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Introduction I’m no stranger to Tachyon, I’m currently blogging about it in this series. When I heard that a new version was about to be released I was definitely interested. I signed up and watched the 1E Tachyon 8 Launch Webinar which showcased a preview of Tachyon 8, hosted by Michael Wright (Director of Product Marketing, 1E) and Bogdan Udrea (Chief Technologist Product, 1E). The webinar showcased what is new and exciting about the latest version of Tachyon and why you should be excited about it and it’s host of new features. If you do watch the webinar (and I encourage you to do so) take note that there is a huge amount of information to digest. Why release a new version now ? The first question to ask yourself would be why should Digital Workplace Leaders like you be interested in another release of Tachyon from 1E ? This blog post will hopefully clarify and simplify points about why there is a new version of Tachyon. “Software constantly evolves to adapt to new problems and the scenarios they present.” One of the first reasons is challenges from within the workplace, including something referred to as The Great Resignation. You only have to take a look online at Tik-Tok and you’ll see multiple videos of people resigning from their current workplace. The quit rate in the United States just hit an all time high, and now more than ever, we live in an employee centric world. Ask yourself these questions: Is your organization a contributor to the global challenges that many companies are facing ? Is your organization IT Infrastructure a contributor to why your employees are switching jobs ? The Great Resignation. It’s clear that the hybrid workplace (which came into its own niche during the never ending Covid 19 pandemic) increased employee-IT friction because workers were forced to work from home, sometimes without adequate tools and having to figure out why they couldn’t access on-premise resources or do their job as they used to when in the office. Tickets were raised, users were not happy. Users that cannot work for a couple of hours because an application is crashing reduces productivity and increases frustration. To add to the users frustration the ability of the IT Help Desk to help them with their problems by visiting the users desk is out of the question as their desk is more than likely at home. “Everything is dependent on experience.” What forward looking companies have realized is that employee’s engagement and productivity (regardless of whether they are working from home or in the office) is dependent on experience. This has led 1E to create something called the Experience Economy for the workplace and that is one of the building blocks of Tachyon 8. Experience Economy As a home consumer you expect certain performance from your Internet Providers, you expect high performance and the speed that was advertised when you purchased it. You also expect things like Siri, Alexa or Google to understand what you said when you summoned them. The same needs to be true for employees in the workplace, those employees should get the type of experience they expect from the business, and they should not be negatively impacted changes in the workplace carried out by IT and they should definitely not be treated like second class citizens. Focusing on what matters When a problem invariably happens it’s not enough to simply observe the problem. We know through monitoring or user complaints that there is a problem, and just acknowledging it doesn’t help. As an IT Admin you can acknowledge a problem but if you cannot do anything about it then the user will suffer and that doesn’t necessarily help improve the situation. What can Tachyon 8 do to relieve this friction factor? Tachyon 8 focuses on what matters, it’s not enough to simply focus on a problem. 1E navigated through the following four areas when creating Tachyon 8 to drive insights to action acceleration. Analytics and Insights Resolution Acceleration Action and Prevention Engagement and Empowerment Insights to Action Acceleration. Tachyon 8 enhanced the capabilities across these 4 key areas to: Expand and improve upon what is collected and provide insights into analytics Cool capabilities built into the RCA toolkit Prevent issues at scale Engage with employees using the toolset in Tachyon 8 to facilitate self-service Tachyon 8 has increased the level of insights into key problematic areas namely networking, boot and login, applications and software to provide better visibility from a networking perspective, to investigate why devices are slow to boot or login, and to assist with determining if applications are affecting the overall productivity of the device. Resolution acceleration provides a quadrant view to give a device a unique placement on horizontal and vertical axis compared to other devices in the enterprise but also to be able to show the correlation between a certain metric (or event) and the impact that has had on the overall experience or whatever you are concerned about on that device. In addition, you can do a side by side comparison between affected and ‘good’ devices to determine what is causing the problem. From the Action & Prevention space, Tachyon has continued to publish management packs. These are sets of instructions to address a problem statement in real time on a problem device. Tachyon 8 has added a new user engagement ability which allows admins to engage with their users, not necessarily a survey. It also adds enhancements around interactions with those users to let them know about something or to enhance self-service capabilities. Use cases There are actually hundreds of use cases and scenarios that can be run in Tachyon 8, if you’d like more info about them then do join 1E’s Tachyon Tuesdays where they’ll start unpacking these use cases and how you can benefit from them. To summarize though, they can be broken down into the following four categories. Use cases that address Employee Engagement and Empowerment for example are announcements, this is a one way communication to the end user. Announcements can be used to announce IT or non-IT changes. Interactions compliment announcements by using the User Engagement module in Tachyon where the 1E client can automatically engage with a user based on how they react to whatever has occurred. These four elements are built into a persistent user interface within the 1E client, which allows users to revisit certain elements and go back and open tickets if that’s what the user wanted to do. Updated UI With Tachyon 8, the UI has been expanded in several areas. For example, previously the Tachyon Experience module looked like this: With Tachyon 8, focus areas have been added including Advanced Analytics, Inventory Management and User Engagement as you can see here: What do the users see ? The users get to see an updated 1E client agent when it’s appropriate. They also get access to the new persistent user-interface so that they can revisit previous problems if and when necessary. Announcements can be customized to make them look more like they are coming from an individual rather than an organization to make them feel more personal. When will the release be available ? Early adopters of Tachyon 8 are actively using this in their environments today. If you’d like to try it now, please reach out to your 1E Account Manager and they will make it available. Conclusion The development team behind Tachyon 8 have learnt valuable lessons from customers, business needs and partners to focus on what really matters. They’ve used this knowledge gained to add additional functionality to assist with the challenges posed by hybrid workplaces. DISCLAIMER: The contents of this article are the opinion of the author and have been written from an impartial standpoint; however, 1E may have reimbursed the author for time and expenses for undertaking the findings and conclusions detailed in the article.
