Seven Surprising Side Effects from Switzerland – IT Integration Strategy with Nexthink

In our year-long mission so far amongst the IT teams of some of the best known global legal firms, we are often surprised by the unexpected feedback we receive when we present Nexthink, the fastest way to good digital experience management.

We were familiar with feedback such as “this could turn our service support team into heroes”, and ” we had no idea how little-used our new business messaging service had been adopted by our users, until we undertook the Proof of Value exercise with you”.

One use case we hadn’t heard before was an interesting twist on an understood use case very common in the Legal Profession – use of Nexthink to audit the readiness of an acquired companies’ IT infrastructure integration into the core environment.  The twist is that this was undertaken proactively by the IT team under acquisition, rather than the acquiring company.

Let’s take a look at the nuts and bolts of this, the first of seven blogs illustrating interesting benefits from the adoption of Nexthink:

IT Integration Strategies

There are arguably three strategies associated with IT integration in merger and acquisition situations, namely complete IT integration, partial IT integration and IT co-existence.

Irrespective of the integration strategy a clear before and after picture of the organisational and IT infrastructure and underlying processes that align with the go forward IT and business strategy needs to be understood. In addition, one needs a level of assurance that the transition to a new ‘combined’ IT organisation is going to provide at least an equivalent level of service, with minimal disruption. These challenges distil into two broad core use cases for Nexthink, which we will call ‘assessment’ and ‘transformation’.

Sample Assessment and Transformation Use Cases

Assessment

The initial challenge in this task is to gain a full and complete appreciation of the acquired organisations IT infrastructure and underlying processes. The complexity can-not be underestimated and the task of disambiguating all the moving parts across multiple platforms and systems is immense.

Nexthink solves this by going back to the lowest common denominator, the end user, and provides a real-time view of their consumption and use of IT.
Nexthink achieves this by collecting data (some 700 metrics) in real time from every device; this data can be queried, presented and integrated into third party tools to provide a comprehensive understanding and assessment of the IT infrastructure.

Figure 1 below, shows a unique visualisation of this data, presenting how a service or application is being consumed. Here Nexthink shows every device, user, binary, port and destination, the quality of the connection and the volume of data being transferred for an application.

This real time dynamic mapping of the consumption of IT is at the core of the capability of Nexthink. This data can easily be presented in different ways to multiple constituencies in side of IT to support specific use cases, which we shall explore in the rest of this document.

This outcome is achieved with zero configuration on the endpoint as all devices send all data for all applications to a centralised database for querying using a natural language interface.

Figure 1- End to End View of Real Time IT Consumption

One such use cases is to present for performance and compliance reasons an assessment of the overall hardware health of the organisation, as shown in figure 2.

Importantly the dashboard also includes a customisable overall score, shown as 8.91 in the figure. This allows for benchmarking and compliance to be undertaken across the organisation. In addition, the dataset has been categorised, by location and type and other attributes so that analysis of the underlying issues is easier.

Figure 2 – Hardware Performance Assessment
A considerable number of dashboards and queries (investigations) like the one shown in figure are provided out of the box through an online library, they can of course be created from scratch.

Transformation

Typically, assessment data is used to drive transformation in the organisation. The example in figure 3 below shows this being evaluated in the context of appreciating the overall capacity plan required to perform a migration to Office 365.

As Nexthink captures all traffic by binary it is possible to easily assess the capacity demands of any application or service.

Figure 3 – Capacity Planning for Office 365

One common area of concern within transformation is the overall management of change. In Figure 4 below the dashboard has been configured to understand the impact of change on several different pilot and test groups.

In the example, we can see that those pilot groups who have experienced the change have degraded performance relative to the group without the change.

Using this approach, a “dev ops” type approach can be considered to assess the impact of any change on the performance or experience of the end user.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 4 – Managing and Measuring the Impact of Change

Summary

This document has reviewed a very small number of use cases that we believe would be of value during and acquisition and merger type situation. The underlying principle however is that Nexthink has an extraordinarily unique data set that is simple and easy to access and consume, and extendable by anyone with simple training in its use to address multiple concerns within a merger and acquisition context.

Core content provided by Mark Boggia: Director Solution Consulting, Nexthink – any mistakes are my own, not his.