Virtual teddy bears come to life with software tool

“If you go down to the woods today, you’d better be sure that your website is performing properly” – or, at least, that’s the view of the Build-a-Bear IT team, who manage the online world at Buildabearville.com.

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“If you go down to the woods today, you’d better be sure that your website is performing properly” – or, at least, that’s the view of the Build-a-Bear IT team, who manage the online world at Buildabearville.com.

The website, where children can bring their fuzzy playmates to life, is featured by Hamleys toy store in London and 370 others worldwide, which offer custom-built teddy bears.

Each teddy bear from a Build-a-bear workshop carries a unique registration number, which children can enter and bring their teddy bears to life as an online avatar.

Once registered, children can play games and chat with other users, as well as honing their mercantile sensibilities by trading marmalade and other items for Build-a-Bearville’s online currency, the ‘bearbill’ in areas such as the amusingly titled ‘Pawforming Arts Center’.

With online experience key to retaining a fickle market often torn between browsing TV channels, logging onto Myspace and filching their parents mobile phones to chat to chums, the build-a-bear IT team used Compuware’s Vantage tool to ensure a smooth user experience.

The team are using it to monitor web traffic and isolate the causes of poor user experience, tying problems to the client, network, server or application. This should help the build-a-bear team take a pragmatic view to solving problems, without wasting time trying to fix problems which originate with consumer ISPs or slow user PCs, for example.

Build-a-bear is also using the tool to monitor the performance as the business grows. “We needed the best way to ensure a positive guest experience,” said Dave East, Director of IT Network Systems, Build-a-Bear.

“Achieving business growth is directly linked to technology excellence. Vantage provides visibility and diagnostics into both web traffic and non-web information”

Paddington and Pooh were unavailable for comment.

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