FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Alignia helps me with my Omni-channel / Digital Transformation strategy?

Digital Transformation projects rely heavily on enabling new delivery channels and business functions, leveraging the Internet, smart mobile devices, extended enterprises, Big Data and Machine Learning to generate increased profits from an extended audience while reducing or completely eliminating the inconvenience and cost of manual procedures. For most companies, offering the proper user experience across all the digital channels is key to competing in the new economy. 


Traditional monitoring paradigms that applied to the old monolithic world are simply not useful anymore. For instance, an all-or-nothing view of availability is obsolete when apps are delivered through different technical interfaces and business functions distributed among several servers or even run as microservices in virtualized containers. 


Moreover, there is an increasing need to proactively manage the delivered experience for each relevant consumer (employees, partners, customers, VIP customers) across each channel. That should include not only online user experience, but also the provided service at all levels, which include measuring and managing the performance of each critical business process for each relevant consumer. 


Alignia for Online Business Services provides much needed visibility of each one of the delivery channels, including legacy (5250/3270, GUI-based) and new (Web, smart apps, API-based) and for every relevant business function and business consumer. 


Alignia for Business Processes ensures that all the surrounding process stages are executed properly and timely for each business consumer. 


Alignia for Business Security makes sure that both online services and business processes are in compliance with the internal and external regulations and standards to minimize risk. 


Also, as applications are becoming more and more an orchestration of small functions that are partially on premises, partially virtualized and partially on private or public Clouds, and they also must interface with an increasing number of external services, there is a need to properly model the IT dependencies of each business function or business process stage. As we transition from a monolithic approach, this is essential to accurately determine availability and to determine the root cause of any failures down to the IT elements these functions depend on. 

Alignia provides an agile way to model these dependencies, which is key to rapidly fixing any incidents and also to accurately report service levels and to provide information for Continual Service and Process Improvement. With Alignia, the leading Digital Service Management solution, your company will be able to be alerted in real time to any degradation of performance, at any level and at every client, aligning all the teams (both IT and non-IT) with the actual business objectives. 


In summary, Alignia provides the key to delight customers, enabling innovation, protecting revenue and maximizing the efficiency of operations.

 

Can’t I just use technical monitoring products instead of Alignia?

No. Although there are hundreds of technical monitoring products in the market (and chances are you are using one or several of them already) none of them include the embedded methodology and knowledge to model, monitor and continuously improve real online business services and business processes with proper granularity. This is a completely different goal that overwhelmingly transcends the monitoring of technical elements.


Alignia forces you to change the focal point from the technical elements to what really matters to the business: the real business processes and services.

 
To do so, Alignia lets you rapidly prototype your most critical online services and business processes and all the dashboards, alerts, reports, etc. are automatically generated according to your real needs.


Alignia even suggests to you the proper controls to establish for each process type, too. As there is no programming involved, deployment is basically done in hours, not weeks.

 

Can I reuse our existing monitoring products?

Yes. Alignia includes agentless monitoring agents for most of your infrastructure, but you can also reuse practically any monitoring tool you are using today. 

 

Can’t I just use Business Intelligence products instead of Alignia?

Not really. Although you can create dashboards that look similar to Alignia’s with several BI products, including MicroStrategy, Tableau, QlikView, BusinessObjects and others, you will end up spending much more and obtaining far inferior results.


Why? First, Alignia contains embedded knowledge about what you need to monitor and show (and what not) and how to show it, based on +400 man-years of business-oriented monitoring expertise, providing you with a proven methodology.


Second, Alignia is an automated generator, which means that every single dashboard is created without any need of programming or designing, and all dashboards, navigation, alerting and reports are done in minutes. 


Third, our exclusive Real Time Service Model is the technology that glues together the dashboards with the technical metrics, infrastructure monitors, user experience and business level controls. Without it, you only have a collection of separate dashboards and no way to perform root cause analysis and Continual Service Improvement.

