Mobile APM: The Next New SteelCentral Aternity End User Experience Monitoring Move

Mike Marks

Riverbed’s acquisition of Aternity brings new End User Experience Monitoring capabilities to our customers that augment those that SteelCentral APM and NPM provide. The previous post covered how Desktop Services teams use SteelCentral Aternity for device troubleshooting. SteelCentral Aternity also provides new Mobile APM capabilities for Mobile App Developers, IT Ops, and business executives.

Mobile market trends

The 2016 Mobile Playbook discusses how enterprises are investing heavily in mobility initiatives to raise customer engagement, revenue, and workforce productivity. Some key statistics:

  • More than 90% of IT Decision Makers see enterprise mobility as the critical function for customer engagement, competitiveness, and operational productivity in 2016
  • By 2020, mobile workers will account for nearly 75% of the U.S. workforce
  • By 2017, 100% of the line of business apps used in customer-facing roles, and 75% of LOB apps used in internally-facing roles, will be built for mobile-first consumption

Key mobile APM capabilities

Central IT is often responsible for monitoring mobile apps together with the other business critical apps in the enterprise portfolio. The implication for Mobile APM is clear. As stated in the summary of the 2016 Gartner Market Guide for Mobile Application Performance Monitoring, ‘In a shift from the last Market Guide, Gartner sees native mobile application performance monitoring changing. I&O leaders should view MAPM largely as a component of an overall APM and/or digital experience monitoring strategy, rather than an independent market.’ So, enterprises must ensure excellent end user experience for business critical apps, whether they run on mobile, physical, or virtual devices.

SteelCentral Aternity Mobile APM

Unlike vendors which focus primarily on consumer mobile apps, SteelCentral Aternity Mobile APM addresses a full range of use cases for developers of both consumer and workforce mobile apps, IT Ops who support them, and business executives who rely on them to grow and transform their markets. Crash analytics, app error reporting, service performance metrics, and data consumption tracking are important app developer capabilities provided by most mobile APM vendors. Other Mobile APM products primarily solve problems for consumer-facing apps, because they lack visibility into important aspects of the enterprise end user—their identity, role, and business function, the full range of apps and devices they use, and the business activities for which employees are responsible.

Workforce mobile apps, such as productivity apps, ERP, CRM, and EHR, require additional capabilities. For IT Ops to prioritize their response to an incident, they need to understand the business impact, the functional organization and business locations of the impacted users, and whether desktop users are also impacted.

For the line of business to determine whether or not mobile is improving workforce productivity, they need metrics and analysis in terms that are relevant to the business, such as the length of time to fill out a claim form, or the number of orders processed, or not completed, by employees in a remote branch office.

Watch this short video for an overview of SteelCentral Aternity Mobile APM:

Mobile APM for app developers

With SteelCentral Aternity Mobile APM, mobile app developers can monitor apps in real-time to get visibility into the app’s performance, its interaction with the network and the device, and the impact of performance on user experience. With SteelCentral Aternity, app developers can:

  • Isolate problems to the code or the network, and analyze them with code level stack trace to speed resolution
  • Analyze the performance of the app across device and OS versions, geographies and carriers, to identify trends
  • Track usage, crashes, errors, HTTP performance and volume relative to thresholds and geography

Mobile APM for IT Ops

SteelCentral Aternity Mobile APM empowers IT Ops teams to ensure quality of service for consumer and workforce mobile apps using the same workflow as they use for monitoring and troubleshooting problems on any other business critical app. With SteelCentral Aternity, IT Ops teams can:

  • Proactively detect and analyze mobile app incidents by severity, impacted users, and business locations, to prioritize response
  • Correlate app performance to the underlying network and server performance to quickly resolve problems
  • Compare the performance of mobile apps across geographies, carriers, devices, and OS versions to optimize performance

Further, IT Ops teams can use SteelCentral AppInternals to further diagnose issues that impact end-user experience of their mobile apps. They can trace transactions over the network, across the web and app tiers and into the database in order to isolate problems down to the code, system resource, network, SQL or third party service.

IT Ops teams can also use AppInternals’ JavaScript instrumentation capability to monitor end-user experience of web views within a native mobile application, and trace those transactions into the back-end to expose and diagnose bottlenecks.

Mobile APM for business executives

With SteelCentral Aternity Mobile APM, business executives can determine the effectiveness of their mobile strategy on improving workforce productivity, by doing the following:

  • Evaluate mobile adoption progress by tracking mobile app usage by department and geography
  • Validate expected gains in productivity by comparing business activities over time, and on mobile vs. wired devices
  • Prove the reliability of migrating business processes to mobile by analyzing SLA compliance for key business activities

Instrument apps for diagnostics and user interactions, no developer required

The SteelCentral Aternity Mobile Wrapper gives full control to IT Ops teams or EMM administrators to instrument enterprise apps without app developers or access to the code. The Aternity Mobile Wrapper includes all of the capabilities of the Aternity Mobile SDK, so there is no loss of monitoring functionality. And because there are no code changes, there is no extra development effort and no impact on release schedules when apps are updated.

More information on End User Experience Monitoring to follow

In the coming weeks, we’ll explore each of the five new moves in more detail. We’ll illustrate SteelCentral Aternity’s capabilities with use cases and dashboards. In addition, you can see and hear more about these by attending Riverbed Disrupt in New York City.

You can also register for free instant access to SteelCentral Aternity running in our cloud environment.




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