KIABI offers a quality shopping experience with AppDynamics

For more than 35 years, KIABI has made the latest trends in fashion accessible to all with a wide selection of quality clothing for the entire family at affordable prices. The company operates in Europe with over 450 shops and six retail sites online. In 2010, was also elected the favorite ecommerce fashion site among web surfers in France and Spain.

Challenge: Performance problems were difficult to diagnose and anticipate

As part of its cross-channel brand strategy, KIABI websites use a range of services to promote a quality shopping experience. These services were interconnected with many hosted systems—such as secure payment solutions and loyalty point programs—and it was important that page display time remained rapid and errors be identified and repaired as soon as possible.

"We had standard operating and unit supervision tools that didn’t allow us to have a global view of the entire application chain and quickly identify the faulty item. The diagnosis times were very long and it was difficult to anticipate some kinds of damage. We wanted our teams to spend less time on troubleshooting actions and focus on more proactive and qualitative tasks in terms of coding," said Bernard Théry, Chief Web Information Officer at KIABI. With new versions of the site going up every three months, KIABI wanted to be sure its IT resources were as efficient as possible.

Six months after the implementation of these solutions, we are already seeing significant gains at the operational level.

Right solution, right time

In Fall 2013, the AppDynamics France sales team visited the KIABI web IT department to propose a demonstration of its application performance management (APM) solution, oriented to production. The presentation was timely, since KIABI was beginning to consider ways of improving the productivity of its IT staff, particularly in terms of the identification and resolution of incidents.
KIABI web IT management was immediately impressed by the variety of back-end and front-end applications proposed by AppDynamics as well as the speed of implementation and ease-of-use. In addition, the AppDynamics tools were available in SaaS mode, unlike other legacy products on the market.
AppDynamics offered to perform a proof of value (POV), to ensure that its Application Intelligence Platform was a good fit for KIABI. The POV was conducted on the Spanish website,, during a high traffic sales period, which took place in January 2014. The web IT team was able to test two key modules offered by AppDynamics under production conditions, in order to explore the main features and ease of handling as well as analyze the indicators provided by the tool.

In parallel, AppDynamics worked on an ROI study with KIABI. An internal audit was conducted with technical and business teams including marketing, commercial operations and customer relations to collect metrics to develop plans for increased profits. It was clear from this study that the AppDynamics tool could reduce the time spent on troubleshooting by 50% within 6 to 9 months after the implementation of the solution.

"At the end of this POV, which was more than convincing, we decided to implement AppDynamics solutions on the French site in the month of February," said Théry.

At the end of this POV, which was more than convincing, we decided to implement AppDynamics solutions on the French site.

Java APM solutions were deployed for monitoring application servers, and Browser Real User Monitoring (RUM) was put in place to monitor the browser behavior on the user-side of the site. [C1]

The AppDynamics Application Intelligence Platform utilizes a dynamic approach to performance management, learning and adjusting to trends. After a phase of collecting metrics, these adaptive tools set dynamic thresholds that make it easier to spot outliers. For example, a warning system could be programmed to alert of heap saturation in the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), slower web page response times, or degradation of call times for certain services such as the payments or package delivery tracking  KIABI programmed alerts in servers and application layers, taking care that the metrics monitored had a direct impact on improving the business.

On track to cut diagnosis time in half

"Six months after the implementation of these solutions, we are already seeing significant gains at the operational level. At each start of production of a new version of the site, the Build and Run teams are much more proactive when it comes to the behavior of applications. The time spent on diagnosing problems has decreased considerably, and the indicators provided by AppDynamics have already improved the display time of the main pages of the site," said Théry.

According to the ROI study, the goal to cut diagnosis time in half should be reached in the Fall of 2014.