Ten End User Experience Monitoring Tips for a Successful Office 365 Migration: Part 2

Mike Marks


Enterprises are continuing to migrate their productivity apps to the cloud, and demand for Microsoft Office 365 remains strong. My previous blog focused on how SteelCentral Aternity End User Experience Monitoring helps ensure a successful Office 365 migration, discussing use cases such as SLA Management, Change Management, and IT Vendor Management (Aternity is a 2015 Gartner Cool Vendor in Vendor Management). This blog continues with some tips related to proactive service assurance and problem resolution. Here are the second set of five tips that End User Experience Monitoring provides to help you.

6. Monitor user experience on any device

One of the key drivers for enterprise cloud adoption is to enable workforce end users to access their business critical apps, whenever and wherever they need. Indeed, cloud, along with mobile, and desktop/app virtualization, plays a key role in the promise of improved workforce productivity of mobile workspaces, such as those offered by vendors like Citrix and VMware.

However, by themselves, mobile workspaces don’t enable enterprises to measure, manage, or improve mobile workforce productivity. To complete the vision, enterprises must move beyond access and control to actually measuring and improving the end user experience of their workforce as they conduct business on their physical, virtual, and mobile devices.

Aternity enables IT to monitor any local, cloud, or mobile app running on a user’s physical, virtual, or mobile device. IT can identify every business activity performed and track response time, as seen by the user relative to automatically generated baselines or manually set thresholds to immediately troubleshoot user complaints of poor application performance. This short video shows how:

7. Proactively detect and analyze problems

A key challenge for IT in migrating to cloud-delivered apps like Office 365 is the loss of control over the management and monitoring of the IT infrastructure on which the apps run. IT is held responsible for app performance, even if the majority of the app delivery infrastructure is outside of its control. With cloud migration, the stakes are high. Adoption will suffer if cloud-delivered apps doesn’t perform as well as apps run in the enterprise’s own data center.

IT must proactively detect and analyze problems, whether the cause of the problem lies within the enterprise environment, the ISP, or Microsoft itself. Aternity monitors the performance of Office 365 from the perspective of the workforce end user’s device, and correlates that performance to device health metrics and end user characteristics such as role, department, and business location.

The NOC dashboard enables IT Ops to proactively prioritize problem resolution to where the impact is greatest, by displaying 1) the recent performance of any application, 2) the severity and impact of app problems by location or department, and 3) open incidents by severity and number of impacted users.

8. Assess the impact of desktop and application virtualization

Enterprises are implementing private clouds based on desktop and application virtualization as part of their mobile workspace strategy. Desktop and application virtualization benefits, such as improving flexibility, operational efficiency, and control, won’t matter if enterprises cannot maintain excellent application performance.

The challenge is that virtualization disrupts the traditional relationship between applications, physical hardware, operating systems, and presentation layers. Without comprehensive visibility into application performance as experienced by their end users, VDI administrators, Office 365 application owners, and IT Ops lack the critical insight needed to effectively plan, manage, and troubleshoot desktop and application virtualization environments.

Aternity enables IT to make fact-based decisions about the impact of virtualization on end user experience by 1) analyzing any application in the enterprise over the target time frame, 2) comparing device types such as physical vs. virtual desktops, and 3) examining performance by activity and by SLA conformance, across departments or geographies.

9. Hold your Office 365 provider accountable to SLAs that mean business

Although cloud providers’ service level agreements (SLAs) cover infrastructure uptime, incident response time commitments, and penalties, these are insufficient to guarantee excellent end user experience for Office 365. Traditional APM products, synthetic monitoring products, and application aware infrastructure performance monitoring all fail to accurately measure actual end user experience of cloud-delivered apps.

With its business activity analytics, SteelCentral Aternity enables you to augment cloud providers’ overall availability metrics with application performance SLAs that reflect actual end user experience as cloud-hosted apps render on users’ devices. This short video shows how Aternity enables you to establish SLAs based on business processes.

10. Track Office 365 adoption across the enterprise

Adoption and usage of Office 365 apps are the ultimate indicators of success of your program. Your workforce will leverage them if their expectations for reliability and performance are met. The only way to validate adoption is to measure actual usage, and to compare that with usage of productivity apps run in your own data centers.

With the Monitor Enterprise Apps dashboard, IT can automatically discover the local, cloud, or mobile apps in use in the enterprise, identify the actual number of active users, track the overall usage, wait time, and end user experience by geography, department, operating system, or device type.

Ensure your Office 365 productivity apps actually improve productivity

Named a ‘Cool Vendor’ in Gartner’s 2015 Cool Vendors in Vendor Management Report, Aternity can be used by enterprises to hold IT vendors accountable to SLAs based on business processes. Aternity dynamically monitors any user interaction, regardless of complexity, within Microsoft Productivity Suite applications such as Outlook, SharePoint, and Office, running on any type of Windows-based physical or virtual device, or tablet, with no programming required. Read the Aternity for Microsoft Apps and Devices Solution Brief for more information.


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