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3 ways to check the impact of Windows 10 migration on user experience

Aternity February 1, 2017


With 400 million Windows 10 devices already running, Microsoft is well on the way to the goal of 1 billion. The benefits of Windows 10 are clear—a return to the user interface familiar to Windows 7 users, improved security, and an approach to providing seamless user experience across tablets, PCs, and large display screens.

Despite these benefits, many companies are still running Windows 7, as discussed in this ZDNet article. Why? Part of the reason is that Windows 7 is supported until 2020, so there is plenty of time to migrate. Part of the reason is that IT change is inherently risky. IT change can impact customers, the workforce, and business results.

To mitigate that risk, enterprises can benefit from a systematic approach to change, such as the Plan-Do-Check-Act methodology of the Deming Cycle. The first post of this series covered how to use SteelCentral Aternity End User Experience Monitoring in planning for Windows 10 migration. The second post addressed key steps of the ‘Do’ phase—monitoring the performance of devices and apps as you begin your Windows 10 migration. This post addresses the ‘Check’ phase—how to ensure that your initial Windows 10 upgrade has a positive impact on user experience, before committing to wider scale deployment.

3 ways to check the impact of Windows 10 migration on user experience

Now is the time to perfect your process of validating the impact of IT changes on your workforce. For Windows, this is the last full upgrade cycle. After this, Microsoft plans smaller, more frequent updates to Windows OS. So, the three techniques discussed here will come in handy on a regular basis, not only for Windows OS changes, but for any kind of IT change.

1. Compare user experience before and after a change

Aternity enables you to compare the performance of multiple applications before and after you make changes that can have a widespread impact. Watch the short video below to see how you can compare user experience, app performance, and device health between devices running Windows 10 and those running earlier OS’s.

Aternity provides other methods to validate the impact of IT change on user experience. Changes could be limited to a single location, such as changing firewall or router settings, or larger changes such as data center consolidations.

2. Verify your apps meet business expectations for performance

Business executives don’t measure app performance in terms of technical parameters such as server up-time, latency, or errors. They measure the impact of IT in terms of whether or not employees can do their jobs. What counts is what the end user experiences as they use applications in the context of a business workflow. Aternity calls this Business Activity Analytics, and this capability helps you verify that your applications continue to meet expectations for performance after you upgrade to Windows 10.

The Monitor SLA dashboard tells you when application performance is slower than the service level agreement (SLA) thresholds you’ve negotiated with the business. The dashboard enables you to 1) identify normal app performance for groups of users; 2) set SLAs for key business activities based on customer expectations; 3) compare each instance of every user’s execution of these activities to the SLA; and 4) display SLA compliance by department, geography, or device type.

To learn more about establishing SLAs based on business processes, see the short video here.

3. Drill down into the performance of any individual application

Before deploying Windows 10 throughout the organization, application owners should compare the performance of their app on various operating systems in order to validate the impact of change. Aternity uses two different metrics for assessing application performance and analyzing trends over time.

The first metric is User Experience Index (UXI) (1), a value between 0 and 5, which measures the overall performance and health of an application, based on the number of crashes per hour, the percentage of hang time, and the percentage wait time of out the total usage time. For web applications, it also uses the percentage of web page errors out of all page loads, and the average page load time. Aternity automatically calculates UXI for every application in the enterprise with no configuration required.

For applications with business activities defined, the Activity Score (2) is the second metric. The activity score is a color-coded value between zero and 100 calculated with a formula based on Apdex. The Activity score aggregates the performance of business activity response time relative to performance targets. Since Aternity provides business activities out of the box for the most important Microsoft Productivity Suite applications, you get the Activity Score for these apps with absolutely no configuration required. Of course, further investigation can be done with SteelCentral AppInternals, which provides deep-dive analysis and troubleshooting of the application, down to the line of code.

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 last post in the series will cover how Aternity can be used in the ‘Act’ phase of the Deming cycle. Stay tuned! And in the meantime, to start your free trial of Aternity, register here.


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