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First Look

Krissi Danielson

Knoa CEO on Application Efficiency: The End User Justifies the Means

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1. Why EPM?
     a. Driving adoption
     b. Effective use of mission-critical applications
     c. More productivity

2. Knoa's Product
     a. Compatibility and current customers
     b. Need for EPM in the mid-market

3. Evaluating EPM Tools
      a. Consider the end user's experience
      b. Look at the transaction level
      c. Focus on technology adaptivity

4. Looking at Patterns
      a. Considering data from multiple perspectives
      b. Increased rate of successful integration projects

5. Knoa's Role in IT and User Support  

Have a question? Thad Eidman will respond to comments posted below.


 Visit Knoa's Web Site

Thad Eidman will regularly respond to any comments posted below.

If you think you're hearing a lot about management software lately, you're not mistaken. Knoa Software CEO Thad Eidman says more and more business executives are starting to see the potential of software to enhance end user experiences.

"What we're doing is providing management of these corporations with the metrics required to drive adoption and effective use of these mission-critical applications," Eidman explains.

And what that means is that user performance management means driving user effectiveness and creating metrics that management can use to understand whether or not the workers are able to execute effectively.

Knoa's Offering

Knoa's technology works with any Windows or Web application, so it can work with any mission critical third-party or proprietary application that a company is running, with a particular focus on major enterprise applications like SAP, Oracle and Microsoft offerings. So far, Knoa has multiple Fortune 500 customers that stand to gain from increases in adoption and effective use, which Eidman says can lead to fewer user errors and thus fewer support calls.

"What we find is that as the big customers are able to use the Knoa tool to identify where specifically they can drive user proficiency, they are also at the same time lowering their cost of ownership," he says.

Although its earlier efforts targeted large enterprises, Eidman says Knoa is currently expanding into the mid-market as are several other major enterprise application vendors.

Evaluating End-User Experience Software

So what should companies look for if they are interested in evaluating the need for end user experience software?

First, in order to provide a reliable and complete end user experience, and performance management solution, companies need to consider the end user's perspective.

"With Knoa, for example, our measurement capability is out with the end user themselves. So we're observing and tracking and monitoring end users from the end user perspective," says Eidman.

The second factor is to consider things at the transaction level. Examining a HTPP monitor may help with finding an IT root cause but not for managing a user root cause, and a tool might be able to examine transactions and analyze actions before and after transactions to figure out what's happening on the user's end in terms of factors.

A third important idea is that technology needs to be adaptive.

"One of the things that companies have found is that when they try to execute tools that are monitoring and tracking, that when they change their underlying application, the tools break," says Eidman. "One of the things we've done with Knoa is to make our technology adaptive, so that as customers upgrade the applications that we're working to measure, our software automatically adapts and changes its nature to work with a new version."

Identifying Patterns and Speeding Integration

Knoa's product has two aspects: the ability to collect user information in a templated fashion and the ability to analyze information on a prioritized basis to identify specific transactions or areas that users are having trouble with. Then, it can flip that around and examine the information on an individual user basis, finding which users have the most trouble.

"By being able to analyze the data from a number of different perspectives, we have the ability to identify and prioritize those areas where companies need to look," he says.

This can lead to an increased rate of successful integration projects, because it gives companies quicker feedback on implementations and prevents user dropoff if users encounter major issues or receive too many errors. Knoa aims to provide this metric within 24 hours of a new implementation.

"When you can take these kinds of proactive resolution processes, and implement them so that you can aggressively and proactively address issues, you really catch the user community early before they have an opportunity to kind of drop out  of the share of mind of a new application," Eidman says.

Managing Knoa

Multiple departments use the Knoa console and the information it generates. User support is the first, typically collecting a detailed view of users' actions and assisting users in real-time, sometimes without that user even having to initiate the call.

IT support tends to use Knoa also in order to facilitate new technologies such as SOA and grid computing. "IT has a very tough putt in terms of this changing architecture and with Knoa, IT has the ability to measure this performance, really from where it matters, which is the net result to the end user," Eidman points out.

Editor's Note: Thad Eidman will answer readers' questions below.

1 Comment


Could you tell me the minimum SAP system required on which KNOA EPM can work.
Could you also send me step by step guide to install KNOA EPM with all the configuration details.

Join ebizQ producer Krissi Danielson for interviews with the innovators, movers and shakers behind emerging enterprise software solutions.Have a solution that qualifies? E-mail Krissi at krissi (at)ebizq.net

Krissi Danielson

Krissi Danielsson is a podcast producer with ebizQ and contributor to ebizQ's SaaSWeek site. View more

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