Blog · 13 Jan 2021

How Network Performance Management (NPM) complexity is creating blind spots

67% of enterprises have three to six different NPM tools installed.

A well-known soft drinks manufacturer recently came to our partner BT, with a very strange mix of problems.

A number of their senior managers were struggling with application performance when working from home. Nothing especially unusual there, given our current work-from-anywhere reality… except that a number of other senior managers at the same company were actually enjoying better application performance at home than when they worked in the office.

Curious indeed!

The issues were most noticeable with heavier Office 365 workloads, and especially apparent when using Microsoft Teams. The company was in a state of panic as they’d tried everything they would usually do, and nothing had worked.

BT quickly suggested a deployment of their Visibility-as-a-Service, End User Experience (VaaS EUX), powered by Riverbed technology and Aternity. Collectively, our unified network, application and end-user monitoring solution collects and analyses information about applications, devices, and network performance from across the business. Through the portal dashboard, you can see how everything is working – or not – at a glance.

As soon as it was implemented, VaaS EUX highlighted multiple issues that the company had not identified before – related to high packet loss, jitter, and under-provisioned laptops when using Teams. Equipped with these definitive insights, we had enough knowledge to start putting a variety of solutions in place.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure

That’s the old adage, and it’s still just as valid today. Mysterious technical issues are not at all uncommon – and when you explore a little further, it’s easy to see why.

Our customers often tell us that over time, they have acquired a number of Network Performance Management (NPM) tools, all promising a variety of benefits. And this is often core to their problems. Research reveals that 67% of enterprises actually have anywhere from three to six different NPM tools installed[1]. But, having more ways to get visibility doesn’t equate to more insight.

Using too many of these tools to manage your IT estate is just adding complexity and risk. If you can’t see everything in a single, simple view, you create network blind spots, with hardware, software, and network issues falling straight through the cracks – and management teams left scratching their heads.

Less conjecture, more closure

To stop playing the ‘blame game’ and start identifying the real causes of performance issues, you need one single, unified network, application, and end-user monitoring tool. And that’s what VaaS EUX is purpose-built to do.

It lets you see how people use your network and applications in real time, giving you true insight. It allows you to detect and solve problems faster; reducing downtime, saving money, and increasing productivity.

Importantly, it’s the ideal platform to support a quicker and less risky move to the cloud, new hybrid networks, and innovations like Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Big Data analytics, because it lets you easily benchmark performance with a view to planning for future transformation. Plus, it gives you clarity on how your current assets are performing – whether that’s bandwidth, cloud, software licences, or laptops and mobile devices – helping you to make better, more informed spending decisions.

Basically, it’s an ideal way to stop speculating, wondering, and worrying… and just keep on doing.

Find out more about VaaS EUX from BT, and get in touch to discuss the kinds of insight and benefits it can deliver to your organisation.

[1] EMA, Network Performance Management for Today’s Digital Enterprise, May 2019