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Windows 10 Migration—the Role of End User Experience Monitoring: Part 1

Aternity January 18, 2017


One billion devices running Windows 10 over the next couple of years. That’s still Microsoft’s goal, although they’ve backed off of the 2018 target date. According to recent adoption metrics, Microsoft is well on its way to that goal. In the summer of 2016, the company reported passing 400 million devices, and that the Windows 10 adoption rate is outpacing that of Windows 7, the most prevalent OS in the enterprise market. Hitting this massive goal is key to Microsoft’s strategic initiative of providing a unified user experience across the broad range of device types used by business end users, from tablets and PCs to conference room displays.

The Windows 10 migration dilemma

Despite the progress, many enterprises have yet to migrate. A ZDNet article comparing Windows 10, 8, XP, and 7 enterprise adoption metrics shows that while Windows 10 penetration has hit double digits, the vast majority of enterprises still run Windows 7. And with support for Windows 7 remaining in place until January of 2020, enterprises have plenty of time to plan. Yet enterprise-wide migrations can take 12-18 months, so the time to begin is fast approaching.

Source: ZDNet, the Ed Bott Report, February 2, 2016

A systematic approach to Windows 10 migration—plan, do, check, act

One approach to large scale change, such as Windows 10 migration, is to leverage the four-step continuous improvement technique of the Deming Cycle. Each step of the process (Plan, Do, Check, Act) builds on the previous. And End User Experience Monitoring (EUEM) plays a key role in each step, especially since Microsoft’s goal for Windows 10 is to enable a seamless user experience across the multitude of devices used within enterprises.

This series of posts covers the role of Riverbed SteelCentral Aternity EUEM in each phase of Windows 10 migration.


Four key steps for migration planning

Aternity helps IT executives address four key steps in the planning stage of their Windows 10 migration.

1. Inventory your devices

One of the challenges that enterprises face is the broad range of devices in place within the workforce. With the Windows Update for Business, IT can establish groups of devices to control the deployment of updates within their organization. As suggested in an InformationWeek article, the Windows 10 migration presents enterprises with a good opportunity to upgrade devices at the same time. Companies have extended device replacement cycles over the past several years, so the first step is to simply understand what devices exist, and where, in order to plan the migration.

The Device Inventory dashboard shows device attributes like operating system details,
model name, memory, CPU, etc. as well as the user’s department and business location

2. Audit and rationalize your applications

One of the benefits of Windows 10 is that it eliminates the time and expense companies incur by having to uninstall their apps and then completely reinstall them after updating the OS. As discussed in an article on ITProPortal, the shared system architecture between Windows 7, 8, and 10 should enable user and application files to remain unaffected as the OS is updated below them.

While this radically reduces the IT effort and the impact on the workforce, it does have a major drawback. It makes it much more likely that enterprises will continue to carry the vast set of installed applications which are rarely used, or which are obtained by employees on their own via Shadow IT. Therefore a key step before migrating to Windows 10 is to audit the applications actually in use in your estate and rationalize them.

The Monitor Enterprise Applications dashboard enables you to discover every application actually in use in the enterprise,
whether Windows, web, or cloud, and to display the number of active users of each application

3. Update your BYOD policy

Since Microsoft’s goal with Windows 10 is to provide a seamless user experience between mobile and physical devices, IT leaders should expect an increase in Surface tablet usage after migrating. Therefore, it makes sense to review your BYOD policy to make sure clear guidelines exist for the proper treatment of company information on personal devices. Along with the seamless user experience across devices, IT should also ensure they have the capability to monitor that same user experience in an equally seamless way, for all of the devices on which their employees rely throughout the day.

The User Experience dashboard provides a single, seamless workflow to monitor the
user’s experience of every application on any device—mobile, physical, or virtual

4. Analyze the cost of poor performance

Although Microsoft has taken pains to make migrations easy, the migration costs involved aren’t trivial. And with support for Windows 7 until 2020, some companies may not feel the urgency to upgrade. The decision around upgrade timing must therefore take into consideration the cost of poor IT performance. If business critical applications are slow, workforce productivity is affected. Quantifying the financial impact of lost productivity can help IT leaders decide when to upgrade.

The Analyze Costly Activities dashboard helps you quantify financial impact of lost productivity due to applications not meeting
targeted response time thresholds. Data can be displayed by various filters including by OS, to justify upgrading to Windows 10

SteelCentral Aternity—end user experience monitoring for troubleshooting and validating change for Windows, Office and Surface tablets

Upgrading to Windows 10, migration to Microsoft Office 2016 and Office 365, and the increased usage of Surface tablets require IT to have visibility into End User Experience to ensure these initiatives deliver the expected gains in workforce productivity. SteelCentral Aternity delivers faster insight into the actionable information that enables IT teams and the business to keep up. Aternity adds value to the device and infrastructure monitoring capabilities of Microsoft System Center Operations Manager by automatically monitoring and correlating together the three streams of data that constitute true user experience—user productivity, device health and performance, and application performance, including out of the box business activities for the most important Microsoft Productivity Suite applications. Watch this short video to see SteelCentral Aternity in action, and learn more about Riverbed’s solutions for Windows 10. Watch the 30 minute on-demand webinar or download the free 15 step Windows 10 Migration Guide to see how SteelCentral Aternity can help you ensure a successful Windows 10 Migration.

The next post will cover how SteelCentral Aternity can be used in the ‘Do’ phase of the Deming cycle. Stay tuned! And in the mean time, to start your free trial of Aternity, register here.


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