Back to Blog Landing

Managing Collaboration App Sprawl

Adi Mendel June 4, 2020
In recent weeks, some regions have started cautiously lifting their lockdowns, both in the United States and abroad. For most companies however, the majority of employees continue to work from home. And some companies, like Facebook and Twitter, have announced that work from home (WFH) policies will extend through year end. Collaboration app sprawl is one result of the abrupt shift to remote work, and since some degree of home work is here to stay, IT needs tools to help ensure performance of voice, video, and other functions in today's collaboration app portfolio.

collaboration app usageIn recent weeks, some regions have started cautiously lifting their lockdowns, both in the United States and abroad. For most companies however, the majority of employees continue to work from home. And some companies, like Facebook and Twitter, have announced that work from home (WFH) policies will extend through year end. Collaboration app sprawl is one result of the abrupt shift to remote work. As Aternity showed in Volume 2 of the Global Remote Work Productivity Tracker, collaboration app usage sky-rocketed as employees were sent home. And as WFH becomes a more permanent aspect of company policies, they’ll continue to play a key role.

More people are using more tools for more minutes per day. Whether it’s Microsoft Teams, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Cisco WebEx, or Slack, we’re all juggling multiple tools in an effort to remain connected, engaged, and productive.

IT challenges in managing collaboration app sprawl

Of course, collaboration app sprawl affects more than us employees. Sure, we have to learn how to use these various tools, but IT has to manage them. The first challenge the IT team has is to understand the usage of the collaboration tools in their environment. They must answer questions like: what tools are used? how often? how much (in terms of hours)? Who are the users that use what application? Then, IT must address performance. Which tools are more reliable than others? Which are more highly responsive? Do some tools excel in voice, and others in video?

Addressing collaboration app usage and performance with Aternity

The Aternity Digital Experience Management Platform enables IT to address these usage and performance issues. Aternity treats collaboration apps like any other business-critical application. Since Aternity collects usage and performance data on every application used by the end user on every device (Windows, Mac, VDI), it can provide that visibility to IT to address these challenges. Watch this short video to see Aternity in action:

Managing collaboration voice and video call quality

In this era of working from home, collaboration tool usage has beyond voice calls and instant messaging (IM), to include video conferencing, document sharing and storage, and real-time presentations. Of course, the applications most sensitive to performance are voice and video. Voice and video call quality should be clear, clean and with no hiccups.

In today’s WFH scenarios, employees often access collaboration apps over unmanaged connections like Wi-Fi. Unmanaged connections are more likely to cause performance problems than when collaboration apps are connected to the corporate network. Aternity can collect the voice quality of the major collaboration tools and provide a detailed analysis of the calls that were made. Since Aternity correlates the quality of the voice or video call to the performance of the employee device, it can identify whether poor call quality is due to the employee’s Wi-Fi network or even the device itself.

Microsoft, Teams, collaboration app
The Microsoft Teams call quality report shows the number of normal and poor quality calls, and highlights an increase in network degradation on May 9.

Ensuring excellent business activity performance

Although voice and video are the most sensitive applications when it comes to performance, they’re not the only business activities that employees do within collaboration apps. Aternity measures the important but yet common activities that users perform, such as launching the app, starting or joining a conference call, or sharing a presentation during the conference call.

Zoom, collaboration apps
The Zoom business activity performance dashboard shows that most of the slowness is due to the user’s device.

With Aternity IT organizations can answers questions such as “How long does it take our users to launch the app?”  Or, “How long does it take them to join a conference call?” Most important, when things are not ideal, Aternity isolates the source of delay to the employee’s device, the network or maybe the provider backend server. Aternity can provide the answers to these questions and allow the IT teams to get a clear understanding of their employees’ experience.

WebEx, collaboration apps
The WebEx crashes and errors report shows that one third of WebEx crashes are on Windows 10 Enterprise 1809, and it shows the relevant components causing crashes.

Watch our webinar on KPIs for the remote workforce, or get started today!

collaboration appsIf you’re already an Aternity SaaS customer, you can access the dashboards addressed here in the “collaboration app” folder of the dashboard library.

We hosted a webinar covering how to use Aternity to manage collaboration app usage and performance, as well as other remote workforce issues. Register here to watch it on demand.

Aternity Free TrialIf you’re not yet an Aternity customer, you can explore how we help you address the IT challenges of a remote workforce. You can get started today by registering for a free trial of Aternity running in your environment. You’ll see how your organization compares to the market with the benchmarking insights from millions of end points monitored in via Aternity SaaS. You’ll see how your Service Desk can drive down costs and improve service with AI-driven automated remediation. And you’ll get a view of employee experience for every app running in your environment – even SaaS and Shadow IT.

You may also like

employee experience remote workforce
The Change in Remote Work Patterns: Collaboration App Usage and Performance

The sudden shift to remote work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone's working lives. Not just

Read More
kpis remote work
The New KPIs to Manage the Remote Work Experience

With the shift to remote underway around the globe, the Aternity team has been deeply involved in helping our customers

Read More
Remote Workforce IT Insights Series #3: Executive Snapshot, Part 2

Here's part 2 of  the Remote Workforce IT Insights series covering the Remote Workforce Executive Summary dashboard. As mentioned in

Read More