Remote Users and IT: Just the Facts, Ma’am

Image of Joe Friday from Dragnet

Image of Joe Friday from Dragnet

Even today, a great many problems with the network and applications are detected and reported by users (including remote users), rather than proactively detected by IT. Especially in large enterprises, users tend to be remote from IT, and often in many locations.

Unfortunately, information from remote users about outages and slow performance does not tend to be precise, dependable and consistent. Users are often non-technical and can be a frustrating source of information for IT. They are notorious for attributing problems to the wrong source, such as blaming the network when they’ve really infected their machine by clicking on links in emails.

By the time remote users report a problem to IT, it’s already impacting their productivity. They’re already irritated. A good IT organization aims to monitor the network proactively, to serve the business by keeping applications and databases available for users. It’s far more efficient and reduces the time to repair problems, minimizing impacts to user productivity. There are “old school” SNMP-based network monitoring approaches that provide some information for IT to debug remote problems, but these miss the user perspective, such as which applications and services are available to users, and how they are performing.

There’s another specter to this problem: without good user-level information, there can be finger pointing and cross blaming within enterprise IT groups, which tend to have areas of specialization. You can end up with apps folks blaming the network, network folks blaming apps, and so on.

In addition, remote users, being somewhere else by definition, usually don’t know the IT people. So, they don’t think of IT as composed of people, they think of IT as this incomprehensible function that they don’t understand. At HQ, users often know IT people and know how hard they work. Remote users have no idea. By the same token, IT folks don’t know remote users, and how hard they are working to produce profits for the enterprise. They see the worst of remote users: whining and complaints that can make little sense from a technical point of view.

Enterprises can no longer rely on users to detect and troubleshoot remote network and application issues. Trends such as increased reliance on cloud applications, VDI and VoIP exacerbate the problem and make the situation even more intolerable.

This is where NetBeez provides a simple, yet effective way to deal with the remote user problem. NetBeez provides a virtual remote user that is able to provide “Just the facts ma’am” without bothering users. With agents at each remote site, NetBeez provides the needed technical information, at the user level, to ascertain and debug problems effectively. It’s like having a super-intelligent and dependable user who can report exactly what’s going on at that remote site – just the facts and with no emotion. With the NetBeez approach, enterprise IT now has the tool to keep users happy, decrease downtime and stress and be a hero. It even helps with internal finger-pointing, because it is very difficult to argue with clear and precise facts.

It’s very easy to check out NetBeez, just go here for a free 30-day trial.

About the author – Kate Brew is an advisor to NetBeez with over 20 years of experience in IT product management and marketing with Tivoli, SolarWinds, and AlienVault.

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