Schneider Electric Speeds Up Time to Market for New DCIM Features with Telerik by Progress
A global specialist in energy management and automation with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in residential and non-residential buildings, industries and machine manufacturers, utilities and infrastructures, and datacenters and networks. The company has more than 170,000 employees and is ranked 367 on the Fortune 500 list.
Schneider Electric offers Datacenter Infrastructure Management (DCIM) through its StruxureWare for Datacenters suite of products, which is used by facilities and IT managers to analyze, operate, plan and optimize their datacenters. “We have more than 10,000 installs, with multiple users per install, in 83 countries,” said Scott Kingsley, Software Development Manager, Schneider Electric. “The application gathers data from equipment and brings it into a single interface, enabling easy monitoring and management.”
Kingsley’s team has been using Telerik® Analytics by Progress for about three years to understand how datacenter managers use the application. “Our solution is often sold by partners, and as such, we had very little insight into how people were using it,” said Kingsley. Another team within the company was using Telerik Analytics and recommended the product to Kingsley. Since then, they’ve been able to leverage analytical data to improve the application.
When the team embarked of a refresh of the application’s user interface (UI), Kingsley wanted to use a prepackaged widget library. “We’d had a great experience with Telerik Analytics, so Kendo UI framework was a natural choice.”
According to Kingsley, both products were easy to implement and use. “When Telerik Analytics was recommended to me, I assumed it would be difficult to implement, so I kept putting it off,” he said. “But when I finally sat down to do it, it only took a half a day. I was blown away by how easy it was.”
Kingsley’s team uses Telerik Analytics to understand how its DCIM software is used, and make informed roadmap decisions. “We track important data such as what operating system users have, what languages they speak, their screen resolution and so on, which is very helpful for determining what environments to test our products on,” he said. “For example, we discovered that only .23 percent of our users were running on Linux, and 99.7 percent were on Windows. Knowing this information helps us focus our development efforts.”
Using Telerik Analytics, the team can compare how often people are using various features, as well. “We use the information to decide what to leave in and what to take out,” said Kingsley. Usage insights provided by Telerik Analytics help determine the value of each feature, and how much screen real estate to devote to that feature on the UI. “Telerik Analytics paints a picture for us of what features are of highest value to our users, so we can make smart decisions about what to include in our product and how to present the features in the interface,” he said.
Based on information from Telerik Analytics, Kingsley’s team used Kendo UI® by Progress for the UI refresh. Key features for the team include the Grid, Time Picker and TreeView components.
“The Grid is essential to our application, because it enables us to organize the information from thousands of assets our customers monitor, and display all the important metrics for analysis,” he said.
Kingsley said the biggest value of Telerik Analytics is productivity. “Knowing how our product is being used helps us focus on the most important features and not waste time developing features or capabilities no one needs,” he said. Additionally, the team has used Analytics to show how Cyber Security concerns have changed the way people are using its software, and that they're upgrading to the latest version much faster than ever before.
Kendo UI framework has also provided significant value. “Using Kendo UI framework, we can get to market at least 50 percent faster with many of our features than if we attempted to build the components from scratch,” said Kingsley. “The solution is easy to deploy and provides flexible configuration options, as well.”
Since using Kendo UI framework to revamp the user interface, Schneider Electric’s datacenter infrastructure management application has gained numerous recognitions from industry experts.
Recently, in Gartner's first-ever Magic Quadrant for DCIM tools, Schneider Electric was named as a Leader in the category.
“I attribute our success with the solution in large part to our use of Telerik solutions,” said Kingsley.
Kingsley said as his team continues to update the UI with new or enhanced features, they will be looking to Kendo UI framework for out-of-the-box widgets to accelerate development. “We’re excited about what we can do with Kendo UI framework and Telerik Analytics,” he said.
About Schneider Electric
As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in Utilities & Infrastructure, Industries & Machines Manufacturers, Non-residential Building, Datacenters and Networks and in Residential. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive and sustainable, the Group's 170,000 employees achieved revenues of 25 billion euros in 2014, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations make the most of their energy. www.schneider-electric.com