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VMblog Expert Interview: ControlUp Talks Work From Anywhere and Digital Employee Experience (DEX)


Companies around the globe are still offering many of their employees the opportunity to work remote in some form or fashion.  But the work from anywhere model comes with its own set of challenges and problems that IT teams need to face and support.  And the digital employee experience (DEX) is also becoming an important factor to address.  ControlUp is one of the early pioneers to develop a DEX platform and their latest platform is providing comprehensive reporting on crucial productivity tools like MS Teams, Zoom, Slack, Azure and more. 

To find out more, VMblog reached out to Yoni Avital, ControlUp Co-founder and CPO.

VMblog:  With companies around the globe using hybrid and work-from-anywhere models, what problems do IT teams face supporting these remote employees?

Yoni Avital:  As today's remote, hybrid, and work-from-anywhere trends continue to grow-IT teams are forced to support IT dark zones when employees use disparate technologies as they work in virtual office spaces, airport lounges, or their home offices. Help Desks are expected to address problems remotely even with limited visibility into tools and networks that were not designed to handle these work-from-anywhere models.

The virtual desktops and applications companies set up to support their growing remote workforce pale in comparison to in-house workstations and technology. The need to proactively support team members and create a positive Digital Employee Experience is great.

VMblog:  As employees have the flexibility to work from anywhere, what are some of the top problems they encounter, along with the IT teams that support them?

Avital:  Without the needed visibility or tools to support work-from-anywhere employees, the hands of IT departments are tied. The employee experience is less than desirable as team members report lengthy logons, unreliable applications, challenging internet connectivity, and interaction problems with unified communications tools (e.g., Slack, Teams, or Zoom).

Another issue we are seeing is employees connecting to routers using Wi-Fi security protocols (WEP, WPA, WPA2, etc.) that do not comply with corporate or governmental standards. These less secure connections, if allowed through, have the possibility of enabling data leakage and may present an attack vector for malicious code.

VMblog:  Why is the digital employee experience so important to the WFA workforce? How do the two complement each other?

Avital:  As work has become more digital, employees depend on technology to perform their jobs. When technology works smoothly, employees are more productive and happy. But when technology slows down or doesn't work well, bottlenecks are created while employee productivity decreases and frustration grows. Today's digital workplace demands a smooth experience, so employees interact and engage proficiently and productively. So much so that Gartner reported that 24% of technology industry employees consider DEX a top consideration when seeking employment. DEX is also a critical contributor to hybrid workplace satisfaction.

A Digital Employee Experience (DEX) strategy focuses on how well technology and supporting applications contribute to the overall employee experience as interactions occur with peers, customers, and vendors. Gartner has also reported that by 2025, more than 50% of IT organizations will use a DEX to prioritize and measure success. To ensure an effective end-user experience, collecting employee sentiment data will be used to drive improvements.

VMblog:  What is the experience like today for companies that aren't using a holistic approach to provide support for WFA workers?

Avital:  With 65 percent of IT service desks already experiencing heightened levels of stress and burnout, increasing numbers of service desk tickets and the lack of visibility into unified communications tools and SaaS applications are only making the problem worse. To support and monitor outside services-e.g., Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Azure Virtual Desktop, and SaaS applications-IT has been required to log into multiple dashboards and pull in specific reports, which still does provide a complete picture of what is happening. Accessing minute details about where and why a problem exists so IT can proactively address it has not been possible when using disparate systems. ControlUp provides a single unified view that gives companies the ability to support workers regardless of where they are working.

VMblog:  How is ControlUp's DEX Management Platform solving the problems IT teams are experiencing today as they try to support growing remote and hybrid workforces?

