Waitrose to cut IT costs with performance management system

WaitroseDeliver, the online home delivery division of the supermarket chain, expects to cut IT costs with a new performance management system.

The Transaction Performance Monitoring technology, from supplier Precise, is being used to monitor the performance of the company’s network, hardware and applications.

Using the technology, Waitrose can identify "under-performing" SQL statements in its IBM Websphere Commerce online sales system, and then specify areas for performance improvement rather than completely replace existing IT assets.

It also highlights other areas for improvement, such as reducing the processing power needed, and uses the system to aid with server capacity planning.

The system was selected, after a strategic review concluded that the grocer would need to increase server capacity by up to 40 percent to cope with an increase in online traffic during Christmas for the delivery service. During the Christmas rush, there can be up to 50,000 simultaneous hits on its individual web pages.

Waitrose hopes the new Precise system will enable it to improve IT performance “without massive cost increases” from large technology refreshes.

Bharat Chavda, IT project leader, said performance had been “drastically” improved without needing to change large swathes of technology.

The supermarket offers home delivery from half of its 206 stores, with customers ordering online. As well as the IBM e-commerce system, it uses the IBM Websphere MQ messaging middleware, and runs an IBM DB2 database management platform.

Separately, Waitrose uses Oracle HR and payroll systems. Its servers are Microsoft Windows Server based.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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