What is End-User Experience Monitoring?

End-user experience monitoring mimics user interaction with digital applications and services to determine their availability and performance from the user perspective. Thanks to this type of monitoring, IT teams can immediately, if not proactively, detect network and application issues, including slowness. Organizations that adopt this solution reduce mean time to resolution and support costs.

What’s the difference between end-user experience and network monitoring?

Traditional network monitoring systems verify the availability and performance of individual network devices, reporting any issues occurring. The problem with this approach is, due to the architectural complexity of modern networks and applications, understanding whether an application is actually working or not by just checking its individual components is a very complicated task. End-user experience monitoring simply verifies that users can access the network and use applications with good performance. This task is simpler to implement and doesn’t require any knowledge of the individual underlying components.

What are the metrics used to measure end-user experience monitoring?

There’s not a specific, key-metric that captures the end-user experience. Some tools may implement a proprietary algorithm that rates the quality of the end-user experience. NetBeez doesn’t do that, as we believe that a ‘one size fits all’ metric doesn’t exist. At least, we haven’t found one yet. So if you want to implement your own master metric for end-user experience, here are metrics that can be used to estimate it:

  • Network latency – The time that it takes for a packet to traverse a specific network path.
  • Packet loss – The amount of packets between a source and destination that are lost.
  • DNS query time – The amount of time that it takes to resolve a hostname or URL.
  • HTTP response time – The amount of time that it takes to fetch a web page.
  • Download and upload speed – The effective bandwidth available.

Some metrics are more important for bulk operations, such as bandwidth for download/upload tasks, while others for real-time operations, such as latency and packet loss. By the way, if you want to dig deeper into metrics, download the end-user experience white paper.

Why do organizations need end-user experience monitoring?

Organizations adopt end-user experience monitoring tools for three main reasons (although there are many more benefits):

  • Proactively detect issues before users report to the help desk – Outages happen, but when they do, it’s important that the IT team is the first to know; nobody wants to discover that you have a problem by the end-users or, worse, upper management.
  • Reduce the time to resolution – End-user experience monitoring tools will be able to highlight whether the problem originates on the end-user’s device, the network, or the application itself: such built-in fault isolation provides quick diagnostic, reducing overall troubleshooting time, and team efforts in supporting a large user base.
  • Reduce ticket escalations to higher support levels – One of the strongest ROI of end-user experience monitoring tools is that they empower help desk agents to handle more tickets, reducing the need for skilled engineers for tech support calls. Check out an earlier article I wrote about costs to support remote workers: there you can find how much ticket escalation costs.

What are the most common applications that organizations want to monitor?

When we work with organizations that want to implement end-user experience monitoring, we always ask what are the applications that these IT teams want to monitor. Here are the most frequent answers:

  • Applications: Microsoft Office 365, Citrix, Zoom, and WebEx. 
  • Public clouds: Azure (62%), AWS (25%), and Google Cloud (13%).

Conclusion

End-user experience monitoring is becoming more important in today’s digital transformation world: these tools enable teams of any size to achieve operational excellence in addressing in a quick and efficient way a wide range of network and application issues.

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