WorkiQ is Citrix Ready — and what that means

Citrix Ready

WorkiQ is Citrix Ready — and we’re very proud of that. However, it does bring up two obvious questions. First, what does it mean? Second, what difference does it make? I’m going to try to answer those for you in reverse order. (After all, if it makes no difference, it doesn’t matter what it means.)

As you may already know, WorkiQ is OpenConnect’s real-time desktop analytics solution. It provides visibility into employee productivity. To be a little more specific, WorkiQ captures employee activity through a small software agent that usually is installed on each user’s workplace computer. However, there also are work environments in which a typical user doesn’t have a dedicated workplace computer. That’s why it’s important that WorkiQ has been certified as Citrix Ready.

Citrix and WorkiQ

One of the popular on-demand computing platforms is Xen Desktop by Citrix. We’ve worked hard to make sure that WorkiQ works great for a company that uses this platform. You might say that WorkiQ “sees” a Citrix session as just another standard activity session. Perhaps the user is on a dedicated desktop computer. Perhaps she’s using a Citrix computing resource. She may even be moving between the two. It doesn’t matter. In any of these cases, WorkiQ generates an accurate timeline of activity.

Many companies use Citrix to allow employees to work from home or from mobile devices. Citrix provides a standardized configuration and increases security. It also reduces wide area network (WAN) traffic by locating the computing resource closest to the data the user is accessing. That data exists on the server.

By the same token, we don’t put WorkiQ on individual devices in a Citrix environment. Instead, we capture the users’ activity by installing our Citrix-specialized WorkiQ agent on the Citrix server. The beauty of this approach is that WorkiQ can directly “see” traffic between users and all the other corporate applications on the server. That lets WorkiQ accurately capture activity data, and do so with the highest quality.

What Citrix Ready means

Citrix put our Citrix-specific WorkiQ agent through a uniform set of compatibility tests. In Citrix’s analysis, the agent installed seamlessly and implemented proper modifications to the server’s registry. WorkiQ also passed other Citrix compatibility checks, including memory handling within the Citrix server. As a result, Citrix certified WorkiQ as Citrix Ready.

A number of large sites — including one with over 100 Citrix servers — have successfully taken advantage of WorkiQ. Through the Citrix Ready program, OpenConnect also receives partner-level access to Citrix technical resources. This enables us to resolve any Citrix-related technical challenges our WorkiQ customers may have. In short, you can be confident in not only OpenConnect’s technology but also our ability to handle any challenges that may occur.

Note: Citrix is a registered trademark of Citrix Systems, Inc.

AutoiQ: Our newest, best automation solution

AutoiQ robotic process automation software by OpenConnect

It’s a busy time at OpenConnect, and big things are happening. In that vein, we’re pleased to announce the introduction of AutoiQ, the latest generation of our robotic process automation (RPA) solution.

What makes AutoiQ better?

As you may know, RPA uses software robots to perform tasks with tremendous speed and complete accuracy. Of course, not all RPA solutions are equal. AutoiQ offers a variety of key benefits:

  • Our approach to RPA puts the robots on one or more servers, rather than on individual PCs. This provides three key advantages. First, it enables AutoiQ to work at vastly greater speed. Second, its robots can share rules and logic from a single source. And, third, it can “scale” almost infinitely, so it can handle the automation needs of the largest enterprise.
  • Another automation product would use an emulator to “talk” to a company’s mainframe. This introduces inaccuracies. It also results in a more limited product. By contrast, AutoiQ needs no emulator. It seamlessly communicates with the mainframe, capturing every bit of data required. In fact, AutoiQ accesses all processes with which it comes in contact — desktop-based, server-based, or mainframe-based — through their native interfaces.
  • Many RPA solutions can take over only the most basic tasks. AutoiQ can automate processes from the simplest to the most complex.
  • AutoiQ may be new, but it benefits from the fact that we’ve put RPA to work for global enterprises for more than a decade. During that time, our RPA solutions have operated with 99.999% uptime.

We’ve talked with companies around the world about their automation needs. We know they seek a solution that can automate tasks of varying complexity, as quickly as possible, while working at maximum efficiency with devices from the desktop to the mainframe. AutoiQ is that solution.

We know there are many companies offering process automation software. But OpenConnect long ago solved the limitations that our competitors are just now encountering. On the other hand, we’ve moved on to providing even greater value — in products such as AutoiQ. We look forward to putting it to work for our customers, now and in the future.

Want to learn more? Contact us at sales@openconnect.com or 800.551.5881.

Should employees view analytics reports?

WorkiQ peer report -- allows an employee to view analytics data about his/her work performance

Operational analytics products such as OpenConnect’s WorkiQ provide insight into employee activity, helping you better understand how your employees perform their daily activities. Some solutions, including WorkiQ, also allow employees to view reports showing their activity compared to their peers’.

There is a growing debate over whether employees should have direct access to their analytics data. Some managers believe that a user who can view his own data will use it to help improve his performance. Other managers believe that employees will use the data against management, or will spend too much time looking at data instead of working.

As you would expect, there are advantages and disadvantages to letting an employee have access to her analytics data. The advantages include:

  • It makes her feel in control, and less like she’s being watched.
  • By comparing her activity with that of her peers, she’s energized to perform better and gains more pride in her work as she watches her own improvement over time.
  • It gives her control of her own destiny and allows you to better manage her expectations as an employee.

On the other hand, some of the reasons you should be cautious about allowing an employee to view his own reports are:

  • He might spend a lot of work time constantly looking at his data.
  • If the data shows that he’s performing poorly, he tends to challenge the data, which could cause a confrontation with his manager.
  • He can use the data to demand pay raises or other rewards.

As a result, you should consider these advantages and disadvantages before allowing your employees direct access to their own data. Each working environment is different; so only you, the person managing your team, can truly understand the potential impact of each approach.

Another way to provide transparency with analytics data

If you want to be transparent and allow your employees to see their data, but you’re concerned that they will spend too much time looking at reports, there’s an alternative approach you can try. Instead of giving employees direct, real-time access to the reports, use WorkiQ to create a peer report (shown below). This is a chart that shows how an employee has performed, over time, compared to her peers. In the employee’s peer report, she doesn’t see data for each of her individual peers; rather, she sees a single attribute that represents the average for all peers.

WorkiQ peer report -- allows an employee to view analytics data about his/her work performance

WorkiQ peer report
(click to view larger image)

You can share the peer report with the employee, either via an automatic emailing or by showing him the report during your weekly one-on-one meeting with him. This removes the disadvantages of allowing direct access to the reports, but still provides the feedback employees need. Some employees will still challenge the report, regardless of how and when it’s delivered to them; but most employees will welcome the feedback.