HP Application Lifecycle Management | IT case study | The

HP Application Lifecycle Management | IT case study | The
Australian Red Cross Blood Service
enhances the performance of its
mission-critical applications
“Thanks to HP and JDS, we’ve realised the full advantages of adopting
a lifecycle management approach to managing our applications – from
pre-production through to go-live and retirement. We’ve mitigated risks,
ensured quality and delivered more responsive, stable services to support
our users and ultimately deliver on the objective to improve the lives
of patients.”
—Wayne Bolton, Manager of Applications and Integration Services,
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service
HP customer
case study
Combining
Application
Lifecycle
Management
best practices
and Application
Performance
Management to
support delivery of
vital blood products
to the Australian
healthcare system
Industry
Health
Objective
Drive improvements in the quality, performance
and availability of business critical services
Approach
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
Business benefits
• Improve ability to meet regulatory audits
by access to validation data in hours rather than
days or weeks
• Achieved availability of 99.8 per cent 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
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.
“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.
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.
2
“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.
Dave Melgaard, JDS Account Manager, 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 per cent 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.
3
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.”
Melgaard 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 .”
4
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 per cent 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”
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.
Customer solution
at a glance
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
For more information
To read more about HP Application Lifecycle Management,
go to hp.com/go/alm
Get connected
hp.com/go/getconnected
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© Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice.
The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and
services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors
or omissions contained herein.
Microsoft and Windows are U.S. registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.
Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle and/or its affiliates.
4AA4-2309EEW, Created July 2012
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