Everyone has their own agenda and there is nothing wrong with that. It is all about delivering their part of the solution and being transparent when it comes to issues, and not pointing fingers or laying blame.
The issue is that network problems can be hard to pinpoint when several stakeholders are involved. Complex corporate networks usually include the telecommunications carrier, the Internet Service Provider, technology providers and local IT staff among others.
Each stakeholder is responsible for their component of network/service delivery, so in the event of a problem they are invested in ensuring that their part of the chain works in isolation.
Clients will often encounter issues with various parts of the network, and in our experience finding the problem won’t fix what is wrong if stakeholders cannot agree on facts.
It is very hard to make progress when there’s a lack of independence in the testing process.
To give you an example, an Education Department commissioned Honesty Box to discover why some school’s internet performance was worse than “a mobile phone” during the day. The complaints came from teaching staff, administration, students and then parents. A very complex ecosystem involving a diverse range of stakeholders – from the carrier to the service provider, datacentre provider, the Department and even local IT staff.
Honesty Box devices were deployed at points throughout the local network to measure the performance over time, and to analyse usage. The team identified a number of localised issues with cables, network ports and equipment. The Honesty Boxes also tested the school’s most frequently visited websites and we quickly found an issue with a slow mathematics website which was hosted on a website in a remote part of Europe on a slow connection.
In a complex ecosystem, it is unlikely that a single issue is causing poor network performance. Honesty Box gathers different sets of measurement data to identify issues, report facts enabling stakeholders to be informed.
Independent testing gives validity to measurement, and data is far more meaningful when it is verified by an external source.
An independent approach to network measurement provides all stakeholders with the reassurance that results are not modified to fit any single stakeholder’s agenda. It provides an end-to-end view of the whole ecosystem, identifying bottlenecks by measuring more than on-network performance.
Most importantly, independent network testing will give you the facts you need to get stakeholders on side so you can focus on solving the real problems and provide factual information to the ultimate beneficiaries of the technology, the users.