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Customer Story | Enterprise Networks

Commercial Real Estate Broker Optimizes Service Delivery

Company Background

This global real estate company has tens of thousands in its workforce and hundreds of offices in 60 countries. It is known for providing top-notch real estate services to owners and occupiers of billions of square feet of commercial space.

Industry: Real Estate

Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois

Use Case: Workforce Digital Experience, SaaS monitoring, SD-WAN

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Company Background

This global real estate company has tens of thousands in its workforce and hundreds of offices in 60 countries. It is known for providing top-notch real estate services to owners and occupiers of billions of square feet of commercial space.

Industry: Real Estate

Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois

Use Case: Workforce Digital Experience, SaaS monitoring, SD-WAN

Company Background

This global real estate company has tens of thousands in its workforce and hundreds of offices in 60 countries. It is known for providing top-notch real estate services to owners and occupiers of billions of square feet of commercial space.

Industry: Real Estate

Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois

Use Case: Workforce Digital Experience, SaaS monitoring, SD-WAN

A New Lease on Services

As a renowned global real estate services firm, this company specializes in property, facilities, project management, leasing, capital markets, and valuation. It has roots dating back to the Progressive Era and has since grown significantly, requiring many rounds of technological modernization to ensure its systems remain cutting-edge.

Most recently, the company’s primary objective was to implement a significant project to enhance the quality of services in all aspects of its operations. For IT, this entailed rolling out a series of initiatives aimed at streamlining IT Operations (ITOps), such as establishing a Network Center of Excellence and implementing technologies such as SaaS (Software as a Service), public cloud, and SD-WAN (Software-defined Wide Area Network).

Its head of operations described it this way, “We had several major IT projects underway transforming the way we were delivering IT services. To gain visibility into them, it was clear we needed a new monitoring solution designed for the cloud and hybrid networks.”

To facilitate voice communication and collaboration among employees and clients, the company used Skype for Business. As a publicly traded entity, it also utilized this platform to disseminate updates and briefings to Wall Street, underscoring the importance of maintaining a consistently excellent user experience for all stakeholders involved.

The company then reorganized its network by integrating technologies such as SD-WAN and Direct Internet Access (DIA) to improve the user experience. However, the utilization of these technologies was heavily dependent on services beyond the direct control of the real estate company, which reduced its monitoring capabilities.

“We had a number of monitoring solutions in place already,” the head of operations said, “but they tended to focus on our internal networks, and we needed something that would let us monitor the user experience end-to-end, regardless of which networks we used to reach the application.”

ITOps also required the ability to correlate any application problems they observed to issues in the underlying network infrastructure. After learning ThousandEyes could provide the insights ITOps sorely needed, the team set out to evaluate the solution.

“We were easily able to see whether issues were caused by events in our core network or in provider networks and then share information showing the exact location and how it linked to the application level.”

Putting ThousandEyes to the Test

The real estate company proceeded with a Proof of Concept involving ThousandEyes, during which they compared the platform to various existing and alternative options. ITOps installed ThousandEyes Enterprise Agents at several primary branch offices across EMEA, APAC, and the Americas. This deployment allowed the team to observe end-to-end user experience for critical SaaS applications and evaluate site-to-site connectivity.

“We could easily see whether issues were caused by events in our core network or in provider networks and then share information showing the exact location and how it linked to the application level,” said the head of operations.

Monitoring Employee Experience Across Global Sites

Conducting the Proof of Concept allowed the real estate company to receive input and endorsement from their regional teams and resulted in a decision to implement ThousandEyes Enterprise Agents in 186 sites worldwide. Along with Skype for Business, Enterprise Agents were also used to monitor the user experience for applications like Outlook and SharePoint. Furthermore, the firm used ThousandEyes Cloud Agents to test the Citrix Virtual Desktop Infrastructure clusters operating in EMEA and North America, as well as the VPN (Virtual Private Network) gateway used by employees worldwide for remote login.

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The real estate firm enlisted the help of ThousandEyes Professional Services to facilitate the onboarding of key users within the company and assist with setup relating to testing, alert configuration, reports, and dashboards. Professional Services developed a tailored integration into PowerBI, the business analytics service used by the company to consolidate and visualize intelligence data across IT and the business.

“Our operations enhancement project was not just about service improvement, but also about being data-driven and data-aware,” said the head of operations. “Now we can look at trends and performance holistically across the organization.”

He concludes, “ThousandEyes provides a data set that we could not get elsewhere on the performance of our apps and the underlying infrastructure that supports it, regardless of where that application sits.”

“ThousandEyes provides a data set that we could not get elsewhere on the performance of our apps and the underlying infrastructure that supports it, regardless of where that application sits.”

Expanding Service Assurance

As part of implementing Microsoft Teams, the company is evaluating the possibility of utilizing ThousandEyes to ensure service reliability before, during, and after deployment. Furthermore, they are examining additional critical applications and services to incorporate more tests. The company is also exploring the potential benefits of ThousandEyes Browser Synthetic Monitoring, which can offer greater visibility into the user experience of its staff as they navigate key applications.

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