Solve Your Remote Workforce Needs in a Snap with ADEM

Secure access service edge (SASE), a category defined by Gartner in 2019, represents the blueprint of the networking and security architecture of the future. The SASE model consolidates many networking and security functions traditionally delivered in siloed point solutions--into a single, integrated cloud service. Many vendors have slapped the term SASE onto their current offerings without truly providing the upside of a SASE platform. IT leaders also have to take into consideration that deploying an infrastructure with SASE principles will not, on its own, ensure optimal performance and user experience. The challenge for many organizations is to identify which solution can truly meet their requirements.

SASE & ADEM

What you need is a solution that includes all the key components of SASE (SD-WAN, SWG, CASB, firewall-as-a-service, ZTNA 2.0) and also adds natively integrated user experience monitoring capabilities (Autonomous Digital Experience Management or ADEM). At Palo Alto Networks, we find that with a SASE approach, businesses can achieve a direct-to-cloud architecture without compromising security, performance, and user experience. The ability to monitor end-user experience with ADEM is a critical component of a SASE architecture that only Palo Alto Networks can provide without installing any additional software.

ESG, a leading IT analyst, research, and strategy firm, highlights three use cases in a recent whitepaper “Autonomous Digital Experience Management Yields Benefits Across the Organizationon how ADEM can add value to any enterprise:

  • Proactively monitor SaaS and private application performance, so workforce productivity is not impacted
  • Find and resolve end-user device, Wi-Fi and LAN issues
  • Gain visibility into branch endpoints and IoT devices for greater operational efficiency and better user experiences

These use cases are based on customer examples of how enterprises can achieve real value with ADEM.

  • Proactively and reactively monitoring SaaS and private application performance: SaaS and private applications are increasingly critical to all enterprises for their employees to get work done. When SaaS and private application performance problems occur, they can be difficult to troubleshoot. Having a clear view of the contributing factors degrading performance is critical. For example, is the problem with the first mile like the user device, Wi-Fi, or LAN? Or is it in the middle mile, which could be any node in ISP from user to application? Or is the problem in the last mile, with the application itself?

How ADEM can help

Using ADEM, you have segment-wise insights into exactly where the problem is across the entire service delivery chain, from the user to the app and everything in between. While a routing problem in a major cloud provider is not something an enterprise can repair, ADEM will alert operations teams to notify users that it has isolated a problem with a monitored SaaS application and that the app itself is experiencing performance issues or an outage.

According to ESG, during a SaaS-based social media platform outage, ADEM was able to identify the issue quickly and alert users within seconds of the problem occurring, mitigating user frustration and stemming the potential loss of productivity. For a business with over 2,000 employees, sending a simple alert email to users notifying them the application is down could save hundreds of hours of lost productivity. Support teams no longer waste countless hours manually checking on reported user issues, enabling IT to work on more value-added strategic initiatives.

  • Find and resolve end-user device issues: When an application is not performing well for an end-user (i.e. they are having trouble accessing Zoom) they are often unaware of the root cause and expect IT to have an answer. However, without visibility and insights into what the user is actually experiencing, IT and network teams often guess what the problem is, and “Have you tried rebooting your device” becomes the default answer.

How ADEM can help

With ADEM, you gain a complete picture of the end-user experience by measuring and monitoring directly from the user’s device. ADEM supplies detailed information on events that cause high CPU usage on a user's device. For example, a user working at home using their home Wi-Fi may end up roaming (i.e. Wi-Fi signal travels to different areas of their house) or may hop between multiple Wi-Fi connections. As a result, the user may encounter low signal strength, which in turn negatively impacts their application experience. Another scenario might find a user performing an operating system upgrade, or perhaps an upgrade kicked in without the user’s knowledge. In either case, this event might result in high CPU usage. IT teams using ADEM would be able to observe that a user’s new OS software install/update resulted in high CPU usage, which in turn would negatively impact the performance of user applications (ESG report). This level of visibility can significantly reduce the amount of time needed to troubleshoot.

  • Visibility into branch endpoints and IoT devices offer greater operational efficiency and better user experiences: One of the key trends fueling the transition to hybrid work is increased reliance on the internet & SD-WAN to securely connect users and locations to applications in the cloud. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2024, 60% of enterprises will have implemented SD-WAN. With many SD-WAN solutions, IT teams are left without visibility into the entire service delivery path from user and branch to an application that can impact user experience. This visibility level helps quickly isolate segments that may result in degraded user and branch experience.

How ADEM can help

ADEM provides IT with the holistic view needed to monitor both remote users and the branch office with native integration into Prisma Access and Prisma SD-WAN, without having to install additional appliances or agents on user machines or in branch offices. The same dashboard that provides visualizations of an organization’s hybrid workforce delivers visibility for both remote and branch office workers. ADEM proactively measures the end-user experience of applications running in a branch and resolves problems before they impact multiple users. By running proactive synthetics on every WAN path, the administrator can recognize the best available and performing path, per application, for all users in a branch office. Without this ability, user experience can be significantly impacted by performance degradation.

The Value of ADEM

ADEM provides value across the organization, assisting both IT teams and end-users, from outages outside an organization, to common user device problems. By monitoring and managing all domains of employee user experience, businesses’ achieve improvements in IT efficiency and employee satisfaction. The holistic visibility provided by ADEM further amplifies these results – helping you improve both IT and workforce productivity, reduce MTTR and ticket escalations and eliminate the barriers to visibility across your employee’s experience, wherever they work from.

Learn more about ADEM in our upcoming webinar on July 13th with Palo Alto Networks Ankur Bhasin, Director of Product Management, and guest speaker Bob Laliberte, Sr. Analyst from ESG.