What is most valuable?
From a managed service provider standpoint, the product truly understands managed service provider architecture. It’s multi-tenant, which for us is huge. We’ve had other products in the past, including CA Unicenter, which weren’t multi-tenant aware.
The reporting flexibility is another key item for us.
It also gives us the ability to monitor many different platforms and applications.
How has it helped my organization?
Not only do we use it to monitor our customers' environments on a 24/7 basis, we monitor our own internal infrastructure. It gives us the visibility into our own environment, and likewise for customers it gives us that visibility and confidence to be able to raise alarms and issues for both ourselves and our customers. Ultimately, that keeps us running.
What needs improvement?
Since we’re in the technology space, I’d really like to see quicker adoption or certification process for new product or platforms that come out. A faster time-to-certify in other words.
With the SNMP collector probe they have a catch-all general solution; if there’s no probe for a specific service or application, it’s for general use. There is a certification process by way of their list, but it does take some time. For us, streamlining that process would be key.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I think it’s a very stable product. The portal and application have been stable, so no issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It does seem that it is flexible; as we grow with our service offering it does have the flexibility to scale the architecture. No problems so far.
How are customer service and technical support?
Overall, I’d say they’re fairly good. I think when compared to a couple of years ago, support has gone down a bit rather than up. A lack of product knowledge is probably one of the key reasons as to why it’s not excellent.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I was in a position where I was managing the NOC, and I was getting multiple complaints from our customers that they weren’t being notified of issues in their environments. So I started a reveal of the product in place and found some major deficiencies. At that point I approached our CEO and told him of the issues we were having and that we were losing customers, and we put together a plan to find a new product.
How was the initial setup?
We did use CA to help with the implementation, and overall with the help of CA professional services, it went very well with zero downtime. We had a former version and we decided to build out a new version, and we had to move our existing customers from the old to new environment, and it had a very minimal impact to loss of visibility. In that respect it was very good.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We looked at SMARTS, and we also looked at Spectrum (at the time it wasn’t CA). From a solution standpoint, UIM really fit the bill. We’ve been for the most part very happy customers. First and foremost we looked at the toolsets. Then the product knowledge of the vendor, and the knowledge of our space. Also, the size of the company and costs are the other factors.
What other advice do I have?
It’s been very stable, it’s flexible, and it really fits our business needs and business model. Integration with some other CA products has been a little challenging, but I can’t blame it on this toolset alone.
You would probably want to have, at least in the beginning, an understanding of what you’re looking for. Before you start evaluating any products, have at least a short list of what you want to get out of a product. When we didn’t have that setup at times, when you’re dealing with different vendors, they tend to steer you rather than you directing them. Identifying key items is extremely important. Make sure that you have staffing, because like any solution, it’s not a one or two person job.