Whether in a recession or not, companies are being tasked to make sure they are squeezing every bit of productivity out of the technology investments already made. It's just getting the spotlight now more than in the past.
Looking to meet this timeless market need, Knoa Software unveils Global End-User Monitor (GEM), providing out-of-the-box monitoring of all end-user experience and interaction for desktop and Web-based applications available for employee use.
While Knoa's Experience and Performance Management (EPM) product currently enables companies to determine metrics across an entire application -- including ones from SAP, Oracle, JD Edwards, and Amdocs -- organizations yearn to determine exactly how end-users are using all of the tools available. "Customers want to know when users are idle for an hour on Siebel ... what they are doing," says Lori Wizdo, vice president of marketing at Knoa. "This isn't as deep into what the behavior is, but rather how he is using all of the software tools given to him. This is particularly a salient question with contact centers, as agents can have between 10 and 20 tools at their disposal."
GEM collects a range of metrics across all applications without configuration, instrumentation, scripting, templates, or cartridges -- a major point of differentiation, according to Wizdo. Additionally, she says the benefit of combining global metrics on the desktop environment with quality and response time statistics can help speed up the process of detecting, isolating, and resolving information technology (IT) issues affecting business performance.
Giving an example of a telecommunications company that was a beta tester of GEM, Wizdo explains it assessed how the tools were used by top performers versus bottom ones. Based on performance metrics it accrued for both sets of employees, the application utilized the second-most was Siebel. The top application, however, was the external customer-facing Web site -- the least-used one being the company's internal knowledge base. "After more investigation, the company realized that the knowledge base's quality of information was poor, it was cumbersome to use, and top performers would log in and toggle to it if a supervisor was coming by," Wizdo says. "It was interesting because the company was just about to invest more into that knowledge base application, but instead improved the Frequently Asked Questions on the external Web site. The bottom line is the company didn't make an investment in an application it knew people weren't using, and wasn't providing value."
Dennis Drogseth, vice president of research and consulting firm Enterprise Management Associates, explains that Knoa's latest offering is significant because it is providing companies a view into broad usage rather than just into "critical enterprise applications like JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, and SAP." "Now, you are able to look across the board at any desktop use of business applications and understand usage," he says. "This new functionality challenges Knoa to market to potentially new buyers, especially those in IT, who are missioned with service planning and portfolio planning."
Wizdo believes the combination of going broad with GEM and deeper with EPM provides a "game-changing" point of competitive differentiation for Knoa. "It takes away the barrier of trying to tune, configure, and manage what you need to do to be able to measure technology usage," she adds. "IT people do a lot of configuration and script development, which is cumbersome and expensive. This product takes away that cost, but still provides that good information."
Drogseth believes that Knoa could take great leaps with this release of GEM, but that the company must follow through on reaching the untapped market of service and portfolio planners. "There's an 'if' to this ... if Knoa can step up to communicating, marketing, and delivering these new constituencies," he says. "This can be big for Knoa if it can step up to it from a marketing perspective."
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