It’s a no brainer that Managed Service Providers need to be providing some form of Application Performance Monitoring for their corporate customers. As an MSP, how can you determine which tool is best to meet requirements?
Here are a few key features that should be prioritised:
Single shared consolidated view
An application performance monitoring tool which works alongside other tools is great; it ensures smooth functioning of business operations, but time is wasted logging into different tools and correlating data; leaving a tainted user experience and a lack of consistency.
An authentic, multi-tenant, multi-tier tool consolidating all operations into one is a must to monitor all services (including Application Performance) of all your customers. You want to ensure that valuable time and context is not lost by unnecessary switching between tools.
It’s critical that this view is shared between MSP staff, and customers, creating executive level transparency and establishing trust between service provider and their customers.
You want to be able to see the most relevant information pushed to the surface, at a glance. Having an interface with a “no clutter, all fact” design ethos means that information is presented with a focus on business-critical elements and you can easily drill down to the detail of applications. Knowing where, when and what application traffic is flowing through your network helps control costs, as well as spotting the appearance of unauthorised applications.
Users of all technical levels need to understand and get value from the information. Why restrict the list of people who can benefit from this insight? Your corporate customers’ sales and service management personnel don’t want to be relying on engineering and operations management to translate information into something meaningful every time. Information is crucial to smooth running, so it’s important that this isn’t hiding behind intimidating network engineering tools.
It’s amazing how often MSPs say “Yes, we have tools in place to do this” but those tools are only used by engineers - never by key stakeholders like Sales Account Managers, Service Managers, or Retention teams, where there’s huge value to be gained from seeing what their customers see.
If applications become slow this likely points to a performance problem. Rather than letting applications get to this stage, use a tool which shows crises building in real-time before they become a problem. This reduces inefficiencies and prevents business functions coming to halt.
Users love simplicity; having a straightforward interface with easy-to-recognise, distinguishable logos and a red, amber, green colour format to show health of network and applications. It’s a universal colour system which anyone can understand.
A tool which provides intelligent custom alerts and reduces false alarms to enable proactive issue resolution is another priority. The ability to be alerted without the need for continuously logging into your tool means you can focus on what’s important; you can trust to be alerted when something is wrong with your application’s health.
Breakdowns, trends and reporting
For those who are more technically minded or just curious about investigating application performance issues, it’s important that you can drill down into information and detect trends and patterns. Having a real-time and retrospective view which allows you to look back at the past week, month or even year will enable you to correlate application events and provide explanations.
Having a reporting method which is designed for speed and simplicity allowing you to draw on raw and pre-summarised data also means you’re saving time and can hold the right discussions at any time with your customers.
- Written by Farrah Aslam
- Published: 27 November 2017