IT professionals are now adapting to a remote environment and learning to manage a distributed, homebound workforce. From a technical standpoint, the process of setting up a remote workforce is well-known.  For this blog post let’s dive into one step of the process, which is arguably the most important, user experience monitoring. A poor digital experience for remote workers has an even bigger impact than office workers since remote users are 100% dependent on their digital devices in order to be productive. Remember, each user/employee is using their WiFi, their local ISP which connects them to the internet which contains services like CDN, Security, third-party services, which will be different for each person. Then, finally, they are connected to the corporate network, but as you can see, the journey is different for each person.  Here are four ways you can maximize remote workforce productivity using Catchpoint for digital experience monitoring:

1. Monitor the complete service delivery chain

Using Catchpoint, monitor your entire service delivery chain to isolate the part of the delivery chain impacting performance. Determine if it’s the endpoint, local network, internet, or the SaaS application causing the issue.  When you drill down to a specific endpoint, you get an instant understanding of where the issues are actually occurring. By collecting data from the endpoint related to the device, applications, connectivity, and services being used, you can truly gain the perspective needed to understand and optimize the employee experience. 

The image below shows a real-time visualization of two critical user experience metrics – time for visual completeness of the page and service availability. The dashboard visualizes the metric data alongside endpoint diagnostic data showing Wi-Fi, local network, and client device performance with color codes, and performance details can be seen below.

In this particular example we are focusing on metrics gathered from Microsoft’s popular service SharePoint.

In the top section of the dashboard, we are viewing the overall uptime of SharePoint as well as comparing individual user’s performance KPI for all of SharePoint to 24/7 synthetic baseline. This visibility allows us to identify any users who have suboptimal experiences.

In the image above, we see that the user ‘EddieW-BC1’ is reporting a poor user experience of 8.5 seconds for visually complete.  Further below in the dashboard, we see that the user’s MacBook is using 58.68% of its CPU which is higher than the average and memory at 24.05%, so those are things to be slightly concerned about.

However, when looking at the WiFI network quality we see that the WiFi signal strength (absolute value of the strength measured in dBm), is red and showing a loss of value of -76.14 dBm. A number of 30 dBm is as good as it gets, while anything about -70 dBm you’ll be lucky if you’ll be able to stay connected.

We can investigate further by checking each individual endpoint for further network path and user-based analytics. Consider the same user, ‘EddieW-BC1’, we see that there are two separate network paths that can be taken from this endpoint – one of which is on a WiFi with poor signal quality resulting in latency.

With this data, the user can take appropriate corrective action to address the WiFi configuration at home.

2. See a 360º view of user’s experience from the dashboard

Catchpoint helps you improve workforce productivity by measuring the experience of every member of your workforce.  You can monitor the digital experience of your employees using parameters like geography, or department. Too much wait time or errors means you are delivering a poor digital experience. The Catchpoint platform provides you a deep understanding of the user, all of the applications, ISP, last-mile network performance, and the devices they use. With Catchpoint, you can monitor the true response time of any business activity on an application as it renders on the user’s screen.

Correlate user experience to the health and performance on the device running the application.

3. Monitor user experience on every App your remote workforce relies on

When SaaS apps like Office 365 fail, do employees call your Service desk? Service desk teams are often on the front lines of dealing with user complaints. Catchpoint enables you to review the performance of applications running on your user’s device and verify their complaints. Using Catchpoint, you can monitor the end-user experience of all the apps in your portfolio. See the information by region, browser or other parameters. Analyze the common characteristics of poor performance to isolate the root cause so problems can be quickly addressed.

In the case below, poor performance for users in India and the UK was only seen for a few SaaS applications and not others.

Drill down into each app’s response times to check “time to first byte” issues impacting the user’s experience KPIs.

4. Have the detailed insights you need to troubleshoot quickly

Getting to the root cause is a significant challenge for SaaS application users. It can be challenging to troubleshoot availability and performance issues when there may be multiple networks and services between each of your users and the SaaS apps they are accessing.

When a user is having trouble accessing a SaaS, within a few clicks you can see what’s happening and why it’s happening.

You may see 5 endpoints experiencing failures.  What are the commonalities? Are there patterns? 

Employees can also resolve issues on their own, reducing the burden on corporate IT, using a Chrome Extension that reports device and network health with recommended actions they should perform. 

Detect degradations before they become major issues that impact entire your entire workforce. Preemptively make changes that will prevent other users from experiencing outages or service degradation.

With Catchpoint’s solution for remote workforce monitoring, you can fully understand and manage the remote experience of your employees. Watch our webcast featuring guest Forrester to teach you how to manage and improve the digital experience of your employees working remotely.

This blog post was co-written by Neelum Khan and Zach Henderson.