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Graybar Tracks Application Performance With Precise Tool

In late August, the IT group at Graybar was getting calls about slow performance from its users accessing the company's enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. So the IT team fired up an application performance management solution last week from Precise Software to determine the cause of the trouble.

Graybar is a $5 billion provider of components, equipment and materials as well as supply chain management services for the electrical and telecommunications industries. Its core business processes run on a suite of SAP applications, including the SAP ERP Central Component version 6.0 (ECC 6), SAP Portal, as well as applications from SAP for human resources and supply chain management. The company is going live with SAP's customer relationship management (CRM) solution this month. Because Graybar's business depends on the SAP systems, it is critical to monitor and measure response times and other performance metrics, with the ability to map historical trends and also quickly identify the source of any trouble.

When the users experiencing the recent problems contacted Graybar's help desk, they couldn't pinpoint the problem, explains Joe Bobarsky, manager of SAP services for Graybar. So the help desk turned to Bobarsky's IT group. "The problem was somewhat puzzling. We didn't any see one indicator where there are problems, but we did see certain steps in the transactions where there might be problems," Bobarsky says.

Using Precise Software's Transaction Performance Management (TPM) for SAP production environments, the team is able to track business transactions across the SAP ECC 6 system to identify performance trends, troubleshoot and ultimately resolve the issues. Precise for SAP lets IT track performance of transactions by user, with the ability to drill down and measure response times for the past several days or even weeks.

"On SAP ECC 6, we are running a variety of transactions, and the users were claiming long 'hour-glassing' indicating wait times in the transaction. It could be the database time, a spinning processor time, it could be the network," Bobarsky says.

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