Say goodbye to IT Dark Zones with ControlUp DEX Management

Unified Communications (UCaaS) and SaaS app monitoring strengthen ControlUp Digital Employee Experience (DEX) management. 

We are excited to announce our comprehensive Digital Employee Experience (DEX) management platform that provides a comprehensive approach to user sentiment analysis, unified communications insights, and advanced SaaS monitoring to help IT teams make smarter decisions when supporting work-from-anywhere (WFA) employees. 

Just over a year ago, when we launched ControlUp Ultimate, our first platform offering that included our groundbreaking Remote DX solution and the addition of Edge DX, which gave IT the ability to monitor and optimize physical endpoints. Back then, we talked about the concept of “IT blind spots,” which focused on how the sudden shift to remote work created challenges for IT teams due to the lack of visibility into where their distributed teams were working. 

 

Organizations report a 72% increase in complexity in IT environments since 2019*

And although, 12 months later, many of our customers have adopted our new solutions to gain visibility into this “last mile” of work, we learned, through many conversations with them that these “blind spots,” (or, as we like to refer to them “IT Dark Zones”), go beyond the devices they use and the networks they are connected to. Often, they tell us that they are struggling with gaining insights into the digital experience of their employees and how it is affected by various technological and physical factors. In particular, they wanted to see where the various technologies interact, a challenge worsened by the increased complexity and diversity of desktops and apps they offer to their employees.  

This all makes sense when you think about it. Let’s look at just one example: if you use a SaaS application and you have a bad experience with it, what’s the source of the problem? Is it the device you’re using? Is it your browser? Is it the network the device is connected to? Or is the problem not on your end, but caused by performance or availability issues of the SaaS platform itself? 

 

We listened to all these questions, and we got to work to address two main challenges: 

  1. Provide our customers with more options to keep up with the increasing complexity and diversity in the technologies their employees use 
  1. Deliver a comprehensive picture of the end-to-end experience and the tools to make it easier for IT to find the root causes of issues that affect user experience, no matter where they live in the technology chain.  

 

Introducing ControlUp’s expanded DEX Management Platform 

 

ControlUp Digital Employee Experience management platform

 

With over a decade of experience in bringing together insights across the various technology components in VDI and DaaS environments and building solutions, such as our Virtual Expert™ technology, which allows IT teams to quickly correlate and pinpoint digital experience issues, today we are excited to announce our expanded DEX management solution. The ControlUp DEX management platform now includes monitoring and optimization for: 

  • Unified Communications: Provides usage insights and the ability to quickly identify the root cause of problems people experience when they use tools like Microsoft Teams. 
  • SaaS and Web Applications: Gives full visibility into the performance and availability of SaaS applications with proactive alerting, so IT teams can get in front of issues before the service desk phone starts ringing. 
  • User Sentiment: Collects data about the digital employee experience to help IT teams maximize productivity and satisfaction while removing the need for more survey tools.  
  • Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD): Delivers real-time visibility into key metrics for one of the fastest-growing Desktops-as-a-Service (DaaS) platforms. 

 

Unified Communications  

Today, among customers’ most mission-critical applications are Unified Communications tools (also referred to as UC&C or UCaaS). Monitoring and improving the experience with these applications needs to be a top priority for IT teams, because when employees have problems with them, their productivity is immediately impacted. But determining if problems are with the UCaaS provider, the home network, or the endpoint device is often cumbersome. 

With initial support for Microsoft Teams, our new UC tools monitoring feature gives IT organizations quick insights into the number of calls and meetings, duration, experience scores, quality and feedback, call types and attendee participation. Additional data, such as sentiment, provides a complete picture of the call quality. ControlUp also lets you quickly see the root cause of poor call quality or failures through visual indicators. With the ability to further drill down to investigate whether the physical endpoint or local network connectivity is causing the issues, you can find and fix them faster.  

 

ControlUp Unified Communications Monitoring for Microsoft Teams
Figure 1: ControlUp Unified Communications Monitoring for Microsoft Teams

SaaS and Web Applications 

With the increase in the number and use of SaaS applications each year, it’s important for IT to ensure that SaaS availability and performance is proactively monitored. Identifying and remedying problems before they affect your users gives you the opportunity to react quickly and effectively. Finally, monitoring provides insight into how your users are interacting with your application: Are they making full use of all available features?  

To give better insights into the health and availability of SaaS applications, we’ve added support for SaaS application monitoring by giving customers insights in application performance through our new Site Load test. We have also added out-of-the-box application templates that make setting up tests for popular SaaS applications and platforms—including Exchange Online and Azure AD—as easy as 1-2-3.  

 

ControlUp SaaS Application & Site Performance testing
Figure 2: ControlUp SaaS Application & Site Performance testing

User Sentiment 

As part of their DEX strategy, many IT teams are looking to enhance their KPIs to go beyond just Service-Level Agreements (SLA) to also include Experience-Level Agreements (XLA). To do this, organizations are starting to focus on business-oriented outcomes, including productivity impact and technology proficiency. To be able to measure these business-oriented outcomes, customers need to bring more than just quantitative metrics into the equation and, thus, are looking at qualtitiatve metrics, such as user sentiment. 

To give IT and business teams this important contextual experience data, we have added user sentiment collection and reporting to our ControlUp Edge DX solution. With this feature, you can send surveys directly to your employees to ask how they feel about their experience, rather than just looking at traditional performance metrics. With the ability to collect and report NPS and other user feedback directly from the physical endpoint, you can get more complete insights in the digital employee experience and without having to invest in more survey tools. 

 

ControlUp User Sentiment Collection and Reporting
Figure 3: ControlUp User Sentiment Collection and Reporting

Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop  

Starting in 2020 a lot of companies turned to Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) as a solution that could quickly scale to meet their demands caused by a sudden influx of remote workers. And it started a trend that will likely remain an important staple for many companies as part of their digital workplace strategy. One thing that remains a concern however is the cost of running desktops in the cloud, which will require IT teams to take proactive measures to keep costs under control. 

To give IT teams better visibility into Azure and AVD workloads and give them tools to be able to not only optimize the digital experience for users accessing these workloads, but also keep an handle on the cost, ControlUp made several enhancements to the Real-Time DX platform, including the addition of native Azure support and, more recently, capabilities to optimize cost savings.

In addition to these existing features, we are also adding support to proactively test the availability of AVD workloads through synthetic testing in Scoutbees and, as mentioned earlier in this post, the ability to test the availability of Azure AD through a new Scoutbees Application Template. 

 

ControlUp Real-Time DX

 

Every day, the focus at ControlUp is creating solutions that make it easier for IT to deliver and manage a truly great digital employee experience. Remote work is here to stay, and we want to make the lives of IT admins (and the remote workers they support) as simple and stress-free as possible. Over the next couple of weeks, we will go into more detail about our new solutions and how they can help IT deliver a friction-free, work-from-anywhere experience that shortens help desk queues, reins in costs, and keeps distributed teams productive and happy. 

 

Join us, LIVE, on Thursday, June 23 at 11:00 a.m. EDT to see the ControlUp Digital Employee Experience management platform in action. Save your seat today!

https://www.controlup.com/webinars/webinar-how-to-optimize-digital-experience-for-unified-communications-saas-apps/