Business intelligence (BI) is a vital element of modern health provision and it has helped the UK National Health Service (NHS) make better-informed management decisions.
Today a new generation of analytics can help organizations make decisions in real time. CSC has applied this new capability to support the NHS’s complex application messaging using InterSystems DeepSee®. DeepSee is advanced technology that makes it possible to embed real-time analytics capabilities in transactional applications, and CSC is using it to gain invaluable insight into the messaging that is mission-critical to the efficient and effective running of the NHS.
- Real-time analytics
- Easy-to-use dashboards
- Seamless analytics for messaging
CSC is a global leader in providing technology-enabled business solutions and services. Headquartered in Falls Church Virginia, USA, CSC has approximately 93,000 employees and annual revenues of $15.5bn. For several years CSC has supplied a wide range of healthcare solutions and services to the English NHS, including next-generation hospital system Lorenzo; general practitioner, ambulance and community systems; digital imaging and other related services.
New Message-Handling Service creates a new support opportunity and challenge
It was clear to CSC from its key role supporting the English NHS that to guarantee patient care and safety, a robust Message-Handling Service (MHS) was needed. Furthermore, the new MHS needed to scale to an enterprise-class level of performance and management, with the capacity to process a large number of business- and systems-level messages per second. However, CSC already had proven technology on which it could rely.
In 2008 CSC selected InterSystems Ensemble®, a platform for the rapid integration and development of connectable applications, as the standard Trust Integration Engine (TIE) for integrating existing applications with its new solutions such as Lorenzo. CSC’s knowledge of Ensemble and experience working closely with InterSystems for several years gave CSC the confidence to build the new MHS using Ensemble.
The new CSC MHS is a great success, proving to be highly robust and reliable. It ensures the disparate NHS operational systems can exchange crucial patient and management information on which thousands of NHS staff and patients depend every hour of each day.
However, from a systems support perspective, the MHS also presented a significant new challenge.
Ian Core, Integration Tools Specialist at CSC, explains, “Our team supports several hundred concurrent front-line users on the system. If we are to address issues and keep the systems available, we must know about every unusual message event as quickly as possible.
“But we had a problem. How would we manage the sheer volume of complex messages at a systems level, which we knew over time would only grow even greater. We were not able to answer the question ‘what’s happening now’ to help us spot and facilitate proactive fixes, or even just to fix errors straight away.
“We knew we needed to understand the commonly occurring issues that needed to be fixed in the long term. In short, we needed an intelligent real-time view of the data passing through our systems. With that perspective, we could ensure we met our Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and could plan more effectively for future systems maintenance.”
A more intelligent view of message metrics
DeepSee helps us meet our SLAs more quickly, more effectively and with fewer resources. We can be more confident that we’re going to have a happy customer. Our management can rest assured that we are delivering results as promised.
Ian Core, Integration Tools Specialist
Again, CSC knew they may already have the answer. They decided to boost the information and resources available to its support team by implementing InterSystems DeepSee, which is embedded in InterSystems Ensemble.
“Using DeepSee really made a big difference,” says Core. “Alternative solutions we evaluated were capable of giving us information on message events; the difference with DeepSee is that it also provides valuable insight into metrics that we have implemented into the MHS. DeepSee enables us to do this flexibly and quickly. This means we can, in a timely manner, provide rich and revealing visual representations of our data. For example, not only can we see the time it takes our systems to receive a message and process it, but we can also look at message trends and identify specific message types that may be performing poorly at a particular time in the day. This has revealed patterns that otherwise would take a significant time to unearth.”
DeepSee provides all this information in an easy-to-use visual dashboard configured to meet CSC’s unique needs. As a result, Core and his team can now spot issues much more rapidly, and as they spend less time searching for answers when an issue occurs they can resolve each issue faster. In addition, because they have a more intelligent view of the overall message performance and behavior patterns, it is easier for them to identify long-term issues and plan maintenance work accordingly.
Delivering long-term business benefit through improved customer service
The dashboards we have built with the help of the InterSystems team work brilliantly. At one level we get a ‘macroscopic’ view that enables us to carry out a rapid check on the health of multiple systems; we can also drill down easily for a microscopic inspection at individual transaction level.
Ian Core, Integration Tools Specialist
For CSC the primary benefit of DeepSee is that it helps improve the quality of CSC’s customer support without creating an extra burden of work.
“DeepSee helps us meet our SLAs more quickly, more effectively and with fewer resources dedicated to reporting,” says Core. “We can be more confident that we’re going to have a satisfied customer. Our management can rest assured that we are delivering results as promised.”
For InterSystems, the work it has done with CSC is a vindication of the versatility of Ensemble and power of the embedded DeepSee active analytics technology. It is also testament to the cooperation and detailed work it undertakes with its partners to ensure they meet their commitment to the long-term success of the end user.
“The message-handling service carries such huge volumes that this project needed strong teamwork to ensure that DeepSee met CSC’s exact needs,” says Jonathan Selby, UK & Ireland Country Manager, InterSystems. “Ultimately, we are delighted that this project has enabled more intelligent support for systems vital to the everyday operation of the NHS.”
CSC is a global leader in providing technology-enabled business solutions and services. Its mission is to help businesses, governments and communities use technology to solve their toughest challenges.