2 months Project Examples

ROQ Increases Productivity and Reduces Support Costs Through Innovative End Point Solution

SUMMARY

ROQ has worked with a Magic Circle Law Firm providing a managed test service for over 3 years now, and as part of this service, performance testing plays a huge role. For some time, the client had experienced significant degradation, across certain global offices, in performance of business-critical desktop applications such as the Office 365, each time a Windows 10 upgrade was executed.

CHALLENGE

This issue is particularly detrimental for this client because of the way their business operates. Any delay in the load times of desktop applications significantly affects productivity and therefore revenue opportunities.

Following one particular Windows 10 Creators Update, the client was experiencing a substantial delay with the load time of Microsoft Word, waiting 30 seconds for it to open and were unable to correctly diagnose the root cause of the problem. Multiply this challenge with the global scale of the organisation, with 1000’s of Word users, and this creates a colossal amount of IT Support calls, all with varying levels of severity and complexity.

It became a very important problem to solve. The client had a plethora of tools available to them, including a performance monitoring tool but this was not able to pinpoint exactly what was causing the delay.

SOLUTION

Recognising that off-the-shelf performance testing and monitoring tools cannot provide the functionality required, ROQ implemented their bespoke solution - End Point Performance - to complement the clients existing toolset and to address this issue. This involves a unique and complex synthetic testing approach, performing automated key transactions on remote desktops and physical hardware, recording important timings. This is all done in a pre-production environment, so the risk is mitigated ahead of any deployments of Windows 10.

The results from these tests are then compiled into an insightful report which is easily understandable for the key stakeholders and allows comparison of benchmarking timings and comparison between devices, locations and user profiles.

Further diagnostics are also analysed to detect any spikes in performance degradation, giving very detailed insight into CPU usage, in addition to storage, memory, power and system activity. This helps the support engineers troubleshoot the problems quickly and with a reduced risk of further degradation.

More importantly, the data produced is actionable. Key stakeholders are able to make informed decisions that ultimately has an impact on the bottom line. There was less of a burden on IT Support, with fewer support requests, but they also use this tool to diagnose and resolve issues in production, should they need to. It is much easier to be able to determine whether problems sit with the user, software or with the device.

BENEFITS

The client now has a comprehensive solution which truly meets the needs of the business users. It’s a key part of the testing phase on every monthly release of Windows 10 and mitigates one of the biggest impacts that such regular change can have. The extensible solution is now spreading throughout the portfolio of desktop applications to de-risk deployment further.

In summary, the key benefits are:

  • The client has confidence that an upgrade has not degraded critical business applications’ - such as Office 365 - performance across key device types
  • A significant amount of time and money has been saved as IT Support no longer attempt to diagnose problems and try to fix them without the required information
  • Clear, concise and quicker feedback is now produced which means that the risk of the same issues repeating is dramatically reduced
  • Decisions about when to replace devices is now based on actual evidence, extending the life of machines and reducing spend on replacements

 

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