As mobile usage keeps growing in popularity, synthetic mobile monitoring is an essential service for variety of different types of players, companies with mobile apps, websites, and back-end services. Monitoring the mobile behavior with any particular part of the product or whole entity how end-users experience it is a must procedure for today’s mobile-first trends. The overall performance and any aspects of it are in epicenter when companies want to deliver awesome user experiences. In addition, making sure things are available and usable by end-users, in any specific location, are highly critical for companies to generate business – and deliver awesome user experiences.
Users for Mobile Monitoring
Mobile monitoring solutions can enable companies to deliver robust and yet consistent mobile experiences while protecting highly important revenue streams, user interactions with slick performance, even under the most demanding situations. One of the problem with real-user monitoring has been the amount of data that those produce: with tremendous data and burden that can hit any bandwidth aren’t necessarily giving trustworthy understanding of performance and provide that critical insights of how well mobile apps, games or websites perform in real conditions.
The recent flow used with Mobile DevOps movement is driving the need for seamlessly integrated toolchain that can not only boost the organization’s capabilities to deliver better products but also collaborate and further-integrate different sort of tools together.
We’ll take a look at few user segments that can significantly benefit from synthetic (and proactive) mobile monitoring and what are the critical elements for these verticals to measure.
Different User Segments for Mobile Monitoring
Proactive production monitoring is a great practice and more often companies are adding this capability for pre-production and development phases as well. This can provide instant insights and understanding of how certain implementation works on a real environment, with real conditions, but without using real users. Looking from the ‘vertical’ point of view, the mobile monitoring is highly beneficial for the following user groups, with slightly different types of use cases:
Regardless that use cases are very similar across these user segments the scope and use cases might be very different. In the following chapters we’ll discuss what the characteristics of each segment, as well as what are those use cases for mobile monitoring and how things can be adopted early in the development phase.
Banking and Payment Providers
Mobile banking and the usage of mobile to carry out financial transactions have become prominent around the world. With the proliferation of mobile devices globally, millions prefer to have financial data available at their fingertips using their mobile phones and smartphones. Banks and financial services firms are faced with different challenges to address this new user driven trend of mobility and how to capitalize on it. So what are the top priorities for banking application developers?
Simply, to make sure their service is online, provides fast response and secure way for end-users to use their services. The critical elements with these sort of apps and websites are:
- Secure integration and testing with backend systems on REAL networks
- Quality testing, robust behavior on variety of devices
- Security and vulnerability testing
- Automation of mobile testing to monitor the ongoing release cycle
- Compliances and verification for financial services on real devices
For all of these business-critical categories mobile monitoring has a solution and obvious value to offer.
E-Commerce and Online Retail
The e-commerce and online retailing is clearly the most revenue (profit) driven of these user segments and simply things should work well in order to enable buyers to make their purchases through mobile app and/or website. Being down or with slow performance, a significant hit on revenue is imminent. There are plenty of peak periods in traffic, purchases and transactions taking place every year, and it’s clear that having something not ready or weakly performing implementation on these peak days will make companies to lose money.
As the primary holiday shopping seasons, Cyber Mondays, Black Fridays and so on, are highly important for e-commerce and online retailers, those comprise only approximately 30% of traffic and purchases throughout the year. It’s also important to make sure things are up and running 365 days every year, and nothing from the performance or functionality can hit the revenue your business is about to generate.
Gaming and Gambling
Mobile gaming has been booming for years and the same phenomena is going on for online gambling as well. Not being able to provide what people are looking for or to be played with, the end-users will leave your platform to go the next one. And there are plenty of options available today. With synthetic mobile monitoring not only performance aspects of products can be measured but also the health level of the system if more bandwidth needs to be added in the back-end implementation, more hardware or anything else to making the gameplay smoother for end-users.
For the first time, mobile gaming will take a larger share than PC with $36.9 billion, up 21.3% globally, in year 2016. With this data, Mobile gaming itself is the number one revenue generator in the mobile ecosystem and more gamers can be attracted via natural channels, but also making sure mobile game works well across all possible devices. For instance, when game developers have provided support for broader audience by making sure that devices used by users in certain geographical areas are supported, more revenue and larger TAM can be estimated.
News and Media
Providing news and media services for mobile are typically done via dedicated mobile apps but also websites. More and more, news and media providers include hybrid approach where end-user doesn’t always feel what mechanism (native app or web) they use but they get what they looked for: news/information delivered to them in timely manner.
Again, the same philosophy applies for news and media applications. Whether the information is shown through native application or mobile web, the integration between the end-users handheld device and back-end must be flawless, and data (text, pictures, videos) must reach user instantly. Making sure the data is accessible, the service platform is up and running, and content is instantly delivered and perfectly rendered for users is the top priority for news and media apps and websites.
Advertising is among the gaming and online retail the top revenue generator in mobile. Whereas games and purchases are driven by users, ads are getting showed in all these three delivery portals and must be on 24/7. Being offline or showing wrong things doesn’t cumulate the revenue generation from usage of end-users and that can have catastrophic consequences for revenue generation.
With the rise of ad blocking, the expected demise of the desktop banner ad and the growth in mobile advertising, creativeness and catching user attention will be a big theme for 2016. Consider the following:
A game developer was showing mobile ads in Germany. Real-user monitoring showed everything was working fine. There were requests to serve the ads, and response times were on acceptable level. However, there were complaints from the end-users that the ads were all blank. Just white. A synthetic monitoring with a script accessing the ad server from the real mobile network and taking screenshots as part of the monitoring process showed the downtime immediately. Showing blank screens leads to zero clicks/conversions and the revenue is seriously in danger, considering the size of German market.
Enterprise Apps and Websites
Enterprise apps have been a hot topic for some time already. While demand for mobile apps in enterprises is growing the service level of those in various locations, under real user conditions, isn’t always considered carefully. Enterprise apps can be also user-facing or more collaborative – team-level apps – and the correct behavior is one of the top priorities.
Commonly, people using monitoring for enterprise apps are thinking of use mobile application performance monitoring (mAPM) solutions. The real value of using these sort of solutions come from being able to make sure apps and websites are usable, with good performance, from the key locations. These locations must include all different geographic locations and mobile networks where those apps with devices are used.
Stream and Video
When streaming any content via Internet problems can be encountered due to bandwidth changes and irregularity. Mobile network performance parameters may often cause the broadcast to freeze, and harm the quality of the viewing experience, and make the use of the service impossible. Media streaming usage and capabilities must be constantly monitored by streaming service providers in order to align network resources with bandwidth demand. In addition, a wide variety of protocols and standards that are used for streaming require tools that can provide insight into all technologies used in the streaming sessions.
Basically, any end-to-end video or streaming solution providers are eager to find out how their “ends” communicate against each others – and in the real context. As we know, mobile networks are behaving very different than in lab test environments and due to variety of reasons, performance may scale from non-existent to full bandwidth and capability. Making sure both ends communicate properly and stream is going through, even for whatever reason hits the bandwidth, can be tackled with proactive mobile monitoring.
Mobile health monitoring is a huge business. Applications built for health measurements can be not only life-critical for certain users, but also provide tons of information about our health. For those whose lives are dependent on gadgets or any aspect of connectivity between those gadgets and network the correct and functional behavior of the environment is critical. Monitoring of these implementations in the real network, using as authentic environment as possible, can make or break scenarios for use of these types of setups.
Content Delivery and APIs
Today, there are literally no mobile apps that wouldn’t require some sort of API integration or using APIs to enable data communication, integration to back-end servers. Using and monitoring API end-points is a strong use case for synthetic mobile monitoring and can quickly yield results about any performance or connectivity related issue.