Looking Back as We Move Forward: A Pandemic JourneyMicrosoft Office 365 Performance
Until recently, work has been thought of as a place you go, rather than a thing you do. While cloud technology has made a ‘digital workplace’ possible, for many businesses, this has been a long-term ambition. But what happens when this changes overnight? Suddenly more people are at home than in the office, and the typical 9-5 model doesn’t apply anymore. This is the reality that businesses the world over had to face head-on a year ago when the pandemic hit. Adapting to new work environments and pivoting business models became a necessity. As we’ve reached the anniversary of one of the most impactful challenges to business in the 21st century we wanted to take a moment to reflect on what has happened, where we are, and where we’re headed. Our two-part blog series will examine these points from the perspective of businesses (Part 1) and the people who make them work (Part 2).
Prior to the early months of 2020, the use of technology that supported business outside of the workplace was viewed as a complementary ‘nice to have’; the ability to check emails and access certain files to remain effective while working remotely every now and then was rarely an issue, especially not for an IT team. As much of the business world switched to full-time remote work overnight and with the reliance on cloud applications now at an all-time high, IT professionals became mission-critical in the business response to the pandemic. These people, our customers, and the users of our products were thrust into this new reality, often flying blind without the tools to ensure that every remote member of an organization could maintain their overall productivity at home, with cloud-based tools.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was fast and far-reaching; companies with their datacenters solely based out of physical locations found themselves immediately challenged. Adopting new software tools has a learning curve under regular circumstances but doing it out of necessity in a short amount of time without being able to ensure performance quality adds another layer of complexity. Those who had already begun to embrace cloud applications and/or hybrid environments that combine both on-premise and cloud applications were better positioned to utilize the cloud and its full capabilities on a full-time basis.
Martello customers like the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) could see the impact of COVID-19 coming, behind the scenes they turned to our solutions to help take the appropriate steps to ensure that their network infrastructure was scaled up and performing reliably to effectively run the hospital at maximum capacity to be ready for an influx of patients due to COVID-19.
Foundations to Weather a Pandemic
As a global company, Martello was able to see how the pandemic was beginning to impact locations such as Europe before lockdown procedures made their way across the pond to our headquarters in Ottawa. Our transition to a fully remote business model wasn’t without its challenges, but we were able to pivot and remain productive. It’s been said that “with great power comes great responsibility” which couldn’t be truer, especially when the responsibility falls on a company’s IT team to ensure and maintain a quality user experience and productivity for everyone, during a worldwide pandemic.
As more businesses suddenly became completely reliant on cloud applications like Microsoft 365, two things became critical:
- Microsoft had to provide their services to an increased number of users while maintaining quality and uptime – with many variables beyond their control.
- IT teams require improved visibility as to how those Microsoft services are working for employees; are users satisfied with how their Microsoft 365 suite works from their home set up? Are they able to be as productive as possible?
Microsoft has the capacity to accommodate a large influx of new users in a short period which was evident as their Teams service experienced exponential growth throughout 2020. Martello’s Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) solutions support the use of Microsoft 365 services by filling in the user experience visibility gap; now IT teams can more effectively monitor and detect issues brewing within the network infrastructure, be alerted to the quality issues their users are experiencing and proactively address issues they may be facing by using synthetic transactions before they are impacted. Our Microsoft 365 monitoring solutions offer a comprehensive set of tools including Microsoft Teams monitoring, Microsoft SharePoint & OneDrive monitoring, and Microsoft Exchange hybrid monitoring designed to help businesses sustain optimal performance and end-user satisfaction.
As the world adjusts to this new normal, the traditional work environment will be forever changed. Martello’s new work from anywhere solutions complements our existing suite of products, the addition of real user monitoring and active network path monitoring will provide richer data correlation for the industry’s deepest and most comprehensive insight into the Microsoft 365 user experience – no matter where the user is working. Synthetic user monitoring provides IT teams with a predictive view of issues, while new real user monitoring capabilities offer a look into what actual users are experiencing while they are at home or in the office. Active network path monitoring will provide a visual map of the route users take to the cloud, allowing IT teams to quickly pinpoint the source of an issue (cloud provider, ISP, or the user’s network). Martello is the only provider combining these capabilities to offer the industry’s most comprehensive approach to managing the Microsoft 365 user experience.
As the reality of work from anywhere continues to evolve, so too must the tools available to keep the digital workforce productive. Martello has more in store for 2021 to further empower businesses to operate remotely as seamlessly as possible. We may not know what lies ahead but preparing for any possibility by having the right tools in place offers peace of mind.
Stay tuned for part two of this series that will take a deep dive into the remote work experience from the perspective of our people, examining their unique experiences and best practices to establish and maintain productivity.
Interested in finding out how Martello can help lead your organization to an exceptional end-user experience? Reach out today to set up a demo.