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User experience is everything

Hybrid scenarios are complex, involving both on-premises and cloud components

Thanks for taking our questions. You are a new asset to GSX Solutions. Tell us what is so special about being a Microsoft MVP and a Microsoft Certified Master?

Steere: I’m one of just a few individuals worldwide who is both a Microsoft MVP and a Microsoft Certified Master. The group represents a set of deeply technical individuals on Microsoft Exchange and Office 365 who willingly share their time and knowledge with the community. In the area of Exchange Server and Office 365, there are less than 20 of us in the world.

The rare breed that you are, you must be a hot commodity for IT companies. Why did you decide to work with GSX Solutions?

Steere: I know the GSX product suite inside and out from years as a hands-on practice director at Turnberry Solutions and I am excited to apply that knowledge to help take the company to the next level. For nearly seven years, I was involved in helping companies integrate or migrate IBM’s Groupware products with Microsoft Exchange Server and Office 365. My passion for delivering an exceptional user experience in complex scenarios has led to frequently helping customers integrate Microsoft services with a wide array of third-party products.

How does GSX help IT administrators deliver exceptional user experiences?

Steere: Moving to the cloud means a complete job change for the IT administrator, and most times they don’t even realize what their new job will be. There are always some critical points to manage and GSX is currently the only product on the market that can monitor all hybrid entities.

How can an administrator switch from on-premises to cloud monitoring?

Steere: Letting go of on-premises control is a very big part of moving your services to the cloud. It has caused the paradigm to shift in delivering a positive user experience.

IT teams are still held accountable for services delivered, even if the actual servers are physically in the Microsoft datacenter. However, they now need deeper insights into how end-user applications perform on key tasks.

What are the new challenges involved with managing a Cloud or Hybrid Cloud environment?

Steere: The challenge is pinpointing what information is critical to track, and how to figure that out. Hybrid scenarios are complex, involving both on-premises and cloud components; and workloads that have been off boarded are subject to dozens of new points of failure – many of which you cannot control as an administrator. The key is to monitor the end-user experience in this new arena.

What are the monitoring options for admins?

Steere: Many technology products and services tout the positive user experience that they deliver, but what if watching counters on servers isn’t enough in today’s hybrid world where 99.9% up-time is simply expected from users? The proliferation of cloud services such as Office 365 has caused a paradigm shift in what it takes to deliver a positive user experience. Hybrid scenarios are complex, involving both on-premises and cloud components. And workloads that have been off-boarded are subject to dozens of new points of failure – many of which you cannot control.

What’s needed to meet users’ demands for 99.9 percent uptime?

Steere: Watching counters on servers isn’t enough in today’s hybrid world.  What makes GSX unique on the market is our ability to interpret and help users manage and maintain user experiences in complex hybrid environment. As an expert in the Microsoft Exchange hybrid field, my perspective and leadership will help GSX Solutions to manage and maintain the highest level of user experience in complex hybrid environments. We need to acknowledge that cloud services change and evolve, and as advanced as they are, it does not mean your end user gets what he/she wants. SLAs doe not translate to a positive user experience, unless you can closely monitor this end user experience, which brings us back to GSX.

You are mostly talking about hybrid scenarios? Why don’t you just focus solely on the cloud?

Steere: Because there is no such thing as 100% cloud. The reality is that you will never get rid of every on-premises server. Once you get to over a thousand seats, you have at least one Exchange server on premises, because the only way to connect with the Microsoft cloud is with an on-premises Exchange server.

Twitter @gsx_Solutions



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Xenia von Wedel is a Tech blogger and Enterprise Media Consultant in Silicon Valley and Paris, serving clients in a variety of industries worldwide. She is focused on thought leadership content creation and syndication, media outreach and strategy. She mainly writes about Blockchain, Enterprise, B2B solutions, social media and open source software, but throws the occasional oddball into the mix. Tip her if you like her articles: