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May 12, 2022

In Digital Transformation, Don’t Overlook the User Experience

by: Paul Kao

Digital transformation is re-inventing the way business is done. Supporting work-from-anywhere to enable a remote and distributed workforce, discovering hidden threats and malicious payloads through predictive analytics, and assessing user behavior mapped to productivity workflows against threat risk vectors in real-time are all game-changing. But what’s the point of digital transformation if the user experience is poor? Recognizing the importance of aligning application and network performance for end users to meet business objectives, Broadcom Software acquired AppNeta in February 2022. AppNeta provides active network and application performance monitoring from the end-user perspective.

The reality of cloud-based digital transformation is that it often jeopardizes the end-user experience. As user traffic moves across cloud-connected networks to applications, it might travel convoluted paths where network interconnects and bottlenecks negate the benefits of digital transformation. And the surge in remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic only amplifies the network performance hurdles that must be overcome.

Furthermore, digital transformation requires transition to cloud technologies, but demands comprehensive security controls as part of the cloud solution stack. Symantec Network Security solutions provides that ability - to secure users and the applications they interact with across any network and cloud delivery path against advanced threats.

To achieve the ROI of digital transformation you need to understand what’s going on from end to end across the network, factoring in cloud security overlays and the complete cloud delivery path. It’s a daunting challenge, but one that has been tackled by AppNeta integration with Symantec.

The time is right for this integration. According to IDC analyst Stephen Elliot, "The enterprise network monitoring market has completely transformed in the past two years, with a much deeper focus on managing how network performance impacts end user productivity. Organizations that can pinpoint performance issues affecting digital experience will gain a strategic advantage by ensuring excellent quality of service independent of user location."

AppNeta Technology

AppNeta by Broadcom Software is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that enables IT, Network and Security Operations to see how users experience their applications, at any time, regardless of location or network. It lets administrators quickly pinpoint issues that could degrade network and cloud application performance. It also continuously monitors cloud and web-based applications to make sure they meet and adhere to vendor’s service-level agreements (SLAs).

AppNeta Monitoring Points provide active monitoring from the end-user device or via hardware appliances to the cloud service to analyze performance for the end-to-end path and every hop in between. To isolate the root cause of performance issues, AppNeta carries out active and passive testing on the entire application and network delivery path.

ESD_FY22_Academy-Blog.In Digital Transformation, Don’t Overlook the User Experience.Figure 1

The AppNeta solution has three components with different metric capabilities [see chart] that work together to identify network and application trouble spots that a traditional network monitoring tool can’t see:

  1. Application Usage. Automatically identifies every application in use on the network. It also isolates performance issues tied to specific users, applications, or locations. And it classifies applications and their performance issues into business-critical, normal, or recreational groups.
  2. Network Delivery. TruPath™ technology provides active, continuous monitoring for hop-by-hop visibility along any network path, whether Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), User Datagram Protocol (UDP), or Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP). Managers gain critical metrics over internal, external, and SaaS provider networks.
  3. End-User Experience. Selenium-based synthetic scripts send alerts that enable administrators to anticipate performance issues on the network, server, or browser. Whether an AppNeta monitoring point is deployed globally or behind a firewall, managers can measure the application delivery path that users experience, whether across WiFi, WAN, LAN, or ISP. IT operations teams can correlate performance across hosts, applications, users, and locations.

AppNeta Integration with Symantec

If your organization is like many others, you are adopting a SASE solution and/or implementing a Zero Trust network architecture as part of your overall digital transformation initiative. AppNeta technology is needed to successfully support both SASE and Zero Trust approaches. AppNeta complements Symantec's Web Security solutions for cloud, on-premise, or hybrid deployments.

AppNeta offers specific, proxy-aware integrations that enable administrators to:

  • Reduce mean time to identify (MTTI) by quickly determining if a problem is related to the proxy or another part of the network.
  • See the entire end-to-end network, including complex on-premises environments that include firewalls, WAN routers, SD-WANs, dual-carrier WAN links, and split path/asymmetric routing.
  • Advanced integrations that offer detailed proxy performance processing, enabling teams to determine cost and latency at each step of the proxy transaction.
  • Advanced integrations to continuously validate policies, and to monitor and verify acceptable use and threat risk levels, leveraging insights from the Symantec Global Intelligence Network (GIN) insights.

As you transform your business, don’t leave the end user behind. A great user experience is a sign that your digital transformation initiative is delivering on its promise to change the way business is done – for the better.

To learn more about how you can improve the user experience during your digital transformation contact us here.

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