Transaction Junction – A Story About APM & Service Delivery

logo tj rgb xlI would like to share a case study on how Transaction Junction improved operational efficiency, service delivery, and the end customer experience.

Transaction Junction is a subsidiary of one of the largest providers of prepaid air time in the world – Blue Label Telecoms Limited (JSE:BLU). Providing end-to-end transaction management solutions within South Africa, India and Mexico, their processing business is divided between electronic funds transfer (EFT) and value added services (VAS). They are also a recent adopter of transaction-centric application performance management (APM). Here’s why:

Transaction Junction’s VAS side of the business is growing – fast.  The number of critical transactions linked to private label loyalty cards, closed loop credit cards, lotto ticketing, bill payment, prepaid electricity and prepaid mobile air time now account for more than half their processing business.  This means customers such as the RCS Group, SPAR Group, National Lottery, Capitec Bank, Spark ATM Systems, TOTAL South Africa Petroleum, ShoeCity, Jumbo Cash & Carry, Woolworths, Franco Cecatto and Queue Shoes are seeing an increasing amount of revenues attributed to these product sales.

If a supplier connection or service application fails, it results in a direct revenue loss and a very dissatisfied consumer. As a result, Transaction Junction has had to adopt ways to monitor the performance and availability of their expanding service suppliers and applications. Choosing a network-based solution, they were able to have transaction-centric application performance monitoring software installed and running within their data centers in less than a week. The APM software has enabled IT operations, application support and help desk teams to analyze real-time transaction performance by customers and authorization hosts, and to share common visibility into performance issues that are affecting customer service delivery.

Transaction Junction also adopted real-time alerting capabilities as a part of its daily operational process. These real-time alerts contain relevant response codes and timing information that quickly indicate what type of event is degrading the customer experience, the severity of the issue, and who is responsible for it. Alerts are also configured around specific elements contained in the application message, and include warnings of authorization host or switch connection time outs, message format errors, data base errors, network availability issues, cryptographic errors, and supplier offline or product not available scenarios – information that previously took hours of manual labour time, multiple tools and endless finger pointing exercises to access and piece together.

With the adoption of transaction-centric application performance monitoring, Transaction Junction gained an operational view that reflected what the consumer was experiencing.  As Neal Bresler, Operations and Security Manager at Transaction Junction summed up,

“The primary driver for the implementation of INETCO Insight was to provide an operational view of our transactional environment that reflected the customer’s experience.  This is particularly true when system performance degrades as opposed to complete system failures. INETCO Insight allows us to easily adjust our view and sensitivity to proactively detect the onset of system degradation.”

Some of the key features resulting in significant efficiency gains, proactive troubleshooting and improved service delivery include:

  • Automatic linkage of an alert to the individual transactions that triggered it
  • Customizable alerts that proactively detect the onset of system degradation
  • Real-time correlation of hop-by-hop response timings, network TCP acknowledgement metrics and application message information for each transaction to speed up troubleshooting
  • A lightweight deployment model – no agents, extra traffic load or code changes

To learn more about the actual business/technical requirements and the business impact Transaction Junction was able to make by adopting a transaction-centric approach to their application performance management.