Sato: Ensuring high-performance digital services for customers and employees
Sato provides rental housing and related services throughout Finland, with offices in Helsinki, Tampere, and Turku, as well as in St. Petersburg, Russia. Sato’s website is an important vector of services and communication, in addition to on-site customer care and its call center.
Speed up digital services to improve user experience
Last year, the company defined strategic focal points for development: improving customer relationships, developing and accelerating digital services, and innovating diverse housing concepts.
Sato’s commitment to ensuring digital performance and providing excellent customer experience is nothing new. Over the past seven years, Sato has set up and expanded application performance monitoring (APM) with ip-label to ensure the quality of the digital services it provides to customers on its website and to staff at the various Sato offices.
Real-time website monitoring with Datametrie
Sato’s website offers customers a search engine for finding available apartments, application forms for housing, maintenance requests, and more, including a wealth of practical information (about moving, regulations, barbecuing, annual report, etc.). It is therefore a business-critical tool for the company, and a resource which customers necessarily visit more than once.
This is why it is important for Sato to make sure that these digital services are available and performing well, at all times. In 2012, Sato set up website monitoring with ip-label’s Datametrie solution.
“Thanks to ip-label, we are able to commit to and respect user experience promises regarding response times and performance.” Juha Keskitalo, CIO
Website monitoring for Sato consists of three Datametrie monitors, each of which runs two automated transactions or ‘scenarios’ to test the front page at designated frequencies.
Datametrie measures how fast and well the web page and its items react to user transactions, and provides detailed diagnostics of problem spots.
This type of synthetic monitoring is straightforward to set up and provides alerts in real time, the moment a performance issue occurs. It operates around the clock to detect incidents proactively, allowing corrective action to be undertaken even before web visitors notice. This is an essential point for Sato with respect to its “customer first” focus.
Improving business application performance with Newtest
After website monitoring had been integrated into Sato’s digital culture, the company decided to take charge of internal complaints from branch offices about slow response times on business applications.
Consequently, Newtest robots from ip-label were set-up to objectively monitor application performance throughout Sato’s network. A Newtest robot was installed at headquarters in Helsinki, and another robot was installed at a different Sato office to cross-check complaints and identify the root cause of any slowness or performance problems.
Four of Sato’s business-critical applications are being monitored by Newtest: the CRM (MS Dynamics), the ERP system, the invoicing application and a SharePoint Online. Once proactive synthetic monitoring of business applications was set up, Sato’s IT team was able to see when and where malfunctions were occurring, and intervene quickly thanks to real-time alerting, thus improving business productivity.
The measurements provided by ip-label enable Sato to integrate end-user experience into service level agreements with IT service providers and internal stakeholders (business units). Furthermore, ip-label’s third-party monitoring provides an unbiased quality reference allowing Sato to challenge and negotiate with IT service providers with a view to optimizing digital services.
“ip-label provides us with an independent and objective performance view of availability and response times from the end-user perspective. Thanks to their “black alerts” we can confidently and proactively detect incidents and identify areas needing improvements to ensure we focus on satisfying our users and support the business,” explains Juha Keskitalo.
In addition to permanent monitoring, Sato previously called upon ip-label experts for a targeted monitoring audit. After testing, ip-label was able to point Sato’s IT teams in the right direction regarding a specific user case involving internal users of a public web portal. They were able to detect and resolve the problem, which turned out to be a hardware issue with the proxy server.
Mobile performance matters
Sato is currently concentrating on mobile users who now account for more than 50% of web visitors. A possible next step would be to expand monitoring services to cover mobile users and services to ensure that the full diversity of user cases is covered.
Sato is one of Finland’s leading lessors of rental apartments. As a provider of housing solutions and property developer, Sato is committed to sustainable urbanization and customer care. Its workforce of over 200 people is committed to Sato’s ‘customer-first’ philosophy.
At present Sato owns some 25,800 rental apartments, with an occupancy rate of over 97%, and continues to invest in additional construction projects to diversify its offering of housing solutions.