In today’s rapidly evolving technology landscape, proactive and transparent IT operations are crucial in building resilient systems. One essential factor in enabling organizations to achieve digital resiliency is visibility. By combining proactive end-to-end monitoring capabilities with transparent end user communication, organizations can identify and address potential issues early, and if the users are already impacted, timely communication can mitigate the frustration and make workarounds available. In this blog post, I’ll explore how Cisco ThousandEyes monitoring tool can enhance proactiveness and the benefits of informing users directly during incidents, including sharing the cause of the issue, current actions, and a timeline for resolution.
The evolution of IT operations
IT operations have traditionally been reactive, meaning issues being addressed after they occur and are detected by the users. However, this approach is no longer sufficient in today’s complex and dynamic IT environments where businesses are dependent on their digital services, for their employees and end customers. From reactive to proactive IT operations, organizations need to be enabled and empowered to detect and resolve issues before they impact users. With real-time visibility into network performance, application delivery and user experience, IT can take preventative actions to maintain system reliability.
If the issues happen to impact users, end-to-end monitoring provides visibility into different layers and domains between users and services, enabling IT Ops to quickly hand over the issue resolution to the right team, service provider or partner. Based on the information they would also inform the impacted users about the service degradation, possible workarounds and when the issue is resolved. Proactiveness helps avoid frustration and increases user satisfaction, ultimately having a positive outcome for the business.
Been on a lookout for a solution to the eternal challenge of IT teams spending their hours on troubleshooting instead of development tasks? Look no further. Accurate and timely information on issues, together with transparent communication to users will make it possible for IT to aim for zero tickets opened by users.
Proactive end-to-end monitoring with Cisco ThousandEyes
- Cisco ThousandEyes monitoring provides comprehensive insights into performance and availability of applications, networks and other services.
- It leverages a wide range of data sources, including network performance, user experience metrics, and BGP routing information, to identify potential issues and anomalies.
- By continuously monitoring critical components of IT infrastructure, organizations gain proactive visibility into emerging problems, such as network congestion, service degradation, or security threats.
Honesty and good communication can change how IT is seen by the users
Proactive communication with users during incidents is an essential aspect of building resilient systems. It mitigates risks for businesses being dependent on their digital services that are relying not just on organizations own IT environment and systems, but also on 3rd party services, where businesses haven’t historically had any or very limited visibility. When organizations inform their users directly about an issue, its cause, current actions being taken to resolve it and an estimated timeline for resolution or a workaround, several benefits arise.
First and foremost, users appreciate being kept in the loop, which enhances their trust and reduces frustration. Transparency fosters a sense of collaboration between IT teams and users, resulting in improved user satisfaction and loyalty. Additionally, users are more understanding when they are informed about the situation and can plan accordingly. This reduces the influx of support requests and allows IT teams to focus on resolving the issue rather than responding to individual user inquiries.
Furthermore, if a workaround can be provided even sooner than the issue is resolved, being alerted and understanding quickly where the issues are coming from, end-to-end visibility can drastically reduce the MTTR and increase the resiliency of your business critical services, hence providing better assurance for business continuity during the times of incidents.
Transparent real-time incident notifications with Cisco ThousandEyes
Cisco ThousandEyes end-to-end monitoring platform integrates incident reporting and communication capabilities, allowing organizations to provide transparent updates to users during incidents. Through a user-friendly interface or automated notifications, organizations can share incident details, including the cause, current actions, and a timeline for resolution. This level of transparency instills confidence in users, demonstrating that their concerns are acknowledged and being actively addressed.
Cisco Webex Connect is an example of an integrated platform where communication can be bi-directional, enabling IT to get confirmation from users that the service is working again. In case of continued issues – even if IT thinks the issue is resolved – users can communicate back easily using the channel most convenient for them, wether it is email, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, SMS or Whatsapp messages, without the need of deploying any additional tools or agents to their computers.
Broadcast messages and announcements with Cisco Webex Connect platform
Webex Connect platform offers features for sending broadcast messages and announcements to a large group of employees simultaneously. IT operations or support teams can use this functionality to provide general updates, instructions or status reports regarding the incident. Broadcast messages ensure that all impacted employees receive important information, which reduces confusion and keeps everyone informed about the resolution progress, and any necessary actions they should take.
Below are examples of how Webex Connect platform can be used in two specific use cases where Cisco ThousandEyes and SMS/WhatsApp notifications are involved.
Use case 1: ThousandEyes end-to-end monitoring detects an ISP or SaaS network issue
ThousandEyes end-to-end monitoring has detected an issue with an ISP or SaaS application provider network. The issue affects multiple users in the company.
Detection and Impact Assessment:
ThousandEyes monitors network performance and detects the issue, providing detailed insights on when it started, the extent of the impact and the affected users.
Trigger SMS/WhatsApp Notifications:
IT teams leverage Webex Connect platform to send SMS or WhatsApp messages to the impacted users. These messages inform users about the issue, its impact and any recommended actions they should take.
By using SMS or WhatsApp, IT teams can reach users directly and instantly, ensuring they are aware of the issue promptly without any additional tools been deployed, using the existing and preferred messaging tools.
Users receive real-time updates, enabling them to adjust their work or take necessary steps to minimize disruption.
Webex Connect platform allows IT teams to send notifications only to the affected users, avoiding unnecessarily alerting others.
Employees are kept informed, which enables them to make informed decisions and reduce frustration caused by a lack of communication.
Use case 2: Employee affected by poor digital experience
An employee encounters a poor digital experience, such as slow application performance or connectivity issues. They reach out to IT through SMS or WhatsApp.
Employee Reports Issue:
Employee sends an SMS or WhatsApp message to the designated IT support number, reporting the digital experience problem they are facing.
Webex Connect Integration:
Webex Connect platform integrates with ThousandEyes dashboards to provide real-time status updates on different services for that specific user, to enable first level self help.
Upon receiving the employee’s message, Webex Connect platform fetches information from ThousandEyes end-to-end monitoring dashboards and sends real-time updates to the employee. These updates may include the status of relevant services, ongoing incident resolution efforts, or any known issues related to the reported problem.
Employee receives real-time updates on the status of the services they are experiencing issues with, reducing their anxiety and uncertainty without creating any additional workload for IT Ops team.
If Webex Connect platform identifies a known issue with the specific service, it can inform the employee without the need to open a separate IT ticket. This empowers employees to troubleshoot and resolve minor issues independently.
Efficient Ticket Management:
For issues that require IT intervention, Webex Connect platform facilitates seamless creation of IT tickets based on the employee’s initial message. This streamlines the ticketing process and ensures prompt handling of critical incidents.
In both use cases, Cisco Webex Connect platform in conjunction with Cisco ThousandEyes monitoring brings several benefits. It enables rapid and targeted communication, empowering employees with real-time information, reducing frustration and facilitating efficient incident resolution. Moreover, it strengthens the collaboration between IT teams and employees, building trust by fostering a transparent and user-centric approach to IT operations.
Power of the Cisco platform
Cisco ThousandEyes end-to-end monitoring combined with proactive user communication with Webex Connect, plays a vital role in building resilient systems. By proactively identifying and addressing potential issues, organizations can maintain system reliability and mitigate user impact. Transparent incident reporting keeps users informed, it fosters collaboration and enhances user satisfaction. Are you keen on setting your organization to a path of proactive and transparent IT operations that boosts your resiliency against evolving technology challenges? If yes, I want to learn more about your challenge, let’s get in touch.