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Elevating User Experience with Cisco Digital Experience Assurance

Customer experience is top of mind for a whopping majority of enterprises competing in 2024. Notably, the focus is sharpening on digital experience. 64% of digital-first companies are actively working towards their digital experience goals, polls show.

The Secret to Delivering Outstanding Digital Experience

The most successful brands put experiential optimization before all commercial goals, because in commerce, the formula for success lies in the point of interaction between customers and the company.

One of the leading tech companies that has been steadfastly committed to delivering truly good digital experience is none other than Cisco. At the Mobility Field Day event in Silicon Valley, the company introduced Digital Experience Assurance (DXA), a solution in private beta. DXA is set to unlock unrestricted and ubiquitous visibility of digital experiences across the network and can potentially guide network operators towards achieving next-level customer experience.

“What we call Digital Experience Assurance encompasses all of the different assurance tools that we have at Cisco, namely the Meraki Assurance, the Catalyst Assurance, ThousandEyes, all of that,” says Tauni Odia, Technical Marketing Engineer.

Over the years, Cisco has developed a spectrum of experience monitoring and visibility products to provide users means to screen and refine customer interactions with solutions and services at their end. DXA tightly couples those solution to provide a consistent and all-encompassing view of the topography.

“We are aggregating all of the data and bringing it into one place to give our customers and our users that one-stop shop to look into, and identify and remediate problems on the network,” Odia says.

This will bring to the attention of operators aspects that are in need of improvement, and those that are likely to degrade in the near future.

The goal of DXA is to enable organizations to see, understand and optimize digital experiences across network domains, for every user alike. Already, the Catalyst, Meraki and ThousandEyes products offer seamless views of user experiences in their ecosystems. Combining them makes all the data accessible through one solution.

Cisco tops this off with Splunk integration after acquiring Splunk Inc. in March, further boosting visibility.

The combination unlocks a pool of data coming in from endpoints, wireless, routing, internet, datacenter, cloud, and applications – now visible from a single viewpoint. This view is a sum-totality of how customers are interacting with the network, anywhere.

“We’re bringing in information from each of those domain controllers and make insights across those controllers, individual domains and even third-party domains, whether it’s all the way down to server-level or third-party infrastructure,” says Stephen Orr, Distinguished Solutions Engineer. “So trying to give a more holistic view from an AIOps perspective into the customers’ network.”

Broad data collection of this kind is key to sniffing out all traces of problems in the network. But without action, companies may still be far from reaching their digital experience goals.

Cisco DXA takes it to the next level by implementing AI and closed-loop operations. It prescribes intelligent recommendations for fixing service hiccups.

Cisco DXA will complement the Meraki Dashboard. Embedded as a left-nav item on the dashboard, it will provide a one-click navigation to the network health report.

Cisco adopts a top-down scoring approach when inferring the network health. DXA combs through client experiences from all vantage points – clients, network devices, infrastructure connectivity and applications – to get a measure of the QoE at every point. Based on the discoveries, a score is provided every day.

DXA also looks at network trends to analyze the what, where and how of an issue. Odia provides an example. “Let’s say you had a config change and now all of a sudden it’s gone wrong. You’ll be able to see that and pinpoint the timing of when it occurred and where, so that you can determine if you need to revert back to the old config because this one didn’t work.”

For comparative analysis, DXA offers before and after views of states down to every hour, day and week.

Features Coming Soon

Several new features are being added to Cisco DXA to elevate the app’s functionality. One of the capability Odia highlighted is the new Org Alert Page. With DXA, alerts are always a click away. The quick-navigation button that appears on the right-hand side of the screen takes operators straight to the alert hub where all notifications are now logged and stacked under one page.

“Now alerts are not on every page. They’re in one location for you to be able to see all of the notifications so that you don’t have to go hunt and peck for different alerts or different things that could potentially be wrong. This way, we are really trying to build efficiencies into workflows and our troubleshooting process to be able to make it very simple for everybody,” Odia emphasizes.

Users can choose to receive alerts through any preferred medium of communication – email, SMS, Webhook and so on.

In a recent update, Cisco added centralized management of the alerts. This affords users a chance to drill into trends, filter down the list, isolate and dismiss unimportant alerts, and see the most problematic areas to start troubleshooting in one place.

Alert RCA is in progress and will offer much deeper insights into root causes of issues. This will be accompanied by guided workflows, and snapshots for that one-page view.

Two more features – Wireless Health Tab and Switching Health Tabs – are coming soon by end of 2024.

Wrapping Up

In the fast-changing digital landscape of today, service snarls are inevitable. The only way companies can fully dodge them is by meeting customers’ expectations to the T. Cisco’s Digital Experience Assurance dislodges the wrench from the gears by giving companies the means to observe the reality at the user end and hone in on the most fine-grained aspects of their experience. DXA’s guided workflows make sure that the data is followed by action. Combined, they can pay big dividends by forging the path for exceptional digital experience.

For a free trial-run of the Cisco Digital Experience Assurance, scan the QR code shown in the presentation. For technical details, be sure to watch the full session, and other Cisco presentations from the recent Mobility Field Day event.

About the author

Sulagna Saha

Sulagna Saha is a writer at Gestalt IT where she covers all the latest in enterprise IT. She has written widely on miscellaneous topics. On she writes about the hottest technologies in Cloud, AI, Security and sundry.

A writer by day and reader by night, Sulagna can be found busy with a book or browsing through a bookstore in her free time. She also likes cooking fancy things on leisurely weekends. Traveling and movies are other things high on her list of passions. Sulagna works out of the Gestalt IT office in Hudson, Ohio.

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