“We vetted the heck out of Netreo. We received glowing references from several Netreo customers, and we physically visited one large deployment. We also did a proof of concept before we signed on the dotted line. As soon as we knew it was the right solution for us, we went all in.”
Weyco Group, Inc., designs and markets quality and innovative footwear for men, women, and children under a portfolio of globally recognized brand names, including Florsheim, Nunn Bush, Stacy Adams, BOGS, Rafters, Umi, and others.
Weyco and Florsheim were founded in the late 1800s as traditional shoemakers. Online commerce emerged over the past decade to play a major role in the company’s sales success, and Weyco turned to Netreo to ensure their IT infrastructure could keep pace with customer demands and expectations, especially the emerging technology to power their digital commerce properties.
Weyco operates more than 15 commerce sites. Jason Russ, Weyco’s Technical Group Leader for Information Systems, said, “We use the full complement of Netreo tools to monitor our websites. If there is a problem, we reach out to Netreo and leverage the power of Netreo to tackle the problem together.”
Weyco first implemented Netreo in October 2015 to monitor its IT system health, subscribing to Netreo’s managed services. After three months, the implementation proved sufficiently successful and allowed them to scale back direct support from Netreo and manage everything internally. Weyco currently utilizes Netreo to monitor 150 devices, including 50 servers in North America, focusing on infrastructure, web applications, connectivity to remote sites, telephony, and email.
One specific function that Netreo provides Weyco is web traffic flow monitoring, a critical element within their existing and future online commerce operations.
“We need to keep an eye on each brand’s traffic at all times,” Russ said. “Let’s say there’s a big promo, and the brand website is seeing heavy use. So, what is the real impact on that? How much bandwidth is that server getting? How does it compare to the last time we ran a similar sale? We will be able to use that information to make strategic management decisions. Or, if there’s a problem, it will help us track it down and quickly get it fixed.”
Before implementing Netreo, Weyco was limited to indirect performance observation. They could see that CPU utilization was up but, with Netreo, they can now watch traffic in real time, as it hits each separate website.
Netreo uses a multi-tiered web application response time monitoring architecture to continuously watch web page load times and content delivery from both the local, Weyco perspective, and a global network of secure, cloud-based, web-checking systems. By running these checks, Weyco is able to simulate and track the quality of the actual, real-time customer experience, worldwide.
“Making changes to a website layout or adding new images can sometimes affect load times for our customers overseas,” Russ said. “Since Netreo is remotely checking our sites from different points around the world, we can see what performance effects there might be, if any, for customers at various locations.”
Many other performance components are monitored too, including link verification and shopping cart checkout validation. As pages change, new images are added, or sales promotions are executed that cause bursts of traffic, response is tracked and reported.
“Since we maintain all of the web server and web application infrastructure in-house, we need to know that everything is working the way it is designed to operate, 24x7x365. That is what Netreo does for us, by monitoring servers, CPUs, storage, routers, switches, and memory,” Russ said.
As its experience with Netreo becomes richer every month, Weyco is collecting valuable data for use and analysis down the road.
“Our vice president of IT, George Sotiros, can report to our board of directors that we have 100% uptime, and we can prove it,” Russ said. “And, we can show how different parts of the business are growing. We know that our commerce websites have twice as much traffic as last year, and this is how we can justify increasing their capacity. We are certainly using the trending intelligence that Netreo provides, to our advantage.”
“Netreo saves us a lot of time and frees our IT staff to focus on productive activities,” Russ said. “Imagine you had to go to every one of our websites every day, and check disk usage, the status of the log file, and all the little things that Netreo checks for you automatically.”
Russ says that another important aspect of Netreo is the system’s ability to notify the IT department about trends and levels in system performance that they would not know about unless someone reported experiencing a problem.
“Netreo gives us a heads-up if something is getting quirky, even though it’s not affecting anything yet. If an issue arises, we can also figure out what is happening and remedy the problem before people even sense that anything is wrong. Weyco is pleased with the historical trend data that web traffic flow monitoring provides to assist them with their technology investments and strategies.”
Footwear design, manufacturing, distribution, and web commerce
Corporate headquarters and distribution center in Milwaukee WI, plus other sites in Portland OR, Montreal Quebec, and Melbourne Australia
By the time an e-commerce customer reports a problem, it’s already too late. The legendary Weyco Group needed 150 network-connected devices, commerces sites, servers, web applications, connectivity to remote sites, telephony, and email all monitored under a single application, Netreo was there preemptively keep websites up and shopping carts full.Applications