Company: KeynoteCustomer: TNTSubmitted by: NoiseworksTNT first started to use Keynote’s services two years ago to measure the performance of their web site. Their site, along with those of two competitors is measured for access from 40 locations world-wide every 15 minutes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Not only do they use the service to measure the initial site download speeds but also to measure transaction processing on the site. This they can monitor from the US.The TNT web site is strategically important for the company, one of the world’s leading providers of global mail, express and logistics services. Significant growth in the use of the web site means that now more than 140,000 customers per week track their parcels online from door to door.

To many TNT customers the web site is ‘mission-critical’, where failure to deliver on time could reflect poorly on all concerned. Coffee stains on an aircraft seat flip tray have been said to convey the impression that the engines aren’t maintained perfectly. In the same way, a slow web site from a parcel delivery firm leaves you with the impression that the parcel won’t arrive. TNT needs to perform, and to their customers’ standards or better.With this in mind the company turned to Keynote to ensure their website was as efficient as possible. Keynote provides easy-to-use browser-based services that assess performance and reliability, measure access speed, and determine the quality of the user experience.

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It is a non-intrusive facility, enabling TNT to constantly track its performance.Since the Keynote service was set up, the TNT web site response is up to three times faster than their nearest measured competitor and the site offers access to a number of business critical functions; business critical to both TNT and their customers. As well as the usual array of information about TNT, visitors to the web site use a variety of applications to support their own organisation and requirements. The online parcel tracking system is the top application and the most widely publicised. They also have a shipping facility to arrange a collection, a pricing application to detail costs for A to B around the world, a transit times application and customised solutions facility for registered customers offering tailored versions of all services.

The site delivers – fast business benefits direct to the customer as and when needed. Two of the key TNT people involved in the site and its development take up the story – John Riley, Network Design Specialist and Gary Neal, senior analyst for the web team.Gary Neal: “Two years ago we were wanting to see what external customers were actually experiencing, I was asked to find if there was any way TNT could get better information. I came across Keynote during a web search and looked at a couple of competitors, Web Relay and Global Sightseer. The information from each didn’t give location details as to which cities measurements were being taken.

What Keynote offered was far superior at that time and has got even better now.”

The Visitor Viewpoint

John Riley: “The argument for using something like Keynote was that it provided an external, global view of performance of the web site and allowed us to see where any problems were around the world. This was rather than using our own internal systems, which were shielded from an outside view of the system. Right from the start we wanted an external, independent view. We now know within 15 minutes if our web site performance falls to certain levels.

We currently have an alert set for a 30% fall in performance and also if the web site takes more than 10 seconds to download. You can have more than one type of alert.”

Actionable Alerts

TNT receives Keynote’s alert service every 15 minutes by email if a certain threshold is exceeded. Gary: “We are working towards sending it to our help desk to provide them with an instant report. Although we have monitors on the web server to have an instant alert, we are now using the alert feature from Keynote with it.

Keynote’s alert could come straight through to the help desk, then the networks department, and we know before our customers do. It plays an incredibly important role in discussions between departments and really helps in establishing the facts.”

Performance is Everything

The whole area of performance is central to a company like TNT. Gary: “Performance, for a company like ours, is the key to our success. It is important to provide senior management with statistics on the web site’s performance.” John; “Differences in the performance tend to be based on the location of the user or the service provider supplying the connection.

Using Keynote, we can hone in on the situation exactly: is it a problem local to them or a global problem? Now, when we have an e-mail from someone in a different part of the world with a problem accessing our web site, we are able to identify black spots, geographical areas, and interconnectivity.”Gary: “We also use Keynote to test out new web pages and new applications to ensure that they will adhere to the high levels of performance we set ourselves. We have to supply quality performance whatever connection technology users are using.”Certain people within TNT have access to MyKeynote™ Keynote’s new personalised reports. MyKeynote™ is used on a weekly basis for system changes and administration within the IT function at TNT, and a customised summary report is produced for senior management.

Plans for the future

Gary: “We are moving forward constantly and looking to develop some of our latest thinking on customer service into the web site. We need to stay ahead of the field. Delivery is key!”