How Centerity’s Unified BSM Platform Helped KPN Optimize Service Delivery

The Big Challenge

Meeting the challenge of IT monitoring in today’s dynamic data center environments is difficult in the best of circumstances. With new applications, infrastructure methods, and novel technologies being introduced constantly and with ever-increasing customer expectations, the task of optimizing server-centric delivery is daunting. Meeting these challenges cannot be completely addressed with traditional monitoring tools that are typically creating silos of partial data with little actionable intelligence. What is needed is a comprehensive business service assurance monitoring platform that can provide consolidated, correlated, views across technical and functional domains.

Only then can a truly proactive business intelligence layer be laid across the entire environment to promote an application-centric and service-centric approach by managed service providers (MSPs). This case study shows how KPN, a leading MSP of the Netherlands, evolved from an event-driven service provider to a proactive organization focused on improving customer satisfaction and achieving the highest Net Promoter Score (NPS) possible.

The Big Picture

KPN is the largest telecommunications and IT services company in the Netherlands providing cloud, managed, and hosted services to the Netherlands and Europe. KPN’s cloud services practice is the fastest growing in Europe, operating six data centers managing over 15,000 servers. It has approximately 100 enterprise customers with specialized teams focused on these and over 1,000 mid-size customers. These customers come from all verticals including banking, transportation, finance, construction, government, oil&gas, and healthcare.

Per Diederik Althof, KPN Project Manager of ZMOPS (Corporate Market Operations):

KPN is responsible for running the critical infrastructure of the Netherlands and if not run smoothly, “bridges don’t open, airplanes don’t take off and payments are not processed.”

KPN is expecting exponential growth over the next 3 years. KPN was using a wide variety of monitoring tools, ranging from open-source (Nagios, Zabbix) to commercial tools such as Microsoft SCOM, SolarWinds, Oracle Enterprise Manager, and CA Unified InfraInfrastructure Management. It also had many internal and external departments with different areas of expertise all needing to be involved in server delivery. Due to the many specialized monitoring tools involved, silos of data arose that isolated technology domains, creating complexity in service delivery. This multi-tool approach also made it difficult to achieve comprehensive and systemic automation, management, and reporting.

What KPN needed to do was rationalize its monitoring capabilities and consolidate this massive amount of data into a single, unified, IT monitoring platform with multi-tenancy support. KPN wanted to deliver more business value to its customers and differentiate its services by offering greater service transparency. Ultimately, they needed to move from being event-driven (i.e., fighting fires reactively) to proactively managing its service delivery.

The Big Search

KPN sought to standardize its entire IT monitoring capabilities via a single, unified platform to reduce operational complexity, MTTR, and OPEX. To achieve this, KPN established internal (company) business goals for the new platform to:

  • Reduce downtime and MTTR;
  • Promote proactivity and automation;
  • Introduce greater operational controls;
  • Create visibility into real-time service levels;
  • Provide the basis of improving its overall Net Promoter Score (NPS) with its customers.


NPS is a management tool that can be used to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty between the provider and a customer based on how likely that customer would be to recommend the provider to a colleague. CORRESPONDINGLY, KPN ESTABLISHED EXTERNAL (CUSTOMER) GOALS FOR THE NEW PLATFORM TO:

  • Provide greater transparency of deliverables;
  • Create more business value;
  • Provide more business analytics and intelligence;
  • Provide direct access to performance metrics and service levels to customers via executive dashboards and advanced reports.

In terms of technical requirements, KPN wanted to:

  1. Standardize on a single, unified platform to rationalize its tools and normalize its data;
  2. Institute Business Service Management (BSM) facilities to break down technical and organizational silos and create a service-centric unit;
  3. Provide proactive actions and automation with real-time statuses, business process views and smart alerts;
  4. Create governance standards by reducing the multiple toolsets and replacing these with one manageable platform;
  5. Provide visibility to the entire environment (physical, virtual, application and cloud) regardless of location (remote, collocated, cloud, SaaS or on-prem) via a single pane of glass.

Through Centerity’s business partner, 4CriticalIT, KPN conducted multiple POCs in a variety of environments in different customer verticals. The goal of these POCs was to test Centerity’s BSM implementation for completeness of coverage and Time-to-Value (TTV). KPN also tested Centerity’s ability to adapt and flexibility to accommodate new customer requirements, its extensibility to cover new and novel technologies and applications, its ability to scale and its automatic discovery and process automation features.

In Centerity’s initial POC, it was able to deploy its BSM solution and complete testing in only 4 days! The next handful of customer deployments had a similar outcome, convincing KPN that Centerity was the enterprise and carrier-class solution it needed as its core IT monitoring platform to deliver the superior TTV, TCO, and ROI it was seeking. Since these initial POCs, KPN has deployed Centerity for all of its clients in all of its data centers!