 
Many of our Alignia customers started with custom BI projects. Unfortunately, frustration kicks in very rapidly, if you go that route. Maintenance will be a nightmare, too. Instead, with Alignia it is a pleasure: you add a new consumer, a new delivery channel (such a new smartphone app), a new business function or a new process step and everything is regenerated: the internal model, the dashboards, the navigation, etc. With the single click of a button. 

In summary, Alignia gives you better results, faster, at a much, much lower initial and ongoing cost.

 

Do I need Alignia if I have an APM tool? 

Yes. Actually, you can leverage your investment in the APM tool enormously, if you deploy Alignia on top of it, since APMs are typically very technical tools with limited benefits for business users. 


Transforming the focal point from the application to the real business service and the real business processes is paramount to succeed in the digital era.


Alignia lets you integrate real user experience metrics from APM tools easily, and shows it in real business context for every channel, consumer, business function and even business process step. 


APM tools generate tons of technical data, but Alignia transforms and enriches that data into information that is relevant to every player in the business service stack: DevOps, CIOs, COOs, Account Managers, and even CEOs and other line of business managers. 


Alignia keeps the relevant APM data, eliminates the unnecessary, augments it and puts it in business context. Plus, it can create or integrate real experience metrics which come from non-Web applications. Moreover, Alignia adds simulated user experience data with legacy, Cloud and external application support; shows relevant business KPIs and provides technical monitoring agents that control both the front and the back end infrastructure to allow you achieve total visibility over services and processes. 


Alignia uniquely shows the pain points in a way that aligns the whole enterprise towards the real business goals: it provides clear ways to represent and publish monitored data, allows you to identify failures in real time with deep root cause analysis and provides Continual Service Improvement data to keep your enterprise protected and operating at high speed. 

 

Do I need Alignia if I don’t have an APM tool?

Yes. Having an APM tool is not a mandatory requirement to deploy Alignia. In fact, there are several ways to extract user experience data from your applications, and for some companies the performance hit of instrumenting Java or .NET code or the associated costs are simply not acceptable. And in several scenarios, such as external and Cloud-based applications, it is not possible to deploy an APM tool.

Alignia lets you capture applications’ performance and user experience using different approaches, including reading logs, trace data, databases, or using industry standard protocols such as SNMP, web services, and more.
Alignia also provides for mechanisms to simulate end user experience for both Web and legacy applications, which is a great way to be proactive and detect bottlenecks and failures even when there are no users accessing applications.


Alignia includes a large collection of technical monitors to detect performance degradation not only at the front end, but also at the back end.


Last but not least, Alignia gives you several critical performance metrics for Java and .NET applications right out of the box, so chances are that you will not need an APM tool at all to monitor, control and improve your business services and business processes.

 

Do I need Alignia if I have a BPM tool?

Yes. Although BPM tools include basic monitoring, their aim is more to automate than to control processes in real time, and their monitoring scope is not as deep (they don’t consider technical dependencies, for instance) and comprehensive as Alignia for Business Processes.


Moreover, chances are that you don’t have every critical process mapped into the BPM tool. With Alignia you can rapidly prototype the relevant process’ stages in minutes, so you will always be in control. 


And if you do have a BPM tool, Alignia can interface with it and extract the most relevant real-time data, allowing you to leverage your investment and continuously improve your processes. 

 

I’m in DevOps. How can Alignia help me?

Think of Alignia both as a monitoring tool and as a safety net for catching any issues inadvertently introduced with a the deployment of a new software version.


Besides rapidly pinpointing probable root causes of failure or degradation and providing unparalleled granular user experience management at the Operations level, Alignia’s ability to compare current activity to past periods provides a great method to detect inconsistencies, bugs, deployment glitches, etc.


