Improved performance for 30+ cloud-based applications through real-time monitoring
Optimized observability across billions of transactions
Reduced MTTR, cutting scan times from days to hours
Vodafone’s new digital retail platform creates a rich, data-driven experience for customers. To deliver continuous application availability and performance, Vodafone worked with Cisco to gain full visibility into the platform across a multi-cloud environment.
“Cloud Native Application Observability is our Rosetta Stone, helping us to translate and build our applications in this new cloud environment while maintaining the high standard of service that defines our business."
Streamline application development and deliver uninterrupted access to customer and back-office applications in a multi-cloud environment spanning AWS, Google, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud solutions.
Cisco AppDynamics provides a centralized view into application performance throughout Vodafone’s extensive cloud ecosystem, empowering teams to optimize performance for customers and developers across the environment.
Vodafone established centralized, real-time monitoring for 30 customer-facing applications and resolved performance issues identified in billions of transactions on the road to launching its successful retail platform.
“A KPI is just a number, but with AppDynamics you also get the context and history of that number so you can understand the moving parts behind it. That’s what makes the solution so valuable. You can treat problems at the source, not just manage its symptoms on the front end.”
Head of IT Operations Italy, Vodafone
A market leader with many moving pieces
With millions of mobile customers, Vodafone Italia knows all about connecting people. It also knows how to manage a large network of technologies and services so that those people get the best experience possible.
That commitment to understanding customers and their needs also extends across Vodafone’s IT infrastructure, from its databases to its servers, to its business applications. Gaining visibility across the technology stack has become a top priority for the business as it manages a complex mix of applications and infrastructure in a hybrid cloud environment and looks to modernize its entire customer experience.
Even minor network glitches can have massive ramifications for Vodafone’s customers down the line, so the ability to spot and resolve these issues before they snowball into major problems is paramount. This is especially true during peak periods such as a new iPhone launch, when traffic on Vodafone’s website skyrockets, or ahead of internal deadlines like quarterly financial close, when the company’s billing system must perform at a high-level without failing.
“We run a large organization with many moving pieces, each of which has its own peaks and particularities,” says Head of IT Operations, Roberto Meo. “We need a centralized view of that ecosystem to deliver the highest standards of performance, reliability, and scalability for our customers, which is why we began looking for a tool to monitor that environment.”
Modernizing a multi-cloud environment
The telecommunications leader is now on a mission to improve its service quality, reduce downtime, and strengthen its application performance as part of a company-wide cloud migration. Indeed, the company has adopted a cloud-first focus across the board.
But with a complex multi-cloud environment to manage, which includes solutions from AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, its challenge is to maintain visibility and control over all these moving pieces.
In parallel, Vodafone continues to adopt a more data-driven approach to its customer experience, especially via its retail and web channels. The company is gradually migrating its consumer-facing services to a new digital marketplace and drawing on customers’ behavioral data to make their purchasing journeys feel more tailored and personalized.
“Every business person you meet says that customer experience is everything, but CX can also mean nothing if you treat it superficially,” says IT Operations Specialist, Enrico Croce. “To truly understand what customers are feeling, you need to look beyond their experience and focus on what the data tells you. That’s why we’ve taken a data-driven approach to our entire IT ecosystem, from the way we manage our databases to the way we monitor and refine our customer-facing applications.”
Drilling down into millions of IT transactions
Since beginning to use Cisco AppDynamics in 2018, Vodafone centralized application monitoring for more than 30 business applications. It also instrumented numerous databases and hundreds of servers across its IT network. The observability delivered by AppDynamics allows the business to identify performance issues in near real-time, which in turn means teams can drill down to the root cause of these challenges and address them quickly at the source.
“Not only does AppDynamics help us to manage performance issues more quickly proactively, it gives us the end-to-end visibility we need to prioritize our performance needs,” says Croce. Vodafone has used Cisco AppDynamics to analyze billions of business transactions and millions of browser sessions since going live with the solution, helping it to identify and resolve issues with any problematic transactions.
