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How to Handle the End-User Experience When Implementing an APM Solution

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How to Handle the End-User Experience When Implementing an APM Solution

With more and ever closer relationships between users and developers, end-user monitoring has become a concern that must be addressed.

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In the past, end user monitoring has been dealt with by service desks or IT departments alone, or made the secondary focus for reporting and analytics. More recently, the importance of the user experience for APM has risen to the top. Gartner describe End User Monitoring as, "The capture of data about how end-to-end latency, execution correctness and quality appear to the real user of the application."

Among other things, this change in focus has enabled businesses and users to be proactive in independently troubleshooting their own issues, and it also gives your business visibility into how users are interacting with IT. With these important metrics to hand, companies can create a data led model for business decision making, creating change where it will affect the user the most positively, and even fixing problems before they are flagged up, alleviating frustration and pain points.

Identifying the Problems to Create Superior End-User Experience

As the internet gets more complex, user expectations will only continue to rise. Customers and users alike want their online experience to be multi-channel, feature rich, and available 24/7. A delay of just a few seconds can make a real difference to your bottom line.

Real User Monitoring (RUM) is an approach which has been shown to be far more effective when it comes to End-User Monitoring than Synthetic Transaction Monitoring or Server-Side Monitoring alone, neither of which give a real view of what the user is actually experiencing. Using JavaScript snippets in the HTML code, metrics can be collected from every user transaction. The business can look at dozens of metrics, from basic data such as page load times and response times from the network, all the way to granular information about specific user pain points and their causes. It also provides insight into how an application is performing across different platforms, browsers and channels. For complex apps or websites with extras such as dynamic content, RUM is a real game changer.

Business Transaction Management solutions take this a step further, monitoring not just the user behavior, but also firewalls, proxies, load balancers, web and application servers, databases and the mainframe. Every transaction is followed through each tier, so that when a problem is detected, it can be resolved at the source, often before your users even recognize that there is an issue. SharePath is unique, as a single solution which offers this functionality, with an "end-user first" attitude that allows for monitoring from the moment your user clicks on a web-based application or monitored desktop. The next time your user complains to the service desk that something is not working, you'll have access to the answers, and fast. You may even be able to tell them that a patch is already in progress.

Setting Goals and Success Criteria for End-User Monitoring

The proof is in the metrics, and with End Use Monitoring you can create and track the success of your APM with the data that really matters. As you are managing every step of the transaction process, it's easy to see where problems are occurring, even down to a specific database query or line of code. By keeping track of transaction response times, you can streamline your processes to optimize speed and performance, watching these metrics improve in real-time.

Unsurprisingly, companies who have started to monitor using RUM and BTM are seeing better collaboration and communication being fostered among stakeholders, too. Not only does this kind of APM encourage and promote transparency between departments, but a true understanding of the end-user experience offers the visibility to support interdepartmental goals, from security and stability for IT, to profits and branding for the Business.

While performance monitoring tools and Synthetic Transaction Monitoring do not show what the user experience is really like, and simple Real User Monitoring ignores the potential issues outside of the users' tier, SharePath offers end to end transaction monitoring across every component of your infrastructure.

Sensu: workflow automation for monitoring. Learn more—download the whitepaper.

Topics:
performance ,end user monitoring ,real user monitoring ,synthetic monitoring

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