Tanium Adds Digital Experience Management to its XEM Platform

This syndicated post originally appeared at Zeus Kerravala, Author at eWEEK.

Tanium’s automation tool shifts IT support from reactive to proactive.

Cybersecurity and endpoint management company Tanium is broadening its portfolio with the launch of its digital employee experience (DEX) solution. The solution is part of Tanium’s converged endpoint management (XEM) platform, which allows IT teams to proactively measure and manage employees’ digital experiences with self-help capabilities, automated remediation, sentiment surveys, and notification features.

Contrary to traditional approaches, such as helpdesk tickets, Tanium XEM with DEX is designed to help IT maintain and improve the employee experience to keep tickets from being opened in the first place. It provides employees with automated remediation and allows them to fix issues affecting their devices. DEX solutions focus on the endpoint and encompass hardware, operating systems, apps, and cloud services.

Legacy IT Management: Time-Consuming and Reactive

One of the challenges with the legacy approach to end-user management is that it’s reactive in nature. A worker who has a problem with an application stops work, calls the help desk, and then the troubleshooting starts. My research shows that with the traditional approach, three-quarters of help desk tickets are opened by the end user versus the IT organization. This means IT pros are always in fire-fighting mode as they are reacting to issues. Tanium DEX gives IT the visibility to get ahead of issues, even ones that users don’t know about.

Digital experience tools have existed for some time but saw an uptick in adoption during the pandemic. When employees shifted to working from home, IT departments scrambled to fix broken experiences, implement virtual private networks (VPNs), and move apps to the cloud. The pandemic highlighted the need for DEX solutions to adapt to changing work environments.

Poor Experience Impacts Workers and Customers

“Productive employees deliver great work, which is why CIOs must prioritize the employee experience in this new hybrid world. In fact, the digital employee experience is increasingly the only work experience for many of us” said Chris Hallum, director of product marketing at Tanium.

“A poor DEX not only impacts your employees but has a potentially negative impact on your customers. Employees struggling to effectively use their tools aren’t going to deliver their best work and it will undoubtedly impact how they engage with customers.”

Tanium Taps Desktop Information

While there are a number of digital experience solutions available, Tanium’s approach is different. Many of the solutions use network traffic and infer problems.

For example, the network can see the latency of a Zoom call and if it falls below a threshold, it knows there is a problem. This is fine if the problem is actually the network but what if it’s something on the computer? In this case, the network solution could identify the problem based on Zoom performance but would not know the source. Tanium’s DEX can see things like browser issues, memory problems, or other factors that are tied to the endpoint as well as network performance.

Prior to DEX solutions, self-service solutions like portals have been used but those have seen limited success. Unified endpoint management (UEM) solutions are effective for provisioning and deployment but lack experience monitoring and employee sentiment surveying capabilities.

Organizations that don’t have visibility into employee experiences need to establish feedback loops for better IT management. In my discussion with Tanium, Hallum told me that automated self-remediation is a highly desired feature for detecting and fixing issues.

Tanium DEX consists of two modules with an end-user component:

  • A Performance module: observes performance conditions across endpoint devices and servers, identifying trends and systemic problems.
  • An Engage module: can identify real-time trouble spots, help users fix issues without IT intervention, and can be used to survey employees on the quality of their experiences.

DEX Captures Valuable User Sentiment

The solution measures sentiment through surveys after an issue has been resolved, fostering a bi-directional relationship between IT and employees. It also it can be used to send notifications related to training and important updates. Lastly, it provides a health score for each endpoint, so IT can address low-performing endpoints and set improvement targets.

“With the automation that Tanium brings to the table, organizations can reduce their helpdesk load and redeploy the resources to do more strategic work,” said Hallum. “They can provide better service levels for the really hard issues, as opposed to just constantly responding to the 10% of the issues that represent 80% of the helpdesk tickets.”

Another capability for Tanium DEX is that with its inclusion in the Tanium XEM platform customers get endpoint, vulnerability management, and DEX capabilities all in a single integrated solution. There are many synergies here.

For instance, if the remediation of a digital experience issue requires the deployment of a patch, Tanium DEX can use the XEM platform to make that happen in real time and also at scale across the entire enterprise. Tanium’s access to any type of data, setting, or file on the endpoint, and nearly unlimited remediation capabilities, are some of this its most powerful and differentiated capabilities.

Tanium has integration with ServiceNow, which brings Tanium data into the ServiceNow console. But newer features like health scores are not yet included in ServiceNow with this version.

Focused on Endpoint and App Experience

At the moment, with this first release of Tanium DEX, Tanium is clearly focused on endpoint and app experiences. Hallum assured me, however, that other aspects of the employee experience, like cloud service performance, are something Tanium is pursuing.

Businesses are competing on customer experience (CX) today but it’s impossible to deliver a best-in-class CX without having a quality employee experience. When workers have poor performing apps, that creates frustration and can often be directed back at the customer. Businesses need to shed the legacy reactive approach to end user support and embrace technologies that enable IT pros to move to a more proactive model.

Author: Zeus Kerravala

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his clients in the current business climate and long term strategic advice.