For instance, a bug introduced in the new release of a smartphone app may cause all the transactions to fail at the very last step. Within Alignia you will rapidly see that all the activity for that particular business function works for all the rest of the delivery channels (Web app and B2B APIs). but not for the smartphone app. Drilling down, you will see that the business activity at all the previous stages is normal. but there is no activity at the end. So, it will be clear to you where the problem is, who is affected, the business impact, and where to look to fix it.


Conversely, you might immediately detect whether a problem is caused by wrong user input, since Alignia comes with predefined controls to check file inconsistencies, late deliveries, and other user (or customer) related issues.

 

I am a Business Manager. Why do I need Alignia?

Alignia is the ultimate Digital Transformation enabler. It provides unique visibility over all your digital channels and unparalleled granularity per customer or customer group, as required.


Plus, Alignia does it with an embedded methodology and embedded knowledge, so deployment is done in just hours.


Alignia protects revenue by increasing customer satisfaction and reducing the chance of poor user experience. It achieves that by providing immediate visibility of degradation and unexpected situations, both at the user level or within the supporting infrastructure. 


Alignia provides granularity per business function, consumer (users, partners, customers), delivery channel (on-premises or Web-based apps, smart apps, B2B, etc.) and even process steps. For every combination of these, Alignia proactively offers root cause analysis that goes deep into the supporting infrastructure if needed, no matter how complex and hybrid (Cloud-based, hosted or on premises; packaged or custom; real or virtualized; owned or external; etc.) your applications are.


Plus, Alignia provides data for regulations compliance, Service Level Management and Continual Service Improvement, so your processes run increasingly better, smoother, faster, more securely and more efficiently.

 

I am at the intersection of IT and Business. Why do I need Alignia?

Alignia is the only real-time monitoring solution that radically changes the focal point from the technical elements to real digital business services and processes, providing unique visibility over all your digital channels and unparalleled granularity per customer or customer group as required.


Plus, Alignia does it with an embedded methodology and embedded knowledge, so deployment is done in just hours.


For CIOs, Service Managers, and other professionals that are, as you, at the intersection of IT and the business, Alignia uniquely gives you a vision of both worlds from a single pane of glass and provides all the data you need to effectively communicate and align these diverse enterprise teams.


Plus, Alignia provides data for regulations compliance, Service Level Management and Continual Service Improvement so your processes run increasingly better, smoother, faster, more securely and more efficiently.

 

I am a member of the IT team. Why do I need Alignia?

Alignia gives you the proper business context to rapidly prioritize and manage IT incidents in real time, effectively aligning you and your technical team with the business immediately. Alignia provides the end user vision, so there will never be a misunderstanding about what is working and what is not. 


Moreover, Alignia will allow you to establish many user-related controls, so you will clearly see when a process or service is not working or delayed for user-related causes, properly establishing responsibility for non-IT incidents. 


Plus, Alignia does it with an embedded methodology and embedded knowledge, so deployment is done in just hours.


Alignia provides data for regulations compliance, Service Level Management and Continual Service Improvement, so your processes run increasingly better, smoother, faster, more securely and more efficiently. It is not a surprise that most of the IT guys who sponsor Alignia end up being promoted. Ask us about examples, we have many. 

 

How can you complete most projects in only 5 days?

Alignia is really a generator at its heart. In a Wizard style, you fill in forms with information about your services and processes, and everything gets  generated automatically. It’s a zero-programming solution.


Alignia also comes with a great library of pre-defined controls which you can choose from. These included both technical and non-technical monitors, and most can be deployed automatically from a central point.


Alignia contains hundreds of years of business-oriented monitoring expertise, so you basically profit from the deep knowledge and methodology embedded into the product. 

 

How is Alignia licensed?

Alignia is licensed using a Pay-per-use model, so you only pay for what you use. This lowers the entry point and makes Alignia affordable for a “Quick Win” project. 


For instance, you may start monitoring your most critical business process, and then expand your project into other processes, online business services, or even digital security and compliance. 

 

What Alignia looks like? May I see some screens?

Help yourself here.