Speeding Up Problem
Resolution for Legal SaaS

CINgroup uses ThousandEyes to ensure
a superior digital experience for their
legal customers using their SaaS products.

About the Company

CINgroup® provides innovative software and due diligence solutions for attorneys and their clients. Serving customers nationwide, the CINgroup family includes Best Case® Bankruptcy, CINcompass®, CIN Legal Data Services® and myHorizon™ with locations in Dayton, Ohio, Evanston, Illinois and Denver, Colorado. As the leader in the bankruptcy market, they are dedicated to providing high-quality products with top-notch support.
Industry: Legal Software and Data Headquarters: Dayton, OH, USA Use Case: Digital Experience Management
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Simplifying Case Preparation with SaaS

The CINgroup provides software to prepare and file bankruptcies as well as credit reports specifically-developed for the bankruptcy attorney. Their software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution allows attorneys to easily collaborate across geographically distributed teams, and access the application from anywhere, including client sites and courtrooms. For their Bankruptcy Credit Reports, CINgroup compiles trade lines from the three major crediting-reporting bureaus and allows direct integration into its SaaS application, allowing attorneys to simplify the preparation process and gain valuable efficiencies by reducing data entry.

CINgroup

"The old approach took four to five times longer than with ThousandEyes.
Increasing our speed of troubleshooting means we can
get a response back to the client that much faster."

Justin Doles
Security Architect

The SaaS Revolution in Legal Analysis

The legal profession is a complex one, with teams of attorneys, paralegals, court clerks and clients collaborating over large volumes of documents from multiple locations. While in some cases it's unavoidable to plow through boxes full of printed documents, much of this is getting digitized, allowing attorneys to collaborate more easily from anywhere. Software as a Service (SaaS) applications sit at the center of this revolution, allowing streamlined collaboration, workflow management and remote access from anywhere the Internet can reach. Along with this, the big data revolution has made vast quantities of information available at their fingertips.

On the other side of the equation, clients are becoming more used to paperless transaction, with e-signatures and digital delivery becoming the norm. Government departments and courtrooms now widely accept electronic filings. All of this makes life easier for practitioners and clients, who now depend on a ubiquitous and consistent digital experience from anywhere.

Compliance Rules Create Service Delivery Challenges

CINgroup strives to make this digital experience as seamless and efficient for their clients as possible. However, delivering this seamless experience is no easy task. Being the bearers of sensitive personal data, they are subject to many compliance rules and regulations. They have multiple terabytes of data stored in two data centers that they built and manage themselves in order to ensure adequate data governance. They do not use a content delivery network to front-end their access for the same reason. All their clients connect directly to load-balancers in their data center. US map with response times
Figure 1: Network paths from multiple cities to CINgroup's data centers.

"Like other SaaS companies, we don't control all the external factors that can hit our user experience, but we still own the outcome. Our users associate their experience with our brand. We need to be able to provide answers and fast resolution to user experience issues, period."

Bob Tester
Enterprise Architect

Blindness in the Face of External Dependencies

CINgroup uses multiple ISP connections at their data centers to gain redundancy. Client traffic traverses external networks for most of its journey before it enters the CINgroup data centers. While traditional monitoring tools provide extensive oversight of the routers, switches, firewalls and other components inside their data center, before embracing ThousandEyes, CINgroup had no visibility into the networks outside their walls. When they received helpdesk calls from end-users about problems connecting to the service, they had a hard time understanding what in the users' service path may have been the problem. In the absence of hard evidence, blame ultimately fell on CINgroup.

"We serve customers across the U.S., and we were seeing scenarios where users on the west coast couldn't access our services while everyone else in the country could," said Justin Doles, Security Architect at CINgroup. "Often it would turn out to be an ISP issue, but it took a long time to resolve because we didn't have enough evidence to show the ISP that would compel them to respond and help us fix it."

Another key external dependency was DNS. This is an external service purchased by CINgroup that ensures when clients open the bookmarked URL for the application, the URL gets actually translated to the correct data center IP address. When DNS issues occurred, they could effectively stop clients from accessing the service, but the CINgroup team didn't have any way to effectively diagnose DNS issues, leaving them and their clients in the dark. This is a common digital experience delivery challenge, noted Bob Tester, Enterprise Architect at CINgroup, "Like other SaaS companies, we don't control all the external factors that can hit our user experience, but we still own the outcome. Our users associate their experience with our brand. We need to be able to provide answers and fast resolution to user experience issues, period." Path visualization from cities across the US
Figure 2: Response times to CINgroup's applications from cities across the United States.

"Investing in ThousandEyes has allowed our team to reduce time
spent on troubleshooting and instead focus on building
a really great experience for our customers."

Bob Tester
Enterprise Architect

ThousandEyes Solution

To gain the visibility they needed, the team at CINgroup chose ThousandEyes. They deployed Enterprise Agents in independent, external hosting provider data centers to monitor their web properties from the outside-in. "Implementation was straightforward and easy," said Doles. "Even including the time to spin up external hosting, the whole process just took a couple of days." Once the team initiated monitoring from the Enterprise Agents, they were able to immediately use multi-layered dashboards that show HTTP app-layer availability and response time layered over network performance metrics, end-to-end Layer 3 Path Visualization, and visual BGP routing analyses. These layered visualizations show the impact of internal and external network issues, DNS and Internet routing factors on application delivery and user experience.

Speeding Problem Resolution

CINgroup has seen a dramatic improvement in troubleshooting external, user experience-impacting issues since deploying ThousandEyes. "The ease of use of ThousandEyes helped us to be productive fast," said Doles. "Everything is graphical and intuitive. It was easy to train our staff on ThousandEyes."

The results have been notable. "Previously, when users had issues, we'd have to use several different techniques and tools to try to understand what was happening," said Doles. "With ThousandEyes we don't do that anymore—we can triage the issue pretty quickly, for example finding something wrong in the client's ISP that is the root cause of the problem. The old approach took four to five times longer than with ThousandEyes. Increasing our speed of troubleshooting means we can get a response back to the client that much faster."

Tester added, "Investing in ThousandEyes has allowed our team to reduce time spent on troubleshooting and instead focus on building a really great experience for our customers."

"The ease of use of ThousandEyes helped us to be
productive fast, everything is graphical and intuitive.
It was easy to train our staff on ThousandEyes."

Justin Doles
Security Architect

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