End-user Experience Monitoring

virtual machine windows it service end user monitoring

End user experience monitoring continuously tests the performance of business-critical applications from the perspective of end users. It quickly tells you about any degradation in performance, responsiveness, or availability that users may experience. This can help you avoid significant problems that can lead to poor customer satisfaction, lost revenue, and negative brand impact.

End-user Experience Monitoring

Gartner defines End-user Experience Monitoring as the capture of data about how the availability, latency, execution correctness, and quality of end-to-end applications appear to the end-user.

The aim of end-user experience monitoring is to continuously test the performance of business-critical applications from the perspective of the end-user in order to ensure the quality of key IT services. The end-user experience is the result of a combination of the browser used, the network, and server latency. Monitoring just one of these components such as server side latency cannot give you a complete view of the state of your applications.

Visual Monitoring

Visual Monitoring, an active form of end-user monitoring, is one way to monitor the end-user experience. Like its cousin methodology, Real User Monitoring, it looks at traffic initiated from an end-user interface such as a browser window or an application screen. But since it uses a customizable test suite that interacts directly with the user interface, it can immediately begin to simulate users interacting with the most crucial business process and easily drill down, without needing to wait for weeks to collect historic traffic data before it can be used.

Visual monitoring works by analyzing the most important tasks that users do when using an application, and implementing a visually-based script that will repeat those actions at regular intervals, in order to monitor performance in terms of availability, functionality and response time.

Because it only needs a standard visual interface rather than access to an API or direct access to the underlying code, a visual monitoring solution like Alyvix can monitor:

  • Virtualized and cloud-based applications that can be accessed over the internet, such as MS Dynamics and SAP clients, regardless of whether they are used via RDP, Citrix, etc.

  • Black box applications for which APIs are not available, or applications that are built with unknown technologies

Why is End-user Monitoring So Important?

Companies rely heavily on IT services, usually implemented as web applications or native applications requiring the internet to function. Thus any degradation in performance, responsiveness, or availability can be a significant problem, and the importance of maintaining performance as perceived by the end-user cannot be overstated.

The end-user, however, doesn't have to be an employee within the same company. Performance issues can also lead to unhappy customers. For instance:

  • Amazon saw that a one-second increase in page load time translated into a 1% drop in sales (about $1.6 billion in sales annually)
  • Google found that a delay of 0.5 seconds in search page load time resulted in a 20% decrease in traffic

End-user experience monitoring is also fundamental for supervising customer-facing IT operations – such as production and sales – that can result in serious damage or penalties when not functioning properly. For instance, bad performance in a logistics system may lead to delivery delays, followed by poor customer satisfaction, lost revenue, and negative brand impact.

By the time a customer complains, significant damage has already been done. So if you don't have a formal tool or process in place to continuously test that users are having the best experience with your application, you're running a significant risk, potentially losing customers and eventually even your business. After all, since there are more than one application with the same functionality, it's quite easy to go to the competition.

Key Benefits of End-user (and Visual) Monitoring

End-user Monitoring lets you leverage a number of features:

  • Monitor users globally, allowing you to easily track user experience and pinpoint specific locations that may be impacted by poor application performance
  • Capture end-to-end performance metrics for all business-critical transactions
  • Identify issues or bottlenecks anywhere in the end-to-end business transaction flow to help Operations and Development teams identify problems and troubleshoot quickly
  • Monitor third party applications and microservices regardless of whether or not they have an API

Visual monitoring additionally lets you:

  • Define individual test cases with their own specific thresholds
  • Actively discover problems without waiting for your users to find them
  • Support diagnostics by immediately measuring the effect of system changes
  • Quickly bring up a new test case to monitor whenever the need arises

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