Leveraging Your DMZ for Seamless, Rapid WFH Monitoring

As a follow up to my 10 Steps to a Work-from-Home program. I reached out to my colleagues, Steve Hajek and Mark Knouse, here at Liquidware for some additional advice on utilizing Stratusphere UX to monitor the effectiveness of your Work-From-Home (WFH) options.

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Key Monitoring Objectives for WFH Programs

As I mentioned in my previous blog, monitoring WFH environments allows you to answer three key questions:

  1. Who is connecting?   You need to see who is logging in at what times.   These metrics provide  basic information that lets you know that your workers are able to sign  on to the system.
  2. Who is operational?   This set of metrics allows you to get basic performance stats for your users.  Login times, network latency and app response times among them.  This data helps you determine that your users are having an acceptable level of performance and are not frustrated in trying to accomplish work with sub-optimal workspaces.
  3. Who is productive?   This set of metrics can validate what applications are being used, how long they are being used, how they are responding to users’ needs.  Applications are the backbone of work and this information validates that workers are leveraging them to perform their tasks.

Obviously, this is important information for organizations to have in order to validate that their WFH programs are sound, reliable and effective for workers.

Alternative WFH Set Up Stratusphere UX – Collector Deployed into DMZ

You may be facing a situation right now where some portion of your workforce needs to work remotely, although they haven’t in the past, and you must expedite configuring and installing Stratusphere UX to respond to these immediate needs.  By deploying a Collector into a DMZ and leveraging a public IP, you can securely collect Stratusphere UX data in real time and lessen the load on your internal network.

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In this alternative approach, you can configure Stratusphere UX to accept data from your remote users without requiring them to connect to the VPN for the data to be uploaded.  This configuration prevents a delay in data being available in Stratusphere UX, so your views of data are kept  current throughout the day as you review them.

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10 Steps To A Work-From-Home Plan

LiquidwareWFHblogCOVID-19 ushers in a new reality for supporting remote work.

The urgency imposed by the COVID-19 virus has put pressure on organizations to quickly ramp up work-at-home options to allow their employees to remain safe during this uncertain time.  Many of the country’s largest companies are addressing the risks of COVID-19 by limiting travel, canceling or postponing large events, replacing in-person events with virtual ones, and allowing or even requiring some people to work remotely.

Dealing with a pandemic adds just another key reason to support employee work flexibility.  But organizations have an equal responsibility to make sure work is getting done, and that employees are empowered to be as productive as possible.

Most companies understand they will have large numbers of employees working outside corporate ”brick and mortar.”   This fact is either dictated by the job or the need to retain highly skilled employees.  However, many organizations have limited work-at-home options, largely because they’re concerned that they cannot validate how much time is actually being spent on work.

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How do you validate that Work-From-Home programs are effective?

The issue of validating how employees are spending their time is a legitimate one.

You do have a simple method to address the question of  employee activity while off-site. Liquidware Stratusphere UX is an easily deployed, cost-effective solution. If you can measure something, you can manage it.  Once you can manage something, you can extract the most value from it.

Stratusphere UX tracks all employee desktop activity, including when they log-on and log off and what applications they are using during working sessions.   Stratusphere UX uses lightweight agents, called CID keys, to capture this information.  CID keys do not add overhead or slow down workspaces.  The solution can verify worker status from “connected,” “operational,” and “productive” views.

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