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Unlocking the Power of Analytics

In a world of Big Data for APM, IT can’t live by green, yellow and red lights alone

As Featured in Smart Enterprise Magazine Organizations are leveraging Big Data and analytics techniques to optimize manufacturing, retail and other key business decisions.  IT organizations are asked to support the systems, such as Hadoop or Dremel, that serve the end users that rely on them. Increasingly however, IT is dealing with its own “Big Data” [...]

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End User Expectations and IT’s Ability to Meet Them – A Bridge Too Far?

Register for the Webcast, February 25thIn the 4th annual survey that CIO’s IDG Research Services conducted with their community members, it is not surprising to find that, consistent with previous years’ results, IT organizations are putting an ever increasing importance on the ability to meet user expectations. What may be surprising, however, are data that reveal [...]

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The Evolution of Network Monitoring “Drivers”

Two market surveys underscore the evolution of network performance managementCA Technologies recently conducted two market surveys that underscore the evolution in how teams are approaching network performance management.  What’s clear from the results is that it’s no longer good enough to keep the network up and running. Network teams need to be able to proactively [...]

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APM in practice, Delivering Business Service Reliability

Webcast, February 6, 2014How well an organization serves customers can be the difference between breakthrough results and business as usual.  In a recent survey, 89% of the respondents indicated they began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. Achieving high performance business goals doesn’t just happen; it has to be baked into [...]

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CA Executive Insight

Delivering Business Service Performance Insights on the Go

Introducing CA Executive Insight for Service Assurance 2.1When it comes to an enterprise mobility strategy, a lot the talk is centered on the Bring Your Own Device trend, how to manage said devices connecting to corporate networks and accessing corporate data, and how to deliver the mobile experience that customers and employees have come to [...]

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Is your network optimized for application performance?

Six questions you need answeredI sat next to a nuclear physicist on a 5-hour flight home a few years ago, one of the nicest and smartest people I’ve ever met. But by the second hour I was about to give up on my frequent flyer miles and parachute off the plane.  It wasn’t that he [...]

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The Importance of Continuous Capacity Planning

Ditch the spreadsheets for a more reliable capacity planning processThe importance of capacity planning is more prevalent than ever in today’s fast-paced mobile age where being first to market with business services can determine a company’s success or failure. When infrastructure bottlenecks wreak havoc with a day 1 application launch, the repercussions of rolling back [...]

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Like It or Not, IT is at the Center of Business

IT gets a bad rap: “It’s expensive.” “They don’t contribute to revenue.”  “IT is commodity.” But the reality is that IT is (or should be) at the center of most businesses. A few proof points to support my case:

  • Royal Bank of Scotland had an IT meltdown on CyberMonday 2013 that resulted in millions of dollars in compensation claims. Part of the reason for the failure: “For decades, RBS failed to invest properly in its systems. We need to put our customers’ needs at the centre of all we do.  It will take time, but we are investing heavily in building IT systems our customers can rely on.” That’s the CEO, Ross McEwan, stating that IT is critical to the customer experience. (It’s unfortunate that he had to make the admission in the first place, but kudos for being honest.)
  • The ongoing healthcare.gov saga. Forget the politics of the laws, just getting a website up that can service the insurance needs of possibly millions of citizens has been challenging.
  • On a more positive note, CyberMonday 2013 resulted in the largest online spend in US history, reaching $1.735 billion. The name of the day alone shows that IT is critical to the success of retailers today. An 18 percent increase in sales and nearly $2 billion in revenue in one day is nothing to sneeze at. None of those sales would be possible without the support of IT keeping systems running.

The cliché is that money makes the world go around. That is still true, but we’re at the point where we need to add IT to the statement as well. Your money can’t go anywhere without computing and network power these days.

Does this mean IT gets to sit in an ivory tower and dictate how technology should be used? No.

