Modern networks are complex, often involving hybrid work models and a mix of first- and third-party applications and infrastructure. In response, organizations have adopted security service edge (SSE) solutions, such as Cisco Secure Access, to protect users regardless of where they are located or what they are accessing.

This reliance on third-party infrastructure doesn’t only drive security risk, it also increases the likelihood of performance outages and disruptions. Oftentimes, these disruptions are the result of service outages and slowdowns in third-party infrastructure, which make it difficult for IT teams to detect and remediate the problem. Experience Insights, a component of Cisco Secure Access, allows administrators to maintain a positive end user experience by detecting and responding to connectivity problems as soon as they occur, all from the same dashboard they use to manage security capabilities and access policies.

Cisco Secure Access is our flagship Security Service Edge (SSE) product, which provides all the tools you need to enable remote and branch users to securely connect to the Internet, software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, and private apps. While much of these capabilities are focused on security, it is also important to monitor network performance, ensuring a strong digital experience with minimal outages and connectivity problems.

Experience Insights is powered by Cisco ThousandEyes technology, which enables rapid root cause identification and resolution from device to application and every network in between. According to the Forrester Total Economic Impact report for ThousandEyes, the technology’s end user monitoring capabilities resulted in a 50% productivity boost for IT and network operations and a 50-80% reduction in the time it took to identify intermittent or degraded performance, whether it was global or localized.

Provide a strong user experience and troubleshoot performance issues

Performance problems can originate in many sources, including:

  • Devices, such as laptops
  • Wi-Fi networks
  • Internet service providers
  • Corporate resources, such as VPNs or security tools
  • Applications

For many organizations, it can be a challenge to simply detect these problems, let alone mitigate them. This results in ongoing, undetected connectivity problems, causing a loss of productivity and end user frustration.

Experience insights is a digital experience monitoring (DEM) solution that provides a comprehensive view of endpoint, application, and network performance, making it easier to identify and troubleshoot performance problems as they arise. Ultimately, these capabilities result in a reduced mean time to resolution (MTTR) for performance incidents.

This includes a variety of metrics related to:

  • Device – detailed user and system information, including CPU and memory utilization and Wi-Fi signal strength.
  • Internet and network paths – key metrics regarding the network path from the device to the Secure Access gateway, including latency, packet loss, and jitter.
  • Collaboration applications – automatic performance tests for key collaboration tools, such as Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom.
  • SaaS applications – insight into the most popular SaaS applications, including the overall health status and details such as HTTP response times and status codes.

Single-dashboard, single-agent

One of the primary benefits of Cisco Secure Access is a single-dashboard experience. The solution combines 12 different technologies and provides unified management, configuration, and troubleshooting capabilities. Experience insights is a core component of Secure Access, which means all its data and alerts are provided in the same management portal as the rest of Secure Access’ capabilities. This prevents administrators from being forced to juggle numerous technologies and management portals, streamlining operations and reducing frustration.

In addition, all Secure Access capabilities, including Experience Insights, rely on the Cisco Secure Client, a single agent on the end-user’s machine. This simplifies administration and deployment while optimizing workflows.

All at no extra cost

We recognize how important it is to be able to identify and troubleshoot connectivity problems in an SSE solution, which is why we are including it in the base Secure Access license at no extra cost. In addition, customers can purchase a full license for Cisco ThousandEyes for more advanced capabilities and broader coverage across their network.

Experience insights is just one capability of an incredible solution

While experience insights is our latest announcement, Secure Access includes many capabilities, including a secure web gateway, cloud access security broker with data loss prevention, firewall-as-a-service, and zero trust network access. It is an all-encompassing solution for securely connecting remote and branch users to the Internet, SaaS applications, and private apps.

To learn more about Cisco Secure Access, please read the e-book What is Cisco Secure Access and SSE?

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Andrew Akers

Product Marketing Manager

Security Product Marketing