Over the course of the past several months, I’ve noticed a dramatic increase in the number stories related to the benefits of improving customer and user experience (CX/UX). It’s refreshing, since Empirix has always focused on testing and monitoring from the perspective of a customer’s experience, ( top down) and because of this we can accelerate the key business objectives of our clients by assuring application and network performance in real-world conditions.
In the old “Network Operations” mindset, the “Mean-Time-To-Repair” (MTTR) along with the glorious ‘5-nines’ SLA was the key metric in which these data and network centric teams operated. In today’s world the migration from Network Operations Centers to Service Operations Center (NOC to SOC) have made these metrics less important, largely because it doesn’t communicate customer impact or business impact.
The DevOps teams I’ve spoken to have told me that it really isn’t the “mean-time-to-repair” they wish to be measured against, but rather, an objective view of the overall customer experience. In fact, most organizations have deployed so many point solutions over the years, these systems have become an alarm storm that is in most instances ignored. When problems impact the customer, then they are held against this MTTR standard.
The MTTR is actually a super-set of three metrics. The Mean-Time-to-diagnose (MTTD), which is how long and how many systems you have to pull data from to understand if there really IS an issue, this is accomplished once you know what specifically is occurring, the Mean-Time-To-Understand (MTTU) the issue at hand, what is the root cause?, what is the customer impact? What business groups are afflicted? And what is the path to resolution?
Once those two steps have been completed, then the true Mean-Time-To-Repair stopwatch can begin. Separating these stages will help highlight what types of hurdles have been put in place that delay problem resolution. These obstacles may include change windows, formal approvals and access to systems, however, this metric will be a better measurement of how nimble the teams can be, once they are able to act.
Repairing a problem is much simpler when there is complete understanding of what is happening and you have identified the root cause. Because Empirix solutions focus on customer experience, our cloud based monitoring and testing platforms enable businesses to measure performance and customer experience in pre-production and production operations. This helps organizations proactively detect issue before they become widespread, prioritize repairs and decrease the MTTR by providing better diagnostics and understanding of the root cause of customer impacting issues and identifying the pathways to resolve them.
Erik is Empirix’s Test automation expert, with over 15 years in the telecommunications data networking and call center industry, Erik has architected, coded, executed, and managed some of the world’s largest and most complex stress tests for the top global service providers and enterprises. His experience includes the synchronization of web, voice, email, and screen pop testing enabling customers to test real world conditions before they launch new platforms.