Enterprise System Monitoring - Value

  Today we'll drill down on my last post Enterprise System Monitoring - Value versus Cost, and have a deeper look at the value side.  Over the last few months, as part of our Foglight Enterprise Customer Focus initiative, we've spent time with a group of our Foglight Enterprise Customers and we came to an agreement on a list of user roles that are getting, or hope to get value from Foglight.  We also came up with an initial plan of attack for how we can deliver that value more effectively to those users.  First we'll look at the list of user roles and after that we'll share what we can do initially to improve of the delivery on that value to those user roles.  

This is our list of Foglight Enterprise End User roles:

.NET Developers, Application Business Owners, Application Support Staff, Application Support Staff (.NET), Application Support Staff (Java), Application Technical Owners,  DBA (Sybase), DBA (Sqlserver), DBA (DB2), DBA (Oracle), DevOps Staff (.NET), DevOps Staff (Java), Java Developers, OS Admins (Unix/Linux), OS Admins (AIX), OS Admins (HPUX), OS Admins (Linux), OS Admins (Solaris), OS Admins (Windows), Virtualization Admin (VMWare), QA Load Testers (End to End Capacity Errors), Capacity Planners, Architects, Governance Groups (Track Releases and compares IT metrics before and after projects).

  So all we have to do now is get with our Foglight development team and get them to make me a dashboard and a few reports that will make all of these people happy and we're done?  Well not really, in fact this is one of the most difficult challenges with an Enterprise System Monitor like Foglight.  It has data for many roles in an organization but how those roles want the data displayed and how deep they want to go varies drastically.  Not only do the needs vary across roles but they also vary within the roles.  For example, we have Application Support Generalists in the list above and we also have Application Support Specialists for Java, .NET, and even ERPs.  This is unlike an email application where everyone is an employee and they get the same features, its also different from an ERP that provides a fixed set of features for Accounting, HR, Payroll, or CRM and everyone gets that same set of features within that functional area.  If I had to chose, I would think an Enterprise System Monitor is more like an ERP because you can use if for a single function such as accounting for ERPs, or System Administration for Enterprise System Monitoring.  Also you can parlay the value by realizing the full value of having all that data together across the Enterprise.  This way you can realize the value as a tool for a team and also the value of having the data related and re-used across teams.  So the question becomes how do I get the most value from my Enterprise System Monitor and how do it get it most effectively?  

  What we've found is that most of our Enterprise Customers take existing Foglight documentation, create some of their own content, use some community content, and sometimes even gather user developed content from teams that use Foglight.  To help support these efforts we will be working with our reference customers to develop a base end-user on boarding document for everyone of the roles we've defined so far.  The document will allow users to chose a role and be connected to all of the information that is most pertinent to that role.

This base set of information will include information on role specific:

  • Rule explanations - Tells users what metrics Foglight alerts on and what thresholds are available for those metrics
  • Dashboard explanations - Tells users what dashboards are most pertinent to them and what workflows are available in those dashboards 
  • Report explanations - Tells users what reports are most pertinent to them and about the information in those reports
  • Frequently asked questions - List of and answers to the most frequently asked question
  • Getting started videos - 3 to 5 minute videos that show people in these same roles using the product and explaining as they go

We feel that in creating access to this information, in this way, will better enable our Enterprise Customers to achieve initial value faster.  Initially we will provide this as a spreadsheet and share it with our Enterprise Foglight customers.  We fully expect that they will customize this information to suit their needs.  This is a small step towards what we can do to get to value to Enterprise Foglight users more effectively.

If you're an Enterprise Foglight Customer and have more ideas about improvements for deriving more value from Foglight or getting value in a more effective manor way we'd love to hear from you.  In the mean time keep reading as we continue our exploration into the Foglight value chain.