Introduction If you haven’t already noticed I’m currently blogging about a series of DEM in 20 webinars from 1E and I’ve linked each one that I’ve covered below for your perusal. In today’s blog post I’ll focus on how to deal with that Change Management Success Rate Struggle. That’s a mouthful, but in a nutshell what it means is how can you cope with the onslaught of issues raised both pre and post change for a change management request. Every company has to deal with change management, possibly even more so now with so many people still working from home. Not only will you learn how to deal with the change management success rate, but get real time data before and after the change. Episode 1. How to find and fix Slow Endpoints Episode 2. That crashy app Episode 3. Dealing with annoying admin requests Episode 4. That Change Management Success Rate Struggle Why is change control important ? Help Desk International (HDI) referenced that 80% of incidents are caused by internal change. That’s a huge percentage. “80% of incidents are caused by internal change” If we could just control that better and get an idea of what the output would be like before we roll it out into production then we’d have less incidents and more time to do the job we we’re hired to do. Change Control Requests Change control usually starts with a change control request form for the desired change, in this example it’s for a global Zoom upgrade. Zoom is telecommunication software for holding meetings, and it became hugely popular during the ongoing Covid pandemic due to so many workers having to work from home. As new features are added, or security patches released, new versions need to be pushed out, and that all starts with a change control request. In Robs’ line of business (Rob Key, Senior Solutions Engineer at 1E), and some of the customers he talks to, it’s common to see them using the following methods for change control, either by sending the change to IT so they can test it on one or more machines, and then after doing that test, sending out a survey to the users involved asking how did that affect your machine, but depending on that change, IT might not dig in as deep as we’d like or using an UAT (user acceptance testing) group to look at it. Capturing pre-change data Let’s take a different approach using Tachyon Experience. Not only can we do monitoring but we can check health and compliance policies on a group of test machines to make sure that we can see that those machines stay healthy both before and after the change is completed. For that we’d want to capture pre-change health and compliance information. In this particular example there are two control groups, manufacturing and marketing. These are two different parts of the organization and they have different needs, so they should be good target groups for the data that we need. In the screenshot below we can dig down and see that services are healthy and all of the numbers are looking good. Next we can verify the version (in real-time) of the target software we intend to change, and below we can see it’s not yet upgraded. We can also see the services running, or in the example below, that a Zoom sharing Service is both stopped and disabled. It was disabled as a policy was created to not allow that service to run in the manufacturing group, for security reasons, to stop the release of important and confidential information. For the marketing group another policy was created to allow it to run. Post-change rules to guarantee state Any area of a business that goes down due to change management processes that go wrong costs that business money, so to avoid that, policies are created in Tachyon in Guaranteed State. You can see two policies in the drop down menu below, one for marketing, and one for the manufacturing group. Here’s a closeup of those policies. These policies are created using one or more rules in Tachyon Guaranteed State. This is post-change, and here we can see a rule from our policy targeting the marketing department, pay attention to the Not Applicable slice. Clicking on that reveals the following, and here we can see that there is a check to ensure that the Zoom sharing service is enabled, however this new version of Zoom doesn’t use this as Zoom changed the way they structure their software. So how were these Guaranteed State policies created? Each rule can check for various things, such as checking for free disk space or whether or not the Zoom Sharing Service is enabled or that the 1E Client service is in a correct state. Below you can see a list of some of those rules. If we take a closer look at a rule, in this case a rule to Ensure the DNS service is in a correct state, you can see from the screenshot below that the rule looks at optional Pre-conditions, Triggers, the Check itself and an optional Fix. What about non-compliance post-change ? Seeing real-time results that reveal non-compliance post-change is a great ability. That can be revealed by our Guaranteed State policies. To test this, killing a service which is checked for (one of the rules above) reveals this in real-time. Below a service is stopped… and reviewing the rules results, you can straight away see that there is non-compliance and drill down to find out more information. This is instantaneous, which means you can see how to control the change management process with ease by gathering data and responding effectively. “So how quick is quick ?” This really depends on what you are looking at, for example disk space might be polled every minute or 30 seconds. But when you are talking about registry changes or config file changes or services, that is real-time. Conclusion Change happens all the time in business and while most companies have their own change management processes to deal with that change, they are very likely contributing to their own workloads by the way they do it. Remember, internal changes that are not correctly monitored pre and post change can cause major problems. Using Tachyon Experience and Tachyon Guaranteed State gives your admins the power to see those results in real-time and allows them to easily tweak the change management process to increase their success rate. DISCLAIMER: The contents of this article are the opinion of the author and have been written from an impartial standpoint; however, 1E may have reimbursed the author for time and expenses for undertaking the findings and conclusions detailed in the article.