Optimizing Service Delivery
at Cushman & Wakefield

About the Company

Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) is a leading global real estate services firm that delivers exceptional value for real estate occupiers and owners. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest real estate services firms with approximately 51,000 employees in 400 offices and 70 countries.
Industry: Real Estate Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois Use Case: Digital Experience Monitoring, SaaS monitoring, SD-WAN
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Cushman & Wakefield Delivers Exceptional Value for
Real Estate Occupiers and Owners

Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm, headquartered in Chicago, which can trace its roots back to 1917 when two brothers-in-law, J. Clydesdale Cushman and Bernard Wakefield, founded the firm in New York. Since then the company has grown considerably, now employing over 50,000 people across 400 offices in 70 countries around the world, who focus on their core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing, capital markets and valuation.

Project Silverstone

In 2018 Cushman & Wakefield were focused on rolling out a major project, Project Silverstone, focused on service improvement across all areas of the business including IT. For the IT teams this translated to a set of initiatives designed to optimize IT Operations, including setting up a Network Center of Excellence built for new technologies such as SaaS and public cloud, as well as new connectivity solutions leveraging SD-WAN and the Public Internet.
Real Estate services illustration

"The Proof of Concept enabled us to test ThousandEyes and evaluate whether it could give us the visibility of the Public Internet and Cloud Provider Networks we didn't have in our existing toolset."

Greg Telford
Head of Operations, EMEA
Greg Telford is the Head of Operations, EMEA at Cushman & Wakefield, "In 2018 we had a number of major IT projects underway which were transforming the way we were delivering IT services. We had rolled out a number of SaaS based applications, such as Skype for Business, and this had led us to redesign our network, moving to technologies such as SD-WAN and Direct Internet Access to optimize the user experience. In order to deliver the visibility we needed as part of Project Silverstone it was clear we needed a new monitoring solution that was designed for the cloud and hybrid networks."

During the same year Cushman & Wakefield had a company focus on its listing on the New York Stock Exchange, which happened in August 2018. As well as using Skype for Business for voice calls and collaboration between their employees and with their customers, the company was also using the platform to deliver updates and briefings to Wall Street, meaning the quality of experience for all parties needed to be consistently excellent.

"We had a number of monitoring solutions in place already," Greg continued, "but they tended to focus on our internal networks, and now we were more reliant on the Public Internet and SaaS applications we needed something that would let us monitor the user experience end-to-end, regardless of which networks we used to reach the application. We also needed to be able to correlate any application issues we were seeing to issues in the underlying network infrastructure. Some of our team had met with ThousandEyes at an event the previous year, so we decided to test the technology and assess whether it could give us the visibility we needed."

"We had a number of monitoring solutions in place already, but they tended to focus on our internal networks, and now we were more reliant on the Public Internet and SaaS applications we needed something that would let us monitor the user experience end-to-end, regardless of which networks we used to reach the application."

Greg Telford
Head of Operations, EMEA

Testing the Value

This decision led to engaging ThousandEyes in a Proof of Concept where Cushman & Wakefield evaluated the platform against a number of existing and alternative offerings. ThousandEyes Enterprise Agents were deployed to a number of core branch offices across EMEA, APAC and The Americas, which enabled the team to monitor end-to-end user experience across critical SaaS apps, as well as assess site-to-site connectivity.

"The Proof of Concept enabled us to test ThousandEyes and evaluate whether it could give us the visibility of the Public Internet and Cloud Provider Networks we didn't have in our existing toolset," adds Greg. "We were very 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 of issues and how they link to application level issues."

Line graph comparing server latency of major cloud infrastructure providers
Figure 1: Tracking cloud latency.

"We were very 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 of issues and how they link to application level issues."

Greg Telford
Head of Operations, EMEA

ThousandEyes Solution

The Proof of Concept enabled Cushman & Wakefield to gain feedback and support from their regional teams, and ultimately led to an agreement to rollout the ThousandEyes Enterprise Agents to 186 sites all around the world. As well as testing Skype for Business, the Enterprise Agents are also helping the team monitor the employee experience for apps such as Outlook and SharePoint (as part of Office365). In addition, ThousandEyes Cloud Agents were leveraged to test the Citrix Virtual Desktop Infrastructure clusters Cushman & Wakefield operate in EMEA and North America as well as the VPN gateway that employees use from around the world to log-in remotely.

ThousandEyes Professional Services were engaged to help onboard key users within Cushman & Wakefield as well as assist with set-up around testing, alert configuration, reports and dashboards. Additionally, Professional Services were able to write a custom integration into PowerBI, the business analytics service that was being used to aggregate and visualize intelligence data across IT and the business. Greg concludes, "Ultimately Project Silverstone wasn't just about service improvement, but also about being data driven and data aware, so that we're able to look at trends and performance holistically across the organisation. ThousandEyes provides a dataset that we were not able to get elsewhere, on the performance of our apps and the underlying infrastructure that supports it, regardless of where that application sits."

Path Visualization showing connectivity problems in Office 365 network
Figure 2: An example of an Office 365 connectivity issue.

"ThousandEyes provides a dataset that we were not able to get elsewhere, on the performance of our apps and the underlying infrastructure that supports it, regardless of where that application sits."

Greg Telford
Head of Operations, EMEA

Looking Forward

Going forward Cushman & Wakefield are rolling out Microsoft Teams and assessing how ThousandEyes can provide service assurance before, during and after deployment, as well as reviewing other critical applications and services with a view to adding more tests. They are also investigating ThousandEyes Browser Synthetic Monitoring, as a way of gaining enhanced insights into their employee user journey through key applications.

Metrics from synthetic transaction test
Figure 3: Detailed Synthetic Monitoring of our user experience for Microsoft O365.

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