IT Operations Management (ITOM)

How Western Union uses machine data analytics to boost performance — and regains time to innovate

How Western Union uses machine data analytics to boost performance — and regains time to innovate


Guest post by Sancha Norris, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Operations Analytics


Proactive monitoring and alerting plays a critical role in managing IT at Western Union. The money transfer business is founded on convenience, reliability and above all, trust. Western Union connects senders and receivers via their channels of choice, moving money all over the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Western Union customers use digital, voice, mobile and retail channels — and it is crucial that this extensive network of systems and processes are always on. Operations analysis is key to achieving these goals


At the upcoming Discover 2015 show in Las Vegas, Tony Steiner, Western Union’s Director of ITIL and Monitoring, will join me on stage to discuss how they use big data in IT to support business objectives. (Click here to learn more and register for the session.)

There is still time to register for HP Discover! Get your registration here!



Just to give a sense of the scale and reach of Steiner’s task at Western Union, here are a few stats:

  • Western Union operates in more than 200 countries and territories, with more than 500,000 retail locations and 100,000 ATMs and kiosks
  • A total of 90 banks support Account-Based Money Transfers
  • Western Union has 17 partners active with mobile money transfers
  • Bank payout occurs in over 50 countries and 25 countries have Western Union Digital transactional sites


In short, they have a lot of people relying on them to get it right.


Inside Western Union, IT Enterprise Monitoring has in place an infrastructure for comprehensive, enterprise-wide proactive monitoring and alerting. This infrastructure extends 24/7 monitoring to all IT components, providing a comprehensive early warning system that enables the IT staff to head off problems before they result in outages. Western Union uses a diverse set of both agent-based and agentless monitoring tools so the IT team can exploit the advantages of each of them.


IT Operational Challenges


But one of Western Union’s IT operational challenges stems from having too many tools. They lack visibility across business service management, business process monitoring, Sitescope, Splunk and other third-party tools—especially in regard to critical performance issues. They are under pressure to gain more control over future operational performance and also want to have greater visibility into how IT can support future product innovation.


Deeper data insights


As Tony from Western Union once told me, “We have data! It’s just not all in one place.” Tony’s vision for IT operations analytics is to find ways of gaining better insights into data and align to business goals around customer experience, improving availability and operational efficiency. Tony is passionate about innovation. He wants his team to set time aside every week working on innovative projects and product enhancements.


For Western Union, HP Operations Analytics delivers built-in machine-powered log analytics that provide answers when things go wrong. It also helps to proactively manage IT systems with predictive analytics and alerting.


Here is a quick snapshot of Western Union’s initial Operations Analytics architecture:


Operations Analytics Architecture.png


If you’re coming to HP Discover 2015 Las Vegas(June 2-4), please join me at this session to hear more about Tony’s vision of ITOA and his experience with HP Operations Analytics at Western Union:

Session B965: “Western Union managing IT Big Data to optimize business processes”

June 5, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon.


There is still time. Make sure to register for HP Discover here!


Click here to learn more and register for the session.

See how Operations Analytics works in this video

See the General Manager of HP BSM discuss the future of ITOA

  • operational intelligence
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