The hours Vodafone saved in its application monitoring translated to major improvements to its customer experience. In addition, the insights it gained via Cisco AppDynamics give the business firmer ground to stand on with its IT vendors. If a performance issue appears in one of its third-party software solutions, Vodafone can easily pinpoint its cause and work with the vendor to address it.
“Not only does AppDynamics help us to manage performance issues more quickly proactively, it gives us the end-to-end visibility we need to prioritize our performance need.”
IT Operations Specialist,
A common view of cloud development and deployments
As Vodafone started to migrate its applications to the cloud, they were looking at Cisco to help them along this journey and provide them the path to full-stack observability. Cisco provided Vodafone with Cloud Native Application Observability to monitor its databases, servers, and applications as the team takes a more cloud-native approach. It has begun to shift its sales and marketing services onto a cloud-based CRM system, with Cisco helping to transition and monitor the software’s performance in the new environment with Cloud Native Application Observability.
“Cloud is a core strategic investment for our business, promising new levels of scalability, innovation and cost-savings while opening up new ways to develop and bring services to market,” says Croce. “Cloud Native Application Observability is our Rosetta Stone, helping us to translate and migrate our applications to this new environment while maintaining the high standard of service that defines our business.”
The goal for Vodafone is to aggregate all the data from its various cloud solutions into a common view, gaining visibility of all its applications and cloud deployments in a single location. The team is working closely with Cisco Professional Services to achieve full-stack observability.
“Cisco Professional Services are pros at application monitoring and business transformation. The level of insight and guidance they provide surpassed our expectations at every turn, giving us the confidence that our cloud transformation is in good hands,” says Meo.
A central console to govern application performance
Vodafone continues to gain more visibility and control over its operations as it instruments new applications, servers, and databases with Cisco. The granular performance improvements it makes to its IT each day add up quickly, leading to major improvements in the speed and cost of its operations, and to the quality of its customer experience. “Working with Cisco is like having one big console from which you can control every key element of your operations,” says Meo.
“A KPI is just a number, but with Cisco Full-Stack Observability you also get the context and history of that number so you can understand the moving parts behind it,” says Meo. “That’s what makes the solution so valuable. You can treat problems at the source, not just manage its symptoms on the front end.”
"It’s amazing how smoothly a business runs when everyone has access to the same detailed information.”
IT Operations Specialist,
Driving adoption and cultural change
Vodafone’s transformation is more than a technology story. The company has undergone a complete cultural shift, empowering its employees to take advantage of its cloud-based applications and services to improve the way they work each day.
Employee training is a major driver of this cultural shift, helping to boost Cloud Native Application Observability adoption by 40% since Vodafone first began using the solution. This figure is not just testament to the improvements Vodafone has seen in its application performance and operations since going live with AppDynamics, it is also proof point for the value of the full-stack observability that Cisco delivers in a large and multi-faceted IT organization.
“It’s amazing how smoothly a business runs when everyone has access to the same detailed information,” says Croce. “Teams speak the same language, align their priorities, and collaborate in ways that yield surprising positive outcomes for their customers, their teams, and Vodafone as a whole.”
Vodafone is the largest pan-European and African telecoms company. Our purpose is to connect for a better future by using technology to improve lives, digitalise critical sectors and enable inclusive and sustainable digital societies.
We provide mobile and fixed services to over 300 million customers in 17 countries, partner with mobile networks in 46 more and are also a world leader in the Internet of Things (IoT), connecting over 160 million devices and platforms. With Vodacom Financial Services and M-Pesa, we have the largest financial technology platform in Africa, serving more than 56 million people across six countries.
We are committed to reducing our environmental impact to reach net zero emissions by 2040, while helping our customers reduce their own carbon emissions by 350 million tonnes by 2030. We are driving action to reduce device waste and achieve our target to reuse, resell or recycle 100% of our network waste.
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