Case Study

Operational Visibility Enables PEXA to Drive Digital Transformation at Australian Property Exchange Network

Executive Summary

PEXA (Property Exchange Australia) is Australia’s first online property exchange network. Formed in 2010 to fulfill the government initiative to deliver a single, national e-Conveyancing solution to the industry, PEXA assists members of its network — such as lawyers, conveyancers, financial institutions and property developers — to lodge documents with land registries and complete financial settlements electronically. Given the complexities of the property regulatory environment, coupled with the growth of PEXA’s product portfolio and volume of interactions with a diverse network, PEXA needed enhanced IT operations and security visibility across the business. Since deploying Splunk Enterprise, PEXA has seen benefits including:

  • Central, unified operational visibility
  • Automation and efficiency
  • Improved user experience
Challenges
    • Needed to monitor its platform within a complex regulatory environment and a high volume of interactions
    • Lacked single-pane-of-glass visibility
Business Impact
    • Greater operational visibility into system health
    • Real-time alerts provide faster insight into potential disruptions for proactive resolution
    • Uncompromised customer experience
Data Sources
    • AWS logs (Cloudfront, Cloudtrail, Cloudwatch, etc.)
    • End point security logs
    • Infrastructure logs (/var/log/*)
    • Application logs
    • External sources

Why Splunk

“We assessed the core capabilities that were important to us, and determined that Splunk was well-positioned to support our growth into the future,” says Sander Aarts, Head of Technology Architecture, PEXA. The use of Splunk was already heavily entrenched, with the dashboards being used extensively across the business, including corporate IT, production support and development teams.

“Ultimately, Splunk has been in the DNA of PEXA from day one,” shares Andrew Gaspar, head of DevOps, PEXA, adding that his team has been well-trained on Splunk.

Operational visibility across the business

The recent migration of the business into a wholly architected, scalable, self-managed cloud infrastructure provided the PEXA team with the opportunity to reaffirm Splunk’s value to the business.

With Splunk dashboards, PEXA gains greater visibility into every aspect of the applications it brings to market. What’s more, the Splunk App for AWS offers PEXA a consolidated view into its AWS environment across multiple accounts, which was previously a challenge. The company can now bring all the data into a single pane of glass and monitor movement across the entire IT infrastructure in real time.

“The greatest value we get from Splunk is the ability to keep the health of PEXA’s system in check. The real-time alerts we get range from security and machine-related issues to operational triggers, which are integrated into our day-to-day communications via email, SMS and other alerting tools,” Gaspar says.

An uncompromised customer experience

Splunk software also plays a key role in improving customer experience internally and externally. The dashboards are linked to operational data from third-party sources, which is instrumental in guiding PEXA and its vendors to ensure there’s no disruption to the end-user experience.

PEXA’s always-on commitment means that the platform must be available to its members around-the-clock, and this availability is consistently monitored via key performance metrics. It’s imperative for PEXA to minimize any risk or compromise of these metrics through early intervention.

For example, if an alert notifies PEXA that there’s been a delay in the processing of digitally-signed documents on its platform due to an issue with a third-party vendor, PEXA can respond quickly, alert the vendor to take corrective action and resolve the issue before there’s any real business impact.

“PEXA is able to stay ahead of the game, whether it’s an operational issue internally or with one of our partners. Most importantly, we’re able to minimize any disruption to transactions,” adds Aarts

“Splunk has delivered exceptional value in enabling PEXA as a business. We’ve enabled the team to gain visibility by becoming more efficient in accessing logs, identifying and resolving issues and preempting any disruption to operations. As the PEXA ecosystem continues to grow, it’s critical for us to ensure we’re able to scale our service intelligence with Splunk.”



Sander Aarts, Head of Technology Architecture
PEXA

Transparency and confidence

PEXA is regulated by the Australian Registrars’ National Electronic Conveyancing Council (ARNECC). With Splunk Enterprise, the operations team can automate compliance reporting, such as availability reports and tracking certificate expiration, as well as key metrics including response times, transaction totals and API usage to internal and external stakeholders. The dashboard screens, which are visible across the business, serves as a quick go-to for decision-makers after a snapshot of the business operations’ health.

In the future, PEXA will extend its use of Splunk Enterprise to heighten visibility further and capture contextual information.

Aarts shares, “We’re committed to supporting the transition of the property industry towards a 100% digital conveyancing process and, as we grow our products, platform and number of parties we work with, will look at an enriched usage of Splunk to provide deeper intelligence.”