Leading European recycling company, Renewi, uses Elastic Observability on Elastic Cloud to monitor availability and performance of apps hosted on Microsoft Azure
Renewi primarily operates within 6 European countries. The company collects waste streams and transfers these into secondary raw materials such as reusable paper, metal, plastic, glass, wood, and building materials which are used in new production processes.
Waste recycling plays a central role in the transition towards a circular economy and tackling climate change by reducing methane produced by landfills and incineration sites. As an ambitious waste management business, Renewi plc has an industry-leading recycling rate of 65%, with a goal to reach 75% by 2025.
Renewi is equally committed to the efficient use of resources when it comes to managing its information technology systems. This is where Erik Meeuwsen, IT Service Manager, and his team play a critical role maintaining the company’s databases, networks, and middleware. They are also responsible for the functional monitoring of Renewi’s business-critical applications, helping to keep software such as the company’s Salesforce CRM system running smoothly and without interruption.
Moving to Elastic Cloud to increase ROI, and lower energy consumption
Renewi previously used a solution built in house to monitor functionality, find the root cause, and fix application issues. However, the software couldn’t easily be updated, and the technology lacked a comprehensive support framework. Meeuwsen was also concerned about vulnerabilities in the code. “We wanted to modernize and improve our approach to monitoring middleware and app functionality,” he says.
In addition, Meeuwsen wanted to better support Renewi’s mission to be the leading waste-to-product company in one of the world’s most advanced circular economic regions. “Our job is to keep the organization running so that it can focus on the delivery of innovative recycling and waste disposal services,” he says.
Meeuwsen and his team reached out to Rob van der Heiden, Account Executive at Devoteam, Renewi’s long-term technology partner. Devoteam put together a proof of concept based on Elastic Observability which unifies logs, metrics, application traces, and availability data from multiple sources. It also includes a set of easy-to-use dashboards for data visualization and analysis which can be quickly configured to the needs of different teams.
Renewi also needed to select an Elastic deployment environment. To help them with this decision, Van der Heiden demonstrated an on-premises configuration alongside a deployment running on Elastic Cloud hosted on Microsoft Azure.
Selecting a cloud-based solution enables Renewi to move more of its IT infrastructure from a capital expense to a more cost-effective operating expense. This also makes IT budgets more predictable so Renewi can plan for IT costs into the future.
Easy-to-use dashboards for non-technical users
Elastic Observability has been well received by Renewi end-user teams, the majority of whom are responsible for the performance of business applications including Salesforce and a new customer portal called MyRenewi.
These non-technical teams are confident that messages from their applications are flowing via Renewi’s middleware to other parts of the infrastructure. They now receive an alert as soon as any messaging errors occur.
This is important if, for example, a customer is having trouble logging on to the MyRenewi customer portal or ordering a product. Alerts help teams address issues faster, with minimal impact on the customer experience and company revenue. It’s also helpful to Renewi’s human resources team which now has a dashboard that provides an overview of the status of messages behind their HR-related apps, so they know they’re working properly.
In addition to accelerating fault detection and resolution, Elastic Observability helps break down barriers that occur when applications are isolated within siloes. Different teams are now more aware of business-critical interactions between their applications and other tools.
Meeuwsen stresses the value of working with a technology partner that has a deep understanding of Elastic Observability and a strong connection with the Elastic support team.
A platform for the future
With positive feedback to Elastic from employees across the organization, Meeuwsen sees enormous potential for Elastic Observability to support other key business applications including ServiceNow, Renewi’s IT service management (ITSM) platform. Elastic Observability will enable Renewi to standardize and streamline ServiceNow incident management workflows and automatically forward Elastic alerts to the appropriate team for resolution.
Renewi is also looking to expand its Elastic Observability deployment with end-to-end monitoring. This means that in addition to message status tracking, it will be able to monitor the message at every step of its journey from application to application. Other Elastic capabilities of interest include Searchable Snapshots for quickly searching infrequently accessed data and helping to reduce storage and operating costs.