Mean-time-to-innocence

acquisition

Comms Business Magazine talks to Highlight, a company that has been lighting up the channel with a number of high profile signings for their cloud based service that enables non-technical company management to have an easy, simple to understand view of how their business applications are performing.

Highlight was set up to meet a demand; company founder, CEO and CTO Richard Thomas had discovered that his clients wanted to see how their new systems were performing in a clear business-level way.

Managing Director of Highlight Antony Bream says the problem was, and often still is, that technologies are usually managed by engineers, using tools that by their very nature are highly technical and rarely designed to be understood by those managing a business.

“Regardless of whether an application or service is managed in-house or by third-party suppliers, technical and non-technical decision makers need to know if there is a problem with the delivery of their business services, together with an understanding of where that problem is, who is affected and for how long. They also want to know when the problem is resolved, whether by internal teams or external service providers

Highlight answers these questions. It is a cloud service enabling Sales, Service Managers and Operations management to see clearly, showing all managed services through a single pane of glass. It provides accurate, impartial evidence of applications and network service performance across all locations, helping to create trusted advisor relationships between service providers and their customers.”

Highlight was set up to meet a demand; company founder, CEO and CTO Richard Thomas had discovered that his clients wanted to see how their new systems were performing in a clear business-level way.

Antony Bream, MD of Highlight

Managing Director of Highlight Antony Bream says the problem was, and often still is, that technologies are usually managed by engineers, using tools that by their very nature are highly technical and rarely designed to be understood by those managing a business.

“Regardless of whether an application or service is managed in-house or by third-party suppliers, technical and non-technical decision makers need to know if there is a problem with the delivery of their business services, together with an understanding of where that problem is, who is affected and for how long. They also want to know when the problem is resolved, whether by internal teams or external service providers Highlight answers these questions. It is a cloud service enabling Sales, Service Managers and Operations management to see clearly, showing all managed services through a single pane of glass. It provides accurate, impartial evidence of applications and network service performance across all locations, helping to create trusted advisor relationships between service providers and their customers.”

Highlight In A Nutshell
Highlight monitors and measures network and application performance in relation to one another, delivering value to both the Managed Service Providers (MSP) and their corporate customers. The application uses ‘Heat Tiles’ to represent the real-time status of each location or applications service and are a combination of many monitored elements summarised as three key metrics: Stability, Load and Health. Any service outage or degradation drives a change in colour (green to amber and potentially red). These indicators show the duration and state of issues. Up chevrons show a continuing issue and down chevrons show an issue returning to a healthy state. You can click through to get a depper, more technical view.

It also shows what networks are doing, moment by moment, in a clear and business-friendly way. No matter what wide area network solution, IPVPN MPLS, i-WAN, Hybrid SD-WAN or SD-WAN… Highlight shows the demands that different applications make on a wide area network and reveals if a Hybrid WAN is working and re-routing traffic as required to match set policies.

Other technologies and applications monitored include Wi-Fi and wireless access points for UC application Highlight monitors call volumes and quality between two locations for audio, video and app sharing.

Silver Bullet
Oen high profile channel firm, Gamma, is using Highlight to deliver clear, real-time visibility into the performance of its managed communications including voice, data and mobility services.

David Macfarlane, Managing Director of Gamma says his firm is using Highlight to see clearly how its large to medium sized enterprise customers experience its services and it strives to remove the burden of them managing their own communications infrastructure.

“Like most other network operators, we had one monitoring tool for our broadband environment and another for our ethernet services, but we were missing the ability to monitor customers’ applications. We wanted a system that could give us application visibility alongside a view of network availability. This was for use internally to monitor our customers’ environments, but we also wanted to give customers a tool so they could see first-hand how their applications were performing.

Highlight was a silver bullet. It has enabled us to adopt a single platform to answer all our questions.”

Highlight’s cloud application is integrated within the Gamma network. It monitors every endpoint that Gamma supplies, capturing the data from equipment which is then processed by Gamma’s platform and fed automatically into its monitoring and ticketing system. If Highlight picks up an issue – anything from basic availability through to application miss-performance – tickets are raised on Gamma’s platform for an engineer to action.

Macfarlane says that Gamma is now layering Highlight across their product portfolio, so that channel partners can also see the value; we want to give them the ability to work more closely with their customers who use Gamma infrastructure.

Gamma also uses Highlight for planning. As a large network operation, Highlight monitors some of Gamma’s core infrastructure; helping to identify any potential issues.

“Mean-time-to-innocence is a favourite term we use and Highlight allows us to get to what ‘isn’t’ at fault very quickly, so we can then drill down to an engineering level to find the issue.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine