It took us a little below two years to have our first Gold version out. Needless to say, GSX Gizmo is more than just a pretty face. There is behind it a number of technologies that we have already deployed and some which will come out later (I have to keep some mystery about this on purpose).
The most important elements are why we developed GSX Gizmo.
It really comes from a set of principles on what we perceive is the needs of our customers and what is our value proposition.
The collaboration market has seen huge changes in the last years. Collaboration is the largest workload on cloud technologies so classic approaches have to be rethought.
This evolution is similar to the learning that accompanied outsourcing. Early contracts specified Service Level Agreements that are no longer relevant today. In a similar manner, the role and mission of the collaboration architects has evolved. Focus was previously around availability and then performance. In a cloud environment, availability is thought to be a given. This is not totally true as we experience some issues here and there but the amount of work behind the walls of the Microsoft and service providers is significant.
- What matters now is the level of service perceived by the user and what affects this level of service.
The main implication is that the vast collection of statistics gathered by the classic infrastructure tools does not reflect how the service is delivered by the users. Server availability metrics will not tell if a Skype for Business call is going well or if mail is routed fast enough or if a SharePoint site opens fast enough. They will not tell also whether these new services are being used and therefore if they are providing adequate returns.
These are the challenges that the new modern architects are facing and are being measured upon. Tools are useful and important because significant parts of the successful delivery of these applications are not left to Microsoft but to you.
The Gartner group published a research document called “Monitoring the move to Exchange online” which articulates clearly the challenges that belong to a company that moves its collaboration to the cloud. The same rationale extends to Office 365 overall services. This document articulates exactly the types of use cases that we have worked with our customers to build GSX Gizmo and its functionalities.
- So where GSX Gizmo is providing value is not only on the sleek looking front-end, it is also on the ease of deployment of what we call a GSX Robot User.
Let us spend more time on these Robot Users. This technology simulates the user experience from different locations. You can deploy robot users and specify which actions you want to regularly check.
In the past, our robot users were similar to GSX Monitor, so they were as easily deployed and managed. The new GSX Gizmo enabled Robot Users are small and slick, lean and mean. You hardly notice them and they can give you plenty of information.
All that information is now consolidated on GSX Gizmo so you get location by location and service per service detailed information on what is happening, has happened or will happen.
No other tool which we know has this capability to define, gather and analyze end user level of services with this elegance and simplicity.
- GSX Gizmo is currently Office 365 ready. But we are not forgetting other customers.
In the last years, we have done a significant effort to modularize GSX Monitor and develop connectors that reflect how to gather data and develop adequate monitoring strategies. This is something that concerns us and the way we develop but what it means for you is that we are adding and integrating a significant number of new platforms.
So existing customers with multiple environments monitored by GSX will find that the investments they have with us are preserved and maintained. Their value is enhanced as they deploy more platforms and can refine their analysis of what is affecting the service delivered.
It is our philosophy on a complete agentless basis so overall costs of deployment are kept to a minimum. Again the difference with classic monitoring tools could not be more different.
So, yes, we are excited by this new step. This is personally the platform I wanted to have when I arrived back in 2008.
We have many more things that will arrive based on these new functionalities. All have been done in partnership with our customers. This also remains at the core of our principles and values.
We hope to continue the journey with you.