Tussa IKT: Monitoring end-user application service to ensure customer satisfaction
As a provider of IT services to businesses, Tussa IKT’s offering consists of a very large pool of applications of all kinds. About a hundred local factories, small enterprises, and financial institutions in western Norway rely on Tussa IKT for their business applications, CRM and ERP systems, office suites and other IT solutions and services. Most of these applications are delivered securely to Tussa IKT’s customers via a Citrix platform.
Providing application services to demanding customers
Tussa IKT’s customers expect these digital services to perform smoothly and reliably for their end users. Any deficiency in speed or availability negatively affects the provider’s reputation and revenues. Therefore, Tussa IKT is under pressure to demonstrate that the application services it provides meet end-user expectations. Tussa IKT’s credibility as a provider of quality digital services depends on its ability to fulfill service level agreements (SLAs).
Making sense of technical Data and end-user experience
Because the application delivery chain is so complex (Citrix layer, networks, data center, components, etc.), it was a major challenge for Tussa IKT staff to proactively detect service disruptions which affect end users. In fact, whenever customers contacted the service desk about performance problems, the staff promptly checked its technical monitoring tools… which very often showed that everything was running smoothly!
Yet even when applications are running well from the provider’s technical standpoint, end users may still experience service quality disruptions. Issues may arise at any point in the delivery chain, not just on the provider’s infrastructure.
In fact, the customer has no way of knowing whether or not a problem is the provider’s fault, nor can the provider determine exactly where the issue occurs outside of its own scope.
“Without the proper tools, neither side has insight into the many players involved from one end to the other of a complex application delivery chain,” explains Maxime Geffroy, ip-label Managing Director for Northern Europe.
This is why Tussa IKT decided to monitor performance end-to-end, from the vantage point of its customers’ end users. It selected the Newtest synthetic monitoring solution from ip-label to monitor the end user’s experience of its Citrixdelivered applications.
“Our existing tools did not provide a proper way of measuring the user’s real logon time like Newtest does,” says Bjørn Olav Vangen Aure, a consultant at Tussa IKT.
Monitoring end-user quality of experience
Newtest, the solution selected by Tussa IKT, provides synthetic monitoring. Newtest robots run scenarios to perform ‘transactions’, i.e. typical user interactions with the application. The solution can monitor these scripted user journeys 24/7 to immediately detect any performance problems which would affect end users.
In 2016, Tussa IKT and ip-label set up monitoring with two Newtest robots running 4 scenarios at the locations of two sensitive customers. Tussa IKT staff received training in scripting and administering scenarios. The 4 scenarios were built to monitor Citrix login, open Outlook, send an e-mail, and await an automated response. For alerting purposes, Tussa IKT also subscribed to the Newtest Alarm Module.
“Since we implemented Newtest, we have become better at asking customers the right questions to pinpoint the problem or application at the origin of performance issues.” Bjørn Olav Vangen Aure, Consultant Tussa IKT
Since then, Tussa IKT has continued to benefit from the Newtest solution, and has now opted for Newtest as a service (NaaS). The advantage for Tussa IKT’s busy staff is that it can rely on Newtest “hands free”, as NaaS is operated by ip-label.
Whether Newtest is deployed under license or as a fullymanaged service, it measures every step of each transaction and displays real-time results in the Newtest Management Console. Newtest’s customizable reporting features format the data clearly, so that Tussa IKT staff can see at a glance where applications are running well and where issues occur.
End-to-end insights, from provider to customer to end user
To respond effectively to the problems affecting its customers’ users, Tussa IKT needs to know about the quality of experience from the end users’ point of view. Are they able to log onto their Citrix-delivered applications smoothly, without excessive waiting? If not, why not?
With Newtest metrics and reports, Tussa IKT staff can objectively establish the level of service delivered to end users. This facilitates communication with customers and enables Tussa IKT to ask the right questions to better understand where problems really are occurring.
One outcome of end-to-end monitoring was that “we were able to prove that the issues our customers’ users were complaining about were not related to login time, and that Outlook was functioning properly,” explains Mr. Vangen Aure.
The investigation then focused on problem points which lay outside of Tussa IKT’s responsibility.
For Tussa IKT, the ability to detect degraded performance and identify even problems due to outside causes is essential to maintaining its reputation as a provider of high-quality service and ensuring customer satisfaction.
Founded in 1949, the Tussa group of companies specializes in renewable energy, telecommunications, IT, and the production and sale of energy and communications products on the northwest coast of Norway. Tussa IKT is the subsidiary which manages Tussa’s investments in regional IP network infrastructure. It provides advanced IT solutions and services to companies and public organizations in the region.