What is most valuable?
I believe that the fundamentals and the logic of how UIM is set up is very stable. We like that the fundamentals support providing metrics and alarms.
I feel it provides the essentials. That is, to extract data from an environment and present it through a front-end, using graphs and charts. It also allows for analysis on the collected data, which is crucial to most companies. I believe that UIM does a good job, of being able to manage all the steps along the way.
How has it helped my organization?
I haven’t been in my current position for too long. I definitely noticed that UIM provides a level of reliability in our operating center for the people who actually implement the alarms. When an alarm comes in, they're responsible for making sure the alarm validation is raised. It allows reliability and it gives us assurance that we have an accurate picture about what really is going on in our monitoring environment. That's reassuring to know. We know that when we get an alarm, it is because something is actually happening.
What needs improvement?
We're just