Helping Support Remote Workers Irregular Operations

The world is grappling with an unprecedented health crisis with COVID-19, and businesses are doing their part to mitigate the impact caused by the novel coronavirus, including supporting social distancing efforts. Large scale events are being postponed or canceled, and as each day passes, more companies like Twitter, HSBC, Indeed.com, and others, are asking employees to work remotely. While many employees already have the flexibility to work remotely (thanks to the proliferation of the Internet, SaaS apps, laptops and mobile devices), most enterprise IT organizations are simply underprepared for the sudden, large uptick in remote users.

The ThousandEyes team, at our headquarters in San Francisco and in our offices around the globe, have felt the ripple effects of this fast-moving situation. We continue to be committed to supporting our customers wherever they or our team might be. Given the significant strain that IT teams will soon be under supporting potentially thousands of remote employees, we’ve decided to extend our expertise to aid organizations affected by the coronavirus. Starting today, we’re offering free usage of our user experience agents until July 31, 2020, for identifying network and app performance issues for remote workers connecting to critical apps and services. If this is of interest to you, reach out soon — enrollment for this offer ends on June 30, 2020.

Maintaining Productivity for Remote Workers At Scale

While most enterprise IT teams are built to support a small subset of remote workers, none of them likely anticipated or planned for a dramatic rise in the number of employees working from home. Given the unprecedented nature of this event, how do IT teams ensure critical business applications and services are available and performing for employees—no matter where they’re located geographically or their time zone? This is exactly what we see happening in response to the novel coronavirus, and while delivering a seamless employee digital experience is challenging enough on a good day, ensuring that critical business applications like Office365, Salesforce, Workday and the like, are performing when there is an incredibly high, unexpected stress on the network is downright anxiety-inducing.

Managing a remote workforce is incredibly complex because IT and network teams do not control the employee’s environment, but they are still responsible for their employee’s experience. Sitting between business-critical apps and end-users is a host of dependencies and third-parties, such as cloud providers, secure web gateways (SWG), CDNs, DNS providers, last-mile ISPs, spotty WiFi networks, and more. Simply put, there are way more variables to consider when supporting remote workers and delivering a high-performance experience. While these are typically areas that IT looks at when diagnosing the cause of an issue, the rapid increase in remote workers of late means that the number of end-points is orders of magnitude larger.

To ensure employees remain productive while they are working remotely, IT teams need better visibility into remote worker experience. Monitoring user SaaS and internally-hosted app experience and correlating it to underlying network connectivity, including WiFi, ISPs, and VPN gateways, will enable IT teams to isolate and triage performance issues.

Network Path Visualization
Figure 1. Hop-by-hop network path visualization shows packet loss for a remote user connecting to Google.com.

Check out the video below to see how this user agent can be used to troubleshoot a WiFi access point issue.

If you’d like to follow along with the above video and further explore the user experience and the end-to-end network connectivity, including WiFi, click this fully interactive incident snapshot.

If you’re interested in leveraging this visibility for your remote workers, please reach out to our team to request a free trial.

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