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End User Experience Monitoring

End User Experience Monitoring

How a global engineering, management & development consultancy has shifted the battleground from the network to the endpoint for increased customer value.

At a glance

As part of its digital transformation journey, a global engineering, management & development consultancy wanted to move its infrastructure to the cloud.
To ensure a seamless user experience as they transitioned, they recognized the need for visibility to monitor IT performance and the need to remove network capacity challenges.
Supported by Teneo, they’ve utilized End User Experience Monitoring for critical visibility.
As a result, they’ve seen return on investment across the business, including office space optimization, service desk efficiency, business productivity and much more.

About the company

This global engineering, management, and consultancy company is headquartered in the United Kingdom with 16,000 employees in 150 countries.

With a purpose of improving society by considering social outcomes in all they do, they are relentlessly focused on excellence and digital innovation.

Previous way of operating & business limitations

The company started its digital transformation journey in 2013, with the move to Microsoft O365 and Skype for Business. The transition provided an early insight into how essential visibility is when it comes to improving IT performance.

During the transition process, a key challenge was ensuring a seamless user experience, as the company moved its infrastructure to the cloud.

Several years later, the Infrastructure and Operations team extended their digital transformation strategy with the rollout of Microsoft Teams.

Approaching the rollout, they anticipated a similar visibility gap and took proactive steps to achieve continuous improvement of user experience.

A key priority in their transition was to gain quality insights into their users’ digital experience so that they could make improvements where it mattered most. To do this, it was vital that they could consolidate performance data into a single view. This would enable them to measure their systems’ effectiveness, take proactive action to improve issues, and hold their service providers to account.

In particular, the team observed that placing a focus on their endpoint devices and gaining better visibility of users’ desktops would provide them with greater leverage.

A better way forward

First, the team moved to an SD-WAN architecture with high-speed internet to take the load off the network, erasing any complexity and capacity challenges.

They also removed MPLS and WAN Optimization.

They then concentrated on moving everything to the cloud with a view that the fewer physical components there were to manage, the less that would require troubleshooting.

Second, they applied End User Experience Monitoring supported by Teneo, for better visibility, so they could see where performance problems were happening and see the impact of change.

In doing so, they shifted the battleground away from the network and out to the endpoint.

down quote up quote The desktop is the cause of a lot of problems, but most people are too busy looking somewhere else. We’ve found that if you simplify the network and remove capacity bottlenecks, it’s then easier to focus and improve the experience at the desktop, which in turn improves performance.
Head of IT Infrastructure & Operations
Global Engineering, Management & Development Consultancy

An improved strategy

The company has developed a philosophy of ‘measure and improve’, which plays an important part in their IT strategy. To justify the value of their IT investments, they see end user experience and performance as being crucial. Without visibility, managing this wouldn’t be possible.

And while driving performance improvements is the priority, their secondary objective of driving user adoption is no less important. When the company was planning a move to a new ERP system, End User Experience Monitoring became the main reporting mechanism for the project team to measure how the new system performed, and how users were following processes and adopting the system.

With SaaS applications too, they’re able to keep the supplier honest and show that they’ve done their own due diligence to improve performance. An early example involved bottlenecks at the front-end of SharePoint, which they were able to demonstrate to Microsoft to request action from their development team.

To facilitate operations, the team has also driven the improvement of dashboards and embedded End User Experience Monitoring into incident monitoring by integrating with ServiceNow. This has given the Service Desk team clickable links to each user so they can see user experience based on the computer name from their asset register.

Teneo’s Enhanced Support service and recommendations have helped the company to gain the visibility data required while reducing the time needed to manually create dashboards. Their overall goal is to take one touch to fix things, leveraging remote remediation.

Such a ‘measure and improve’ philosophy has led the team to create KPIs around the end user experience, such as a user experience index (UXI), and machines with low RAM and disk space levels. This is important because they know that the latest version of Microsoft Teams requires at least 16GB of RAM, otherwise, it will struggle to perform. This has enabled them to focus reports on those measures and prioritize users for remediation.

Each month, they generate a report of the top 50 users whose experience rating is lowest and can proactively call them to help resolve performance issues, for example, by adding memory and clearing disk space. From this activity, users have seen up to 30% performance improvements. The next step is to focus on self-healing for user experience.

Business outcomes

One major outcome from taking this approach is that users no longer blame the network for performance issues. The company has also seen an important return on investment in the following areas:

Office space optimization

Considerable savings made through remote working.

Service desk efficiency

Savings achieved from the reduced time taken and resources required to health check PCs.

Problem management

Business productivity has increased by reducing the time to find root cause.

Service recovery and continuity

Productivity was gained thanks to real-time data recovery. For example, data was recovered from a Skype for Business outage in one week, compared to the estimated one month it would have taken without real-time data.

ERP adoption and risk mitigation

With potential loss avoided due to over- or under- utilization of the system.

Targeted investments such as PC and memory upgrades

Savings were made by avoiding upgrades of machines with low memory and processor utilization by remediating the point problems.

Microsoft Teams experience

Productivity is improved by focusing on Teams compliance, e.g. headsets, drivers on computers, and other causes of poor quality.

Service value

Since implementing its improved strategy, the company has seen happier users, quicker deployments, and realized significant license cost savings.

Having always been early adopters and forward thinkers, their entrepreneurial approach is improving shareholder value in an employee-owned company. For example, in their early adoption of Microsoft O365, the IT team was in the first round of users, so they could see the problems their users were going to have before they rolled the application out to the wider business.

Having had the mindset early on to move to the cloud and enable remote access, their approach enabled all 16,000 employees to work from home overnight when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Realizing at this point just how mobile they were, they took a further week to resolve any minor issues, where many other companies had taken months. This allowed them to then focus on refining users’ experience as they worked from home.

With their focus as a leadership team on improving the home user’s experience, they’ve created cloud- based virtual desktops, for example. This enabled them to deliver improved performance of CAD applications when working from home.

In such testing times, the company has won significant projects, and when hiring new employees, they’re now able to deliver machines directly to the user with role-based images, so users no longer need to attend an office to collect their equipment. Instead, they can be enabled with the right applications from employment day one.

Their strategy to scale their IT service up so they don’t need to worry about it, and then focus on adding value to what people are doing and how people are working is certainly paying off.

down quote up quote Many teams are focusing on looking at their servers or the network, which can often lead to capacity issues. The simplicity of what we have means capacity issues are quickly addressed so that we can focus on improving the customer experience.
Head of IT Infrastructure & Operations
Global Engineering, Management & Development Consultancy

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