The areas of application for Chatbots and Conversational AI are widely known: (1) Customer support: Taking over requests and reducing the number of employees needed. (2) IT-Service-Desk: Answering repetitive IT problems. (3) HR: Automation of HR requests like vacations, time-tracking and guidelines for the workplace. (4) Distribution: Preparation and follow-up of sales talks. (5) Consulting: Suggestions and recommendations based on consultations.
Monitoring and the Neohelden
Besides these, many more areas of applications are conceivable. We, the Neohelden, have identified one more area of application and even implemented it internally: Neo monitors itself with a monitoring solution. What that means exactly, we will show you in the following. But before we go into our internal monitoring solution we will start with what monitoring is and why monitoring solutions are challenging to then show you our flexible, configurable and inexpensive solution.
What is Monitoring?
Monitoring describes the continual surveillance of conditions or processes. This includes the systematic recording or logging, the measurement or the observation of states or processes. Such monitoring does not only take place in the IT environment, but also in many other sectors, such as medicine or marketing. Monitoring is used to determine whether a state or a corresponding process is taking the desired course and whether defined threshold values or parameters are being adhered to. If the course runs differently or the threshold values are not adhered to – which can be recognized with the logs that are created through monitoring – control interventions can be made.
Houston we have a problem!
In principle, monitoring is used to determine the causes of defined threshold values or parameters going outside a desired range. As a result, monitoring basically serves to (1) identify problems early so that they can be eliminated as quickly as possible so that no major damage occurs, (2) to find out and localize the causes of the problem, and (3) thanks to a constant gain in know-how to recognize and even to avoid them before they appear in the future.
As a result, monitoring can be used in almost every industry, in every company and in every application in order to guarantee the “smooth operation” of processes and to identify problems, faults and their causes at an early stage.
Where can Monitoring be used?
Monitoring is not only used in IT environments, but also in the following areas:
- In logistics, e.g. for round trips, geofencing, temperature and audit trails
- In the environment, e.g. for biology, human biology, forest environment, water and groundwater
- At institutions, e.g. for cities, web, press, radio and television
- In trade, e.g. for self-control of manufacturers and traders as well as the German energy market
- At credit institutions, e.g. For monitoring a bank account or bank customer in the event of abnormal transactions
- In medicine, e.g. for monitoring the vital signs of patients in everyday life
- In public health e.g. for epidemiological surveillance or surveillance of infectious diseases
- In information technology, e.g. for applications, service, server status monitoring, time-relevant business processes as well as network and IT systems
Monitoring Solutions in the Professional Environment
For monitoring in the professional environment, the person responsible is usually given various solutions in order to be able to pursue their monitoring task efficiently, easily and sustainably. There are different tools and solutions for this, depending on which goal is being pursued and what type of monitoring is desired. Therefore, before choosing an – often expensive – monitoring solution, the aim of the monitoring and the types of monitoring required have to be highlighted and the appropriate solution selected.
What is the Goal of a Monitoring Solution?
Numerous monitoring solutions are bursting with functionality and possibilities. But a broad solution is not always helpful when there is just one goal. Occasionally, a monitoring solution for a clearly defined task makes more sense than an “egg-laying, milk-bearing woolly sow”. Therefore, the goal of the monitoring solution should be clearly defined and other factors should also be clarified, such as which requirements exist in the infrastructure, which monitoring type is required, alarm messages that are required and the way in which alarm messages are sent. The type of monitoring solution is therefore also important.
What kinds of Monitoring Solutions exist?
There are numerous types of monitoring solutions that automatically recognize new problems and objects, have clear displays and enable different views of the situation. Four possible types of monitoring solutions are presented below to show a few possibilities:
- Active monitoring: As part of active monitoring, the monitoring solution tries to resolve the current problem temporarily without eliminating the actual cause of the problem.
- Consistent monitoring: Consistent monitoring permanently monitors almost all aspects.
- End-to-end monitoring: With end-to-end monitoring, the measurement or monitoring is focused on the functionality of a specific service.
- Application Response Time Monitoring: Application Response Time Monitoring determines the required response time for a specific application and the appropriateness of the duration.
This list of types of monitoring solution does not claim to be exhaustive, so there are other types.
Challenges with existing Monitoring Solutions
(Highly) professional monitoring solutions offer a wide range of functions that are provided per default. However, this broad range of functions is sometimes more than many companies need for their dedicated area of application, so that usually only a certain range of functions is used, but the full range of functions is paid for – a la “shooting sparrows with cannons”. The maintenance effort and costs of conventional solutions are quite high, which makes monitoring – which is not a value-adding measure, but is only used to monitor problems and malfunctions – disproportionately cost-intensive. In addition, monitoring solutions only offer a representation of the current situation; It is not possible to rectify the problem using the monitoring solutions currently offered.
Neo as a Monitoring Solution: Your Assistant always has Your Back
Why not use a monitoring solution that is low-maintenance, cost-effective and also enables faults and problems to be rectified? Is that a utopia? Is that fiction? Our thesis was that this should be possible – we have proven it with our digital assistant Neo and even implemented it internally for us. Our solution is easy to maintain and quickly operational for our team. New monitoring can be added via a conversation. Neo not only assists people in their daily professional lives, but also assists in the monitoring of machines and devices to be monitored. How is that possible? We’re be happy to show you 🙂
Building the Monitoring Solution with Neo
Within our Neo Enterprise Assistant Platform, the Neo Flow Engine (NFE) can not only map the conversation of our digital assistant Neo, but also configure a dashboard that can be used as a monitoring solution. There are various blocks in the NFE, including ones that send http requests or a ping to different servers, which can be used for the design and configuration of the monitoring solution. Within this configuration, the interval between requests to the system to be monitored can be freely selected. The response from the interval request shows whether there is a fault or a problem in the monitoring system. The current status is saved and as soon as it changes, we receive a notification in real time via the messenger Slack and an additional visualization in the dashboard (e.g. the green traffic light changes to red).
Illustration of our monitoring solution with Neo
Advantages of a monitoring solution with Neo
With Neo as a monitoring solution, a highly configurable and clear dashboard is provided, which can be precisely adapted to the needs of the company in the respective area of application. With the help of the NFE, in which the configuration of the monitoring solution takes place, the monitoring solution can be maintained quickly and easily. Thanks to the low-code / no-code configuration within the NFE, adjustments and expansions to the monitoring solution can be made promptly so that they can also be quickly used operationally. No high consulting, development or programming costs are required for this, but the respective area can configure and expand its monitoring solution as it needs it. Various channels (including telephone, e-mail and push notifications) and various software systems (Neo, Slack, Teams, WhatsApp, etc.) can also be connected for notifications through monitoring, so that everyone can choose their own interaction preference. With our digital assistant Neo, the respective status can also be actively queried and new monitoring can be added via Neo in the form of a new conversation. In addition – and this is probably the greatest added value of the monitoring solution offered – Neo offers the possibility of direct rectification of malfunctions and problems so that the monitoring solution offered – in addition to monitoring – also performs a remedial function, for example “restarting a virtual machine.”
If you are interested in Neo as a monitoring solution or if you are fundamentally interested in our digital assistant and its Neo Enterprise Assistant Platform, please don’t hesitate to contact us.