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Ringing in 2014 with the CA APM Global User Community

The APM Global User Community is ringing in 2014 with an action-packed first quarter.  The APM Board of Directors is committed to providing the very best value to community members.  The first quarter line up of community activities is already set:

  • January 16, 2014 – Steve Meller, CEO of Business Service Assurance, will present best practices for data extraction from APM. Marc Chene, CA Principal Product Manager, will also make a brief product announcement. Don’t miss it!
  • February 20, 2014 – Have you submitted a product Idea for APM?  Have you ever used the CA escalation process? The APM Idea & Escalation Workshop will be presented by the CA APM Product Team and John McDermott from the CA Global Escalation Management team. Enhancements versus Escalations:  Bring your questions about Ideas and the CA Escalation process.
  • March 20, 2014 – The APM Product Team will give a quarterly product update.
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Is Your Web Site Optimized for the Last Week of Christmas Shopping?

The last week before Christmas could be do or die for both shoppers and merchants as people scramble to make those last minute purchases.  Merchants stand to gain if they are prepared to meet the customer’s needs, one of which is a positive on-line shopping experience. Years ago a commonly accepted response time for a web site was around eight seconds, in reality today it’s probably more like four.  With so many alternatives for on-line shopping for the same or similar merchandise a poor performing website could cost retailers millions in lost sales. According to Adobe System’s recently released Digital Index Cyber Monday generated $2.29 Billion in sales, of which approximately 42% of  was online only transactions with a peak of $150 million in one hour.

With so much at stake it’s no wonder that retailers are doing everything they can to streamline their websites for a better shopping experience from everything through the look-and-feel to speed. Speed alone however isn’t enough. The bigger picture has to focus on availability, performance, and consistency.  We’ve been using CA Technologies APM Cloud Monitor solution to monitor more than 50 websites to better understand how well various retailers are doing in those areas.  Generally speaking there is good news but there are also some speed bumps in the process for some.

Availability has been good overall, with some sites achieving or approaching 100%.  Those that haven’t achieved 100% availability run the risk of losing sales. For example, we’ve observed several sites at 97% availability. That equates to a little over 20 hours of down time, which could be costly if the period of unavailability occurred during peak times. Availability alone, however, isn’t enough of an indicator. A poor performing web site that is 100% available but has long transaction times is likely to find more abandoned shopping carts than a web site with consistently fast transaction times that result in a better overall customer experience.

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Is IT Complexity Impacting Your Critical Business Services?

The business runs on IT. IT is getting more complex. Resources are thin. How do you keep pace?

J.P. Garbani, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, Inc., joined us for a webcast on that very topic titled Fact or Fiction: Traditional APM is Enough To Keep Pace with Growing Complexity. In this webcast, which you can watch below, you’ll learn about:

  • The factors driving today’s complexity, which include falling hardware prices and exponential growth in operation system size
  • How complexity is past the point of human capacity
  • Current pain points in application performance management (root cause is still elusive to many)
  • Why the Circle of Blame is still a popular way to problem solve
  • This fun fact: 60% of problems are not seen by IT or its management systems first, meaning end-users/customers are doing the complaining. That is a scary fact. For all the talk we in the industry do about proactive monitoring, we’re still not doing a very good job at it.
  • Why IT analytics can help cut complexity and solve problems more effectively

If you’re drowning in IT management data or find yourself stuck in a Circle of Blame every time there’s an application performance issue, then this webcast is for you.

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IT Needs to Put More Emphasis on Managing and Measuring the Customer Experience, Poll Finds

A recent poll on Business Service Reliability (BSR) found that IT needs to put an increased focus on managing and measuring the customer experience to improve business outcomes.

The poll—conducted by IDG Research Services on behalf of CA Technologies—sought to determine how organizations measure both BSR and the customer experience that IT provides. BSR is CA Technologies approach to helping IT transform by providing a clearly-defined framework for managing and measuring customer interactions.

The majority of respondents (58 percent) are using a combination of surveys and other metrics (e.g. application downtime and call-center volume) to measure the customer experience. Just over one quarter (26 percent) reported that IT delivers an exceptional experience. The majority of respondents (61 percent) classified the customer experience as adequate. The remainder described it as inconsistent – the customer experience meets the expectations of the business some, but not all, of the time.

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