What is most valuable?
Service Virtualization allows you to function in an isolated manner. It allows you to not be so dependent on systems that, in traditional testing, causes you delays, causes impacts to your overall time testing schedule, and just creates an efficiency in your overall process. It allows you to duplicate those systems or mimic them in a way that just creates greater efficiency and increases time to market overall.
How has it helped my organization?
The biggest thing, the huge time to market gain. The other thing is just financial efficiency. We're seeing huge financial gains in terms of using the tools. One of the biggest things that I like about the CA products is they do what they say they're going to do. From financials, we're seeing millions of dollars worth of savings. We're also seeing time to market gains, just based on the fact that we're not dependent or delayed by back end systems and other environments that traditionally caused us delays.
What needs improvement?
I think some of the monitoring capabilities could be enhanced. Those aren't necessarily major gaps for us, but I think that would be good. Just some of the real time monitoring and reporting capabilities. Some of the solutions that we've had to create weren't necessarily out of the box. They were successful and again, CA supported them. Some of the reporting capabilities would be good. Additionally, when you're starting to identify your value ads, some of that reporting would help in identifying and calculating your savings.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It does what it says it's going to do. It's a very stable platform. The initial installation and coming in and bringing it into your organization, it can be a little disruptive, but once you create some real strategies around how to deploy the solution in your platform, the gains far out weight what the delays would have been or the challenges would have been in getting it up and going.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It scales wonderfully. We've scaled it from doing isolated projects, one or two projects in terms of our pilots and proof of concepts, to putting it in an organization as an enterprise solution going across huge organizations with millions of hits to the actual platform.
How are customer service and technical support?
The technical support is great. They're very responsive. Even on top of that, the resources that CA provides, whether it's your account director, your strategist, your sales people, are also very supportive. They're there when you need them. I've called them at seven in the morning, I've called them at ten at night. I've never had an issue getting the right people engaged when I needed them. They also are really supportive of providing escalations when need be. In some of their platforms that are even growing and migrating, if they need to enhance their solutions to fit your needs, they're also there to do that and support you.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Prior to engaging with CA, I had identified the need. In terms of needing to isolate myself from both data environments, back end systems. I knew I needed to do it. I had actually started on a personal journey, working with a couple of other vendor companies to try to figure out if we could actually build the solution. At that point, I was introduced to someone from CA and the initial LISA product, as it was called at the time. That product matched exactly what we needed at the time. It was a match made in heaven at that point. We started down the journey at that point.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
There were definitely other vendors on our short list. They all had quality or decent products. Where they fell short was on the service side, which is why I pushed for the CA solution. Backend services, web services, is its primary function. We also use it for some MQ services.
What other advice do I have?
We initially started with a small proof of concept. For a product like this, that's what you would normally do. With that proof of concept being successful, we migrated to supporting an entire organization within the bank that I was working at at the time. We took that solution from there to actually doing an enterprise deal and now pushing it across the entire company.
The product is obviously key. You want a product that meets the needs that you have. The other thing is the service that I get provided by those people that are coming in. Whether it's the sales or some of the pre-sales folks that are coming in. The support that I'm getting from them, the responsiveness that I'm getting from that, is critical. If you don't have a company that's going to be good to you when they're trying to sell something to you, they're not going to be good to you when they're supporting you later. That's all obviously been key for me.
In terms of the value that we were able to get out of the tool, I would definitely probably give it a nine. The only reason I wouldn't push for a ten is ... When we initially got the product, we were growing and the product was growing at the same time, so there were some things that had to be tweaked and some support we needed that wouldn't have made it a ten out of the box tool. I would say where we got it and the way we were able to use it, that definitely pushed it to a ten. Out of the box, I would say I felt like it was a strong nine product.
I would say if you've had the engagement with the CA tool and you've heard the sales presentations and you've heard all the hoopla about what the tool will do, know that what they say it will do, it does. It does it very well. From a market standpoint, it does it as a market leader. Overall, I haven't had any complaints with the tool in terms of the organizations that we've deployed the tool, they love what the tool has done for them in terms of their development, their development cycles, and the quality of the testing and the coding they've been able to do using the tool.
Not in terms of comparing it with a different solution, but realize that it is a disruptive tool in terms of the initial deployment. They need to understand it's going to take some heavy lifting. If their philosophy on deploying a tool is stand it up and everybody's going to come to you and want to use it, that's a poor solution and poor thought process. It is a tool that you're going to have to actively work to deploy. If you put together a strategy around deploying the tool and you do the work, the tool will get you the gains and the advantages and the saving that you're looking for in your organization.
I think it's great to hear what the industry is saying, what peers in the industry are saying is important. Some of our pain points generally are about the same. If they're showing how they can use the tool, how it's be successful for them, it is definitely something I want to hear.