Observability by Instana solution. Three key factors convinced the company: the ease of installation and use of the solution; a clear pricing model enabling projection of licensing costs; the relevance of information reported with the ability to go very deep down into the information system, right to the line of code that caused an error.

In late 2021, Hubicus drew on the trial period for the IBM solution to launch a POC. “We carried out this POC completely independently. We were able to install the solution in a matter of hours. A technical pre-sales representative from IBM then accompanied us throughout our project, who was a real expert, very available and able to mobilise the IBM teams when we encountered problems during the solution’s implementation phase”.

Following contractualisation, IBM Observability by Instana was quickly put into operation. Today, it monitors the #HQM solution production environment, which represents 230 containers, spread over 11 worker nodes. Certain client interconnections are also monitored, in order to detect possible instabilities that could impact the production of #HQM users.

IBM Observability by Instana is used by three categories:

•   The management, who take advantage of the overview provided by IBM Observability by Instana to monitor crucial KPIs, such as the evolution of the #HQM application SLA.

•   Operational staff (Ops), who check if the application is deployed correctly on the infrastructures and are able to issue alerts before a problem occurs.

•   Developers (Devs), who draw on very detailed analysis provided by IBM Observability by Instana in order to detect, reproduce and resolve bugs as quickly as possible.

Beyond that, it is the #HQM solution users who benefit: from a stable and efficient platform as well as from immediate responsiveness from the teams in case of an incident.

 
Right from the POC, we were immediately convinced. Within a few hours, the solution was deployed and already providing useful, even unprecedented, information on the problems encountered Pierre-Henry Langlois Technical Director Hubicus
Results: Faster problem detection and resolution

Implementation resulted in a transformation within the IT teams at Hubicus, as confirmed by Pierre-Henry Langlois, the company’s Technical Director: “Thanks to this solution, the operational teams are able to provide more relevant information to developers. The developers feel better supported and guided in their bug resolution work. IBM Observability by Instana removes many of the uncertainties about the issues we may encounter in production. It gives the teams serenity”.

IBM Observability by Instana enables problems to be identified and understood when they occur, but also to assess their scope and impact, all upstream of the technical and functional analysis phase of the bug. The solution also had an unexpected effect, showing itself capable of identifying problems arising from malfunctioning interconnections. “By unambiguously identifying the source of the problem, IBM Observability by Instana contributes to simplifying relations with our partners”.

Currently, the solution is only deployed on the #HQM production environment. However, Hubicus is also considering using it in its pre-production environment (staging), as well as in acceptance testing. “IBM Observability by Instana allows us to identify the small elements that have managed to slip through the cracks of our quality process. I am convinced that by installing it on systems upstream of production, we could further tighten the net and identify certain bugs earlier”.

Hubicus is also considering deploying the front-end monitoring building block, so that incidents can be viewed by page, rather than by API. Finally, the IBM Observability by Instana profiling functions could be used in load testing, to check the impact of a change on the overall performance of the application.

  
About Hubicus

A wholly owned subsidiary of The BVA Family, Hubicus is the European leader in customer experience management. The company provides a SaaS-based solution allowing businesses to assess the quality of their customer interactions. In late 2021, Hubicus became a company with a mission, with the aim of becoming a player “in the positive transformation of society”.