For companies choosing a hosted productivity solution, there are two obvious options—Office 365 and G Suite. At first glance, they seem fairly similar. Both offer email, storage and a range of productivity tools like word processing, spreadsheets and presentation applications. But what you might not notice with one of the options is a little problem that could ruin your collaboration efforts.
Microsoft’s Office has been the standard for decades. In fact, when companies consider leaving their productivity suite safe haven, they still want to know if the functions of the new service are compatible with Office file formats. These faithful Office users, while well-meaning, can create shock waves in a collaborative ecosystem. For one, there are user interface differences that will cause a level of discomfort for those that pledge allegiance to Microsoft. When these users experience a problem and report it to IT, it can be difficult to know whether it’s a user error, a network problem or an actual issue with the application.
All You Need Is a Device and a Browser for G Suite Success, Right?
G Suite was built for the internet, so it seems like all you would need for collaboration success would be a connected device and a browser to access and update documents and data. Beyond the nuances of getting users acclimated to an environment without bells and whistles, this is true at face value. But as you get more familiar, you’ll find that there are remote users with network problems and ghost issues that are practically impossible to solve without the right tools.
Today’s networks are complex at best. Modern enterprise IT is increasing the number of WAN-connected sites, placing pressure on maintaining a good user experience at scale and in remote locations. The days of just popping into a cubicle to fix an error are gone, and in its place are instances of remote troubleshooting with an overwhelming number of factors, including the remote user’s connection.
In areas like upstate New York where internet access is lagging, the digital divide hinders both users and companies from their best, most collaborative work. While much of the productivity suite used to be on the desktop, the hosted forms are now changing corporate bandwidth requirements. Applications like video conferencing are known to hog capacity, so when users begin submitting tickets reporting that their meetings have slowed to a halt, the help desk could be quick to point fingers at the network. But actually finding the root cause can be much more challenging and often becomes a ghost issue that threatens a larger population of users.
How to Achieve Collaboration Nirvana
While G Suite is not Microsoft Office, it provides real-time collaboration that can effectively change the way a company operates. That is, if everything intertwined and around the application is performing. To achieve collaboration nirvana, there must be assurance that users can create content and share with colleagues, quickly and without fail. Application performance monitoring instills the confidence necessary by providing IT and the help desk with the tools to locate and remediate issues quickly, plus prevent reoccurring problems.
With end-to-end monitoring, IT can:
- Track the right network metrics on a regular basis, including latency, capacity, QoS, packet loss and jitter.
- Test the WAN to ensure that users across distances are all experiencing the same performance. And use automatic synthetic scripting sent from any location to add application context to benchmarks.
- View historical data and capture route history in real time so there is no need to parse through millions of event log entries.
- Discover ISP issues before the provider even knows about them for the fastest network management. That way, if users are submitting tickets, IT has the information they need about both the company’s and the provider’s infrastructure components.
Making the switch from on-premises to cloud-based applications is a challenge for everyone in the company, but IT has the power to make the transition smoother. Through training, communication and powerful application monitoring, G Suite will operate at its best, increasing the productivity and collaboration of the entire organization.
Want to learn more about the success experienced when armed with application and network data? Read our case study on how AppNeta helped National Instruments finally improve end-user experience with SaaS applications.