Stories-From-The-Road-Nexthink

In my travels around the US to see, hear and witness end-user issues in our field offices, I came across many problems that we in IT were completely unaware of. In some cases, the issues were totally off the radar and never reported, and in others there was familiarity with the issue, but no understanding of how wide spread the scope was.

In one instance, an office I stopped into early in the trip showed me issues with Outlook and an error message that they received every hour or two that they were disconnected from the Exchange server. They also received fatal exception errors in Outlook that caused the application to crash. Strangely enough, they chose not to call it into the Help Desk, and I soon found out why. They had been told it was a “known problem” and was being worked on. In this case too, Outlook was being hosted in Citrix due to integration needs with other applications in Citrix.

I noted the issue, reported it to our Citrix team, and continued on my travels. Most of my trips were two weeks in length at a time, visiting a different office (sometimes two) every day. So as I worked my way from East to West, I started to see themes and recurring issues. This Outlook crash was one of those cases. At every office I visited that was running this configuration, I heard and saw the same problems in Outlook. Users would get disconnected from Exchange, and would see Outlook errors and crashes. And each office had previously been told the same story from the Help Desk – “It’s a known issue”. The result was that they suffered in silence. The “known issue” was only known to the Help Desk, and not to the team that needed to resolve the problem.

With the trend of users who don’t call issues into IT growing, we started to call it Ticket Fatigue. Ticket Fatigue is when users get so frustrated with poor service and problems that don’t get fixed, they just give up calling and learn to live with the problem. It becomes the new normal for them. It’s kind of like lower back pain. After three or four visits to the doctor with no improvement, it becomes the “known problem” that you work around. You just live with it and stop calling.

The solution here is simple: Monitor your end-user environments, both Citrix servers as well as PC’s, to identify wide spread issues immediately, understand the scope of the issues without depending on your end users to call, and solve the problem without being asked. A side benefit is that you will also know quickly if the fix was effective because Nexthink dashboards will immediately quiet down. Our enterprise users shouldn’t have to ask us to fix a problem. We are professional IT organizations and we should know about it. And with Nexthink end-user analytics, you can find everyone suffering from back pain, when and how frequently it hurts, and get an effective fix to them without requiring them to call the doctor anymore.