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12/30/2004
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Supermarket Chain Answers IT Service Calls With Peregrine Systems

Hannaford Bros. uses systems-management software from Peregrine Systems and IBM to pinpoint and solve IT problems that occur in its chain of 300 supermarkets.

Hannaford Bros. Co. has to manage dozens and dozens of IT-related service calls each day from its 300 grocery stores scattered throughout New England. To make the job easier, the retailer is using systems-management software from Peregrine Systems Inc. in its 24-hour service center in Scarborough, Maine.

The Peregrine ServiceCenter platform automatically captures some 30,000 system-related events per day, which generate an average of 82 trouble tickets.

The support issues are complex: Hannaford's IT environment includes 3,500 desktops, 400 laptops, 450 Windows-based servers, 275 Unix-based servers, and a slew of desktop, point-of-sale, and mainframe-based apps. It also includes hundreds of routers and wireless access points that link Hannaford's stores to its enterprise network.

Integrated with IBM's Tivoli Enterprise Console systems-management platform, ServiceCenter helps Hannaford prioritize incident calls, handle trouble tickets and routine service requests, monitor open items, identify root causes of problems, and correlate problems to pinpoint trends and recurring events. That has relieved Hannaford's support staff of much drudge work, freeing it to focus on more complex issues, says John McFarland, team leader of enterprise systems management at Hannaford.

The Peregrine/Tivoli system provides Hannaford's enterprise systems-management team with critical information to analyze root causes of IT service requests by combining related problems into one trouble ticket. The retailer can also analyze problems at individual stores and automatically issue trouble tickets to some of its IT vendors. For example, if a scanner in a checkout lane goes down, a trouble ticket can be transmitted over the Web to Fujitsu, Hannaford's hardware-support vendor.

Hannaford is extending its use of Peregrine to enable non-IT departments such as accounts payable, human resources, and payroll to log service calls and share information "that can help them get to the root causes of common issues," McFarland says.

Bringing order out of chaos is the raison d'etre of Peregrine Systems, an enterprise systems-management provider that emerged from bankruptcy in 2003 following an accounting scandal. The company's products, used to automate processes such as change management, asset management, and help desks, are designed to improve communications between IT and user departments and more easily pinpoint service issues.

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