Are Predictable, Productive, and Profitable Experiences Possible in A Borderless World of Work?

Are Predictable, Productive, and Profitable Experiences Possible in A Borderless World of Work?

By Special Guest
Reece Loftus, MSPToday Contributing Editor

The network is at the heart of supporting a borderless workforce and reliable communications are table stakes today. Companies and their clients want a frictionless experience with predictable business outcomes. They want end-to-end, client-to-cloud observability with continuous testing and validation of service availability, and they want it delivered virtually. Can cloud-first applications and faster broadband networks live up to the challenge?

At MSP Expo, part of the #TECHSUPERSHOW, industry experts came together to debate the best path forward for MSPs who are being asked to do what used to be impossible: guarantee service levels even for highly distributed enterprises.

“Like your smartphone, there has been a convergence where many functions have come together in one device,” said Jeff Li, Sr. Director, Partner Service Assurance at ConnX, a technology, telecom, and managed service provider that has elevated its entire range of services to the cloud. “It used to be one piece of network hardware for this function and another for a different function. With the convergence of network hardware into a software-defined network, the complexity has exponentially increased. All the service and support you used to have from a whole team working on different hardware is now needed on one software point. MSPs need to address this unified complexity with unified support and services.”

Moderated by Doug Green, Publisher of Telecom Reseller, other panelists included Siva Juturi, Executive Vice President, Americas, AutomationEdge; Ron Cuevas, Vice President of Sales and Marketing/vCIO, Lincoln IT; Michael Friedhoff, Solutions Architect, OpsRamp; and Tom Vu, Director, Alliance Partner Solutions, ScienceLogic.

“The network is the key to MSPs’ success,” Li said. “The key is managing networks and resources effectively, which means having the tools in place to ensure reliable service delivery and effective client management.  Without AI, without automation, without advanced tools and real-time analytics, day-to-day operations that reduce complexity, improve network and client management, and improve service delivery are paramount.”

Li explained that every one of their Fortune 500 enterprise clients wants End-to-End, Client-to-Cloud observability with continuous testing and validation of service availability.

“The race to zero tickets and zero incidents reported by users is what keeps our clients awake at night, so we built tools that autodetect, analyze and notify. It is too much for humans to do. And it is all proactive now – just like your utility provider gives you advance storm warnings, and daily notifications on what your energy consumption looks like, and how your costs are trending,” Li said. “Our clients want to digest things from a single platform that is programmed to automate, analyze, and predict user experiences and application behaviors, and correlate with network performance.”

Li said the future is in deep correlation capabilities, where data pulled from many devices and applications can be cross-referenced with productivity levels. “We introduced our ConnX Virtual Edge Vision solution at the MSP Expo and Future of Work Expo, coming out of stealth after development and implementation in three enterprises over the last year. While telematics data is important, what is of most interest to our clients is how they can apply that data to improve business outcomes. They want to know not only if their communications platform is working but are their teams working to their full potential. We are elevating the role of MSPs and the IT teams we serve to create value across the entire enterprise, from HR and finance to product development, sales, marketing, and of course customer service – and customer experience.”

The CVE-V portal displays information based on data gathered at the very edge of the network, associated with every employee, every device, and every application. Using APIs, connectors, containers, and more, the platform turns what has traditionally been an “IT” view into an “HR” view (who are our most productive team members and how can we help them help others become more successful).

“The key to our success has always been listening closely to our clients and understanding their real, down-to-earth business challenges. With the pandemic, of course, the challenge became supporting distributed, work-from-anywhere teams, at scale – and our clients turned to us for help. The true impetus for our latest innovation came directly from two of our largest clients,” Li explained.

For some organizations, the pandemic took a serious toll on productivity, but for others, the need to adapt immediately to comply with important work-from-home mandates drove action and innovation, and in another digital transformation in the retail sector ConnX deployed, a major chain with thousands of outlets across North America grew 13% year over year while reducing their networking and communications costs by nearly 50%.

“In both the life science and retail worlds, we worked very closely with our clients and our tech partner ecosystem to address complex, fast-moving challenges, which started with modernizing unified communications from devices and software in the cloud to every endpoint at the edge, whether an employee’s smartphone or laptop,” the founder and CEO of ConnX, Indrajit Ghosh, said in the company’s press release.

“The breakthrough happened when we began to see the enormous amount of valuable data being generated by registered endpoints and applications running on those endpoints in the new borderless enterprise world. What our clients wanted and needed was clear information and analytics showing what team members were doing throughout their workday, and how their activities were correlated with their performance and productivity.”

Described as a “living lab” during the pandemic, the resulting solution was refined and has now been commercialized and was introduced as ConnX Virtual Edge Vision™ at #TECHSUPERSHOW’s MSP Expo and Future of Work Expo.

Edited by Erik Linask
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