Leicestershire-rounded

StarBase Leicestershire County Council Case Study

Category: Case Studies

Background

Leicestershire County Council provides a wide range of services to over 600,000 local people, contained

in seven district council areas. The council has 55 members with a leader operating through a cabinet

model. Council services are delivered by six departments, including education, social care, transport

and culture/leisure. In order to improve the delivery of services to the citizens of Leicestershire, it is

essential that the information held by LCC is properly managed and kept both secure and up to date. A

considerable amount of work had been undertaken to address this requirement, part of which has

now seen the installation of the new content management system. LCC was understandably anxious

to avoid the earlier teething problems encountered with its Intranet site development, so searched

for a reputable partner to help.

The problem

Leicestershire County Council (LCC) requested that StarBase plan and deliver the performance testing

of their Intranet solution before it was rolled out to more than 4,000 employees across the council.

LCC had become increasingly concerned that the application would not scale and were very worried

about the perception and difficulties this could create with end users.

The Intranet has a very high visibility, so a poorly performing Intranet would have reflected adversely

on the new content management system, provided by Canadian software vendor Open Text. 

This project has been a major success from the technology viewpoint. StarBase integrated into the LCC culturally and adjusted rapidly to our working environment. We are delighted with their efforts and the outcome was better than we dared hope for. 

– Frank Taylor, Intranet Project Manager, LCC.

The solution

In the case of LCC, StarBase provided a small team of Consultants to undertake the Performance

Testing project, this involved working closely with the council’s dedicated IT team. All members worked

well together, later prompting Intranet Project Leader Frank Taylor to say:

“They were able to transform the performance of the LCC Intranet and made a very positive impact on

the programme. StarBase Consultants not only identified performance bottlenecks, but also proposed

solutions.” StarBase was on site at County Hall for several weeks, key issues were identified and had

to be resolved. StarBase recommended that HP (Mercury) LoadRunner would be an ideal tool to assist

with quick identification of hardware or software performance related issues. This tool is used to

identify potentially costly performance problems before a new system or an upgrade such as an

Intranet is deployed. New applications can then be verified to see if they will deliver intended business

outcomes before going live. At LCC, a poor performing Intranet would have impacted negatively on all

relevant members of staff using the content management programme, from the most junior to the

Chief Executive.

 

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. No one noticed the performance of the Intranet website

application when it was rolled out to the entire user community. It was a completely seamless event,

which is the standard we had hoped for...so thank you StarBase. 

 

 

- Frank Taylor

The results

Working alongside the StarBase experts, LCC IT members learned how to use the tools effectively and

would expect to get future value from the use of LoadRunner. As a result of the timely involvement of

StarBase, the Intranet project was completed on time and with a major benefit. The test/tune cycle

improved performance from over 30 seconds for a page load, to sub 2seconds at peak load.