Avital:  ControlUp is one of the first platforms to provide a holistic approach to unified communications, user sentiment analysis, and advanced SaaS monitoring to help IT teams make smarter decisions when supporting work-from-anywhere employees. ControlUp's expanded solution now includes monitoring and optimization for:
  • Unified Communications: Provides usage insights and the ability to pinpoint the root cause of problems employees experience when they use mission-critical tools like Microsoft Teams.
  • SaaS and Web Applications: Gives complete visibility into the performance and availability of SaaS applications with proactive alerting so IT teams can get in front of issues before the service desk phone starts ringing.
  • User Sentiment: Collects data about how employees feel about their digital experiences. This data allows IT teams to maximize their productivity and end users' satisfaction while removing the need for additional survey tools.
  • Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD): Desktop as a Service (DaaS) platforms such as AVD are gaining in popularity, but they can actually cost much more if they are not judiciously managed. ControlUp has automated methods to minimize the cost. ControlUp provides its award-winning real-time visibility into key metrics for one of the fastest-growing segments in VDI- DaaS.

These expanded capabilities reduce the cost of IT operations by examining the performance, availability, and productivity of multiple, disconnected solutions in support of industries-such as healthcare, insurance, retail, finance, and technology companies-around the globe.

VMblog:  What are IT teams saying about ControlUp's DEX Management Platform solution?

Avital:  ControlUp has been the go-to solution for IT teams for over a decade. From its inception, ControlUp has been laser-focused on ensuring that end users have the best user experience possible. IT team managers see the value in ControlUp as it gives them visibility into the overall health of an environment and helps them better utilize resources. Administrators and support professionals see the value of ControlUp as it allows them to isolate and remediate issues and proactively prevent new issues quickly. This leads to a better digital experience for end-users.

With ControlUp, companies are meeting the needs of this changing world, as demonstrated by over 35 Gartner Peer InsightsTM reviews with an average of 4.8 stars. For example, a healthcare industry IT team reported that ControlUp is an "almost magical piece of software that has been quite critical in investigating and remediating various scratch-your-head situations." A waste and sewer utilities IT team stated, "ControlUp gives us control over what we were missing. Within a couple of weeks of the agents being installed, we could see a number of issues with the config of our image that a couple of tweaks resolved some major performance bottlenecks."

The ongoing list of positive reviews says it all. Coupled with a recent Forrester Total Economic Impact Study that found a 238 percent ROI and a payback within the first six months for customers who use ControlUp's platform-the results are compelling.

VMblog:  Why is monitoring unified communications, like MS Teams, so important to IT organizations today?

Avital:  Most organizations use unified communications to empower employees to work effectively from any location, which is critical for productivity and engagement in today's mobile workforce. These tools foster team members' collaboration and keep file sharing, messaging, and video conferencing organized. When the flow of information is streamlined through a centralized management platform, real-time communication between stakeholders is enabled, decision-making is strengthened, and workflow efficiencies are improved.

Monitoring unified communications helps to ensure that the performance of videos and calls is seamless. Advanced alerts and automation triggers that are tailored to a company's specific needs allow the IT team to target specific needs that are important to the business. In turn, unified communications monitoring pinpoints proactively the root cause of problems employees experience. Real-time tracking helps to identify, troubleshoot, and remediate problems before they negatively impact the employee's digital experience and productivity.

VMblog:  How can VMware Horizon customers benefit from ControlUp's DEX Management Platform?

Avital:  VMware is a sophisticated product that has many interrelated dependencies. If Horizon or any of the products that it relies on has issues, it affects its overall performance. ControlUp presents a unified view of a Horizon environment and its dependencies. This holistic view allows issues to be solved quickly and efficiently. Common Horizon issues can be solved programmatically, without human interaction, through automation. The root cause of other issues can be easily identified and often remediated directly from ControlUp.

Showing its commitment to Horizon, ControlUp recently released our VMware vRealize Operations (vROps) management pack (MP) to make integration of ControlUp easier. The ControlUp MP is free and available through the VMware Marketplace.

VMware customers can buy ControlUp directly from their VMware sales rep.

The ControlUp DEX Platform helps IT teams make smarter decisions for the work-from-anywhere experience employees demand today. By monitoring performance, availability & productivity metrics, ControlUp delivers actionable insights that make fixing and preventing issues easy.


Published Friday, July 01, 2022 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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