Nexthink review

Unrivaled insight into the end-user experience, see what they are experiencing first-hand

Vendor Nexthink
Website www.nexthink.com
Year Founded 2004
Product Nexthink V6
Incident Management Group Test 2016 www.theitsmreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Nexthinkv6_IM.pdf

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85%
85% Customer feeback
85% Analyst opinion

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Value for money
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Overall satisfaction
Customer loyalty
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Version reviewed: 6.6

Customer service
Value for money
Customer support
Overall satisfaction
Customer loyalty

What are the strengths of this product?

The realtime monitoring of Workstation. Drill-down / Drill-up for troubleshooting problems

What are the weaknesses of this product?

Manuel for creating Dashboard, widgets.....

What features would you add if you had the choice?

Real-time monitoring in Portal

Version reviewed: V6

Customer service
Value for money
Customer support
Overall satisfaction
Customer loyalty

What are the strengths of this product?

Nexthink finder is a very powerful tool. I am able to have visibility of virtually anything on the network which the collector is on.

What are the weaknesses of this product?

I cannot think of any weaknesses for this product, I love it!

What features would you add if you had the choice?

I would recommend the Finder to include tags to related TechNet articles for detected errors, blue screens. I would also suggest including tags to virus definitions when doing a security investigation. This would help us know whether a workstation has the latest virus definitions.

Version reviewed: v5.0

Customer service
Value for money
Customer support
Overall satisfaction
Customer loyalty

What are the strengths of this product?

IT Visibility that is managed within a single, sophisticated, very detailed dashboard and amazingly displayed in the most attractive way for an IT Admin to a C-Level Manager

What are the weaknesses of this product?

I see none considering this product falls under "Monitoring Software" category.

What features would you add if you had the choice?

Adding an "Action" feature that will be taken upon a trigger generated from an alert this would complete Nexthink and make it ultimate

Strengths

  • Unrivaled insight into the end-user experience, see what they are experiencing first-hand
  • Measure and analyze service quality in real-time and over time
  • Rewind service performance to investigate issues – deep diving by end-user, device, application or connectivity
  • Quality assurance for application deployment and performance
  • Market leading infrastructure visualization
  • Light-touch non-intrusive data gathering

Weaknesses

  • Inability to add additional data into the analytics Engine (i.e. integrate other ITAM and ITSM data with end-user analytics)
  • Visibility of Mobile devices is via Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync only
  • Nexthink could do more to harness its customer community for collaboration and generating new, innovative ways of using IT analytics

Key Capabilities Table: 



KEY BUSINESS CONCERN



KEY ISSUES


NEXTHINK – KEY CAPABILITIES

IT Operations


Service quality gap between what IT believes its delivering and end-user experience



View service quality from an end-user perspective


Majority of incidents are not reported by end-users



Proactive Problem Management via end-user analytics



Demand to release applications at faster cadence



Measure service quality before, during and after App deployments


IT Projects


Stale or incomplete inventory



Real-time analysis of IT Infrastructure


Lack of insight into project delivery



Real-time visibility during App deployment and baseline service quality before and after



Inaccurate, out of date or failed CMDB implementations



Continuous automated relationship and connectivity mapping in real-time


IT Security


Poor visibility of IT infrastructure and connectivity



CCTV-like experience recording real-time and historical


Zero-day exploits and rogue behavior



Real-time monitoring and alerting of unauthorized or abnormal application and connectivity activity



BYOD and end-user centric behavior



End-user centric relationship and connectivity mapping



Major Product Components – Nexthink V6

  • Collector – continuous real-time monitoring creates a ‘highlight reel’ of each endpoint and end-user.
  • Engine – continuous real-time analytics and alerting, discovery and dynamic pattern analysis to identify anomalies.
  • Finder – real-time visualization and ability to smart search, pivot on data / findings, look for patterns, and create custom investigations, alerts and actions.
  • Portal – near real-time visualization and historical trend analysis, sophisticated custom dashboards that include metrics, goals, thresholds, and status indicators.

Analysis – Nexthink V6

Elevator pitch : A pioneer in end-user analytics – carving out a new market for organizations jumping the complexity curve and proactively addressing the end-user experience. A must for managing hybrid IT environments; monitor services from the “Outside-In” i.e. from the end-user endpoint to the service.

We were impressed with Nexthink. This is next-generation enterprise software and the future of IT Management tools. Nexthink is fast, non-intrusive, end-user centric, versatile and takes advantage of the huge amounts of Big Data latent in large enterprise IT networks.

A new paradigm in IT Management Tools

Nexthink’s Collector, a passive device driver, monitors the IT assets in an organization. However, unlike conventional inventory or monitoring tools, Nexthink provides unrivaled insight into the end-user experience to see what end-users are experiencing in real-time – their connectivity, the applications they are using and the services and infrastructure they are connected to.

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Nexthink’s light-touch (500kb driver) and non-intrusive (.01% CPU) Collector monitors endpoint devices in real-time. It’s like having an activity wrist band on every device you own – and then collecting all the data simultaneously for instant analysis.