The Big Bang

Once Centerity was deployed over KPN’s 15,000 servers, 8,000 databases, and applications with over 200,000 services in place, an explosion of metrics and alerts were generated - many more than they expected. 
This occurred for a number of reasons: first, Centerity’s automatic discovery features were much better than existing tools in discovering devices and metrics in scope. Second, existing tools simply could not provide the device, application, and metric coverage of Centerity, thus, more elements and events were now being captured. Third, the events and metrics that Centerity was now providing represented filter and prioritize events and alerts and to transmit these to the right administrative groups and individuals for proper triaging. Also, through the use of Centerity’s best-practice templates, KPN was able to standardize and normalize Key Performance Metrics (KPIs) so that different technologies in the same domain (e.g., Windows OS versus Linux OS) could all be measured in the same way. These measurement templates represent the best practices of industry experts and the experts at KPN. 

Says Jaap Augustijn, KPN ZMOPS Project Leader:

While this Big Bang was surprising, at first, it was a much truer representation of the actual environment and status and is dramatically improving service quality across the board. The increase in events stimulated a quality impulse to maintaining KPN’s technical environment in a consistent way, creating a continual improvement incentive cycle with our teams.

The Big Results

Centerity proved to be easy to work with for an enterprise and carrier-class solution capable of creating business service views quickly while offering federated scalability and multi-tenanted operational efficiencies. Centerity was able to be deployed quickly and extend easily for superior TTV, TCO, and ROI. Through its adoption of Centerity, KPN achieved unprecedented visibility into its performance metrics, condition alerts, and service levels.

States Harry Franzen, of KPN’s ZMOPS Innovation Architect:

Through Centerity’s BSM capabilities, we are now able to gain insights into the status of our business processes and the impact of infrastructure on our critical applications. Centerity is now the single point of truth for the entire organization, providing one view of the entire stack so that everyone is working from the same baseline.

Says Jaap Augustijn, KPN ZMOPS Project Leader:

Centerity now provides KPN with full stack management. Before Centerity, we were not fully aware in an efficient way to view all application, services or elements and the impact of these on the business and the business value delivered to customers. After Centerity’s introduction, KPN has a service-oriented approach to managed and cloud services. Before Centerity, individual administrators only focused on their own technology layer. Now, due to the transparency offered by Centerity, people have better insights into performance, availability, continuity and capacity than before. This inspires employees to think more about the services and business value being delivered to customers and less about their individual domains in isolation. As soon as the first individuals saw the possibilities, they became ‘ambassadors’ for positive change.

One of the unexpected benefits Centerity delivered was its Configuration Management Data Base (CMDB), which has comprehensive automatic discovery features that enrich KPN’s own CMDB (ServiceNow). Centerity’s detailed information on hardware, software, and other technical properties are synchronized with ServiceNow, providing a far more complete picture of KPN’s environment.
Hypermap example

Centerity is even able to monitor ServiceNow and provide performance metrics on it in conjunction with other management platforms. With its ability to contribute capacity planning metrics and analytics, Centerity helped KPN to build a higher level of capacity planning. By introducing a capacity template in Centerity, capacity metrics are collected and sent to analytics and reporting tools such as Splunk. Automated capacity reports based on models and rules are generated for service managers who no longer need to create these manually.

Says Jaap Augustijn, KPN ZMOPS Project Leader:

This expanded use of Centerity integrated with SPLUNK is a new step on the path of automation and standardization.

The Big Future

BSM View

In order to implement these objectives and institute a program of continuous improvement, KPN established its “Fast Forward” Program with the objective of preparing the organization for same day delivery. From an organizational perspective, this means evolving from discrete departments responsible for a distinct technology domain to an integrated, service-centric, and customer-focused organization. From a technological perspective, tool rationalization, consolidation, and automation are key focus points. Centerity delivers on both these objectives.

Says Diederik Althof, KPN Project Manager of ZMOPS:

From the organizational perspective, the introduction of BSM breaks down organizational silos stimulating cooperation between departments and creating a sense of total service ownership due to the introduction of full-stack transparency. 

From the technological perspective, BSM and the replacement of existing domain-specific tools facilitate predictive, trend, impact, and root cause analysis across all domains providing the automation and service level views needed for the application and service-centric delivery.

Continues Diederik Althof:

Centerity and its BSM Platform has helped KPN dramatically improve our Net Promoter Score, which we could not have doneotherwise.

Says Jaap Augustijn:
With Centerity, we can provide complete transparency to our customers on service levels and delivery and this transparency gives KPN a big advantage over our competition who can’t deliver this level of real-time clarity. Centerity’s unified platform will allow KPN to rapidly roll out new revenue services such as Big Data Layer Applications like SAP HANA, Hadoop, and NoSQL.

Says Diederik Althof:

With Centerity, we have simple, logical, and consistent views of services and what we are doing. Because of the transparency offered by end-to-end BSM, administrators feel part of the application service delivery, take ownership of the entire deliverable and feel part of the whole.

About Centerity

Centerity is a leading provider of an all-in-one enterprise-class IT and business service monitoring platform. While changing the rules of monitoring, Centerity enables IT organizations in various market segments to simplify all aspects of network management, information flow, and enhanced business performance. Centerity Monitor provides accurate measurements, drills down root cause analysis, and has real-time statistics including live network maps, graphs, and other advanced features. Centerity Monitor’ End-User Experience and Business Service Management allows for the high-level presentation of business processes and the delivery of high-quality services to end-users.

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