Norgine is a leading European specialist pharmaceutical company with over 110 years of expertise and a presence in all major European markets.
Monitoring Users Accessing TM1 Through Workflow
Norgine uses TM1 for financial planning, users have a choice of several different ways of inputting data. All TM1 users must use the TM1 Workflow application to gain input access to their planning cost centres and the TM1 Workflow manages their access.
Once users have write access enabled by the workflow they are then able to input data using either the workflow, Perspectives directly in the cube, using a Perspectives workbook or logging on to TM1 Web.
Norgine would like to have information as to how its users are using TM1 which ever method is used.
Pulse has standard functionality which will give reports showing a great amount of deal as to the actions of users in TM1 workbooks and also when using TM1 web.
With Pulse, we are able to understand performance issues, whether they are real or due to unrealistic expectations of users who are running workbooks which are 30 GB plus.
Being able to see the use or lack of use of a cube enables us to understand better our users needs. If we have excessively large workbooks which should really be a database and Excel should not be used, we know that we are either not fulfilling our users’ needs or there is a lack of understanding as to how to use what is built. Similarly if cubes are unused then we are able to find out why and either make improvements or provide training.
Business Challenge Story
When we first looked at Pulse and took a trial we were very impressed with the amount of user information that was available to us, but there was a gap. We could see when on perspectives which workbooks were being used. When using the TM1 Workflow however we could not see users movements which meant that we had a large gap in information. The TM1 Workflow did not access TM1 web in the same way as it did when users logged onto the Web directly. This usage was not able to be picked up by Pulse.
Following our trial Cubewise worked with Norgine to enable this functionality which is now part of the new release. This was very successful and we have found this extra information very valuable.
Monitoring Disk Space & Memory
As with many businesses Norgine wants to reduce user downtime and provide the best user experience possible with TM1. For TM1 to work properly there must be adequate disk space for TM1 to be able to write new information and log changes, as well as memory available for users to make calculations. Where a server runs out of disk space TM1 will fail. To monitor this the administrator needs to either check in several places using the task manager and Windows Explorer.
With the alerts functionality in Pulse, we are able to set alerts that are suitable for your TM1 setup which can email users, TM1 administrators or IT teams as appropriate. Norgine is able to choose the levels at which an alert should be sent and these can be different on development, validation and production. The frequency of the alert can be chosen so that the more business critical alerts can be set for every 5 mins for example or once an hour if we would like an alert but would not need to act urgently. Each alert can be configured separately so that particular alerts are not sent at weekend and evening so that they are only sent during office alerts.
With Pulse we do not need to actively monitor disk and memory space we are informed by email when it is a problem. We find Pulse reliable and this saves us time as we only need to look at it when our tolerance is reached and before it becomes a problem.
Business Challenge Story
Before Pulse, we wrote a VBA macro to collect disk space from the servers that we are monitoring this was helpful but it needed to be run and if we were busy this could be overlooked. We ran out of space during a development phase and since TM1 could no longer write to the server the service stopped. This also happened once on the live server when a mistake was made with backup locations and too much data was saved on the live server. Luckily when this happened an administrator noticed quickly and the situation was speedily rectified. This would have caused a real problem if this had happened over a weekend or evening when Quarterly forecasts were due in and users were trying to work out of hours to hit a deadline.
With Pulse, administrators can get alerts to this type of issue to their personal as well as work email and can respond quickly to rectify the situation before users are affected rather than afterwards.