It is all too common for IT operations leaders to see green lights on their dashboards and SLAs – but for end-users to be dissatisfied with IT. Nexthink introduces a new paradigm in IT management tools, measuring service quality from the Outside-In. Nexthink provides insight into application activity, IT service and port connectivity, destination and domains, bandwidth usage, response times and installations.

Nexthink for the datacenter

To date Nexthink’s core market was desktop analytics - The release of Nexthink Version 6 extends the Collector to Windows Servers. This release extends Nexthink’s end-user analytics model and delivers new insight into the IT services and underlying Windows Server infrastructure. Nexthink provides a thorough understanding of the connectivity and bandwidth relationships in real-time between end-users, endpoints, services, and Windows Servers that provides accurate (source of truth) data for CMDB projects.

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Nexthink in the datacenter also opens the door to the niche but high value sector of datacenter license management. Nexthink’s capabilities lend themselves to industry trends towards end-user centric license models.

Similarly Nexthink is perfectly positioned, with its ability to monitor Web usage, to help organizations manage the risk and cost involved in cloud based services – particularly AWS, Azure and SaaS discovery and consumption. We hope to see more development in this huge growth area from Nexthink.

An end-user centric world

The IT industry is trending from device centric to end-user centric and Nexthink has embraced this challenge in Nexthink V6. From consumer services such as Evernote and Netflix to enterprise services such as Salesforce and Office365, the end-user’s account and credentials take precedence over the multiple devices they may touch. Nexthink V6 provides a unique view from the end-user perspective regarding the IT services they are consuming across all devices that they use and delivers essential situational awareness and context for IT operations and security.

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Measuring Service Quality from the Outside-In

IT service and support has reached a tipping point in complexity. IT operations must lower the alerting threshold for addressing incidents beyond what end-users and alerting systems are reporting.

“90% of IT execs say their end users struggle with business technology problems that they have no way to detect” Forrester Research 2014

Traditional ITSM has been dependent on alerting systems and incoming calls from end-users. But the vast majority of modern day IT grievances are not being reported to IT. End-users turn to colleagues, to Google search or simply put up with poor IT services. These unresolved issues are harming productivity, frustrating end-users and creating a poor IT experience – despite SLAs potentially reporting the opposite.

Nexthink’s end-user analytics allow IT organizations to understand exactly what is going on in their infrastructure and proactively address problem management, without being dependent on end-users calling in and reporting incidents. When an incident is reported, Nexthink can quickly show the true scope, i.e. number of end-users affected, and impact, e.g. downtime, and help identify the probable cause of the issue. This allows IT teams to detect and resolve issues faster and helps reduce incidents, i.e. resolve issues before other end-users experience them. This is one of Nexthink’s most compelling ROIs for any organization regardless of maturity.

End-user satisfaction and end-user IT health status can be fed into traditional ITSM solutions to facilitate issue resolution and encourage proactive problem management. Nexthink has existing integrations with tools such as BMC Remedy, EasyVista, LANDESK, PMCS.helpLine and ServiceNow. We found the visualizations for analysts to support incident analysis and proactive problem management simply outstanding.

Releasing at an Agile Cadence

There is great IT industry interest in DevOps – harmonizing the worlds of development and operations for more productive software development. At the heart of DevOps is the principle of moving away from long development cycles to smaller, bite size chunks closely aligned to customer feedback.

Nexthink facilitates fast release schedules through immediate Application quality assurance. Rather than measuring Application success based on lack of incidents logged – Application development teams can monitor Application deployment and performance in real-time and stagger deployment accordingly.

Areas for Improvement

Nexthink is a powerful and impressive solution – the points below are minor nit picking or perhaps a feature wish list for what is otherwise compelling offering.

From an IT governance perspective we would like to see Nexthink enhance their reporting for the benefit of IT Asset Management professionals seeking audit quality results.

With Nexthink you could quite easily see a new application being deployed across a network in real time and then see how that application is performing immediately.

However, it would be good to know the comprehensiveness of the reporting. I.e. The application has been installed on and working on 7500 of 10,000 machines – but how do I know the 10,000 machines figure is accurate? This is a typical IT management blind spot that Nexthink is in a good position to address – either via development or partnership with complimentary ITAM tooling.

The use cases and potential for Nexthink are mind-boggling. Today’s use cases emphasize exporting Nexthink’s analytics data into other tools, for example service desk, for smarter IT.

We would like to see data go in the other direction, i.e. Nexthink have the ability to import data from ITSM, ITAM and other tools into their analytics Engine. For example, imagine if organizations could import network and backend infrastructure configuration change information into Nexthink and use the analytics to understand the impact experienced by end-users. This would enable even smarter IT.Image title


With end-user analytics Nexthink are effectively carving out a new IT sector for themselves. This will be an unconventional purchase for most organizations and Nexthink could be doing more to showcase its capabilities. We’d like to see Nexthink do more to help their customers collaborate on how to make best use of the analytics and leverage its power and huge potential.

Finally, Nexthink use Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync for monitoring mobile devices rather than placing an App on the mobile device. This may not be a robust enough solution for some organizations and we would like to see Nexthink integrate data from Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) vendors. Given the pervasive nature of mobility in modern IT and its link with an end-user centric view of infrastructure, it would be good to see Nexthink invest more in this area.