Citrix Insights Services (formerly TaaS) is our flagship diagnostics and troubleshooting platform. It enables Citrix administrators to diagnose and troubleshoot complex environment issues in minutes. In doing so, CIS generates a comprehensive report that recommends hotfixes, best practices, fixes and tons of useful information that would otherwise take hours or days to manually generate.

We’ve introduced a cool new usability change this week – an executive summary in our Health Check report. We are hoping that this, and other changes to come, will make life easier for Citrix  admins. Read on.


Why Do Health Checks Matter?

We believe that routine proactive health checks result in fewer support calls and greater peace of mind for Citrix administrators. For years, we have been faced by a simple dilemma: how do we get administrators to run CIS Health Checks proactively to detect issues before they  manifest themselves? So, we began interviewing administrators and unearthed several insights.

The simplest and most powerful insight: “We’ve always wanted to run proactive health checks, but we never knew that CIS was the tool for it.”

As we dug deeper, we realized that the the CIS health check report was buried at the bottom of the page. Most of the screen was taken up by the administrator’s diagnostic uploads. So, most administrators just overlooked the report and instead thought that CIS was something you used only to upload support bundles.

Transforming the Health Check Experience

Based on our user research, we decided to make the health check report the centerpiece of our user experience. Afterall, it’s the thing that enables the administrator to take action. The new report features a executive summary that is simple, visual and interactive. Instead of presenting administrators with a long list of problems, we now categorize them using interactive charts. This way, they can get to problems that matter quickly. Administrators can also comment on the recommendations in the report and view comments left by other users.

All this is part of a larger strategy to make diagnostics and troubleshooting a rewarding learning experience. Less than two months ago at Synergy, where Mike East and I presented, I outlined the user experience strategy for CIS – code named Project Ganesha. The project has three tenets:

  • Simple: Simplify the UI to enable administrators to get information that matters, quickly!
  • Visual: Make things “pretty” and put things in context using charts and tables.
  • Tribal: Surface community knowledge for better decision making. Eg., comments by other users on fixes and recommendations.

Where Do We Go From Here?

The UI changes we released this week are the first in a series of enhancements we plan to deliver throughout the rest of the year. We’re also working on several incredibly cool and exciting product integrations aimed at making health checks smarter and customized for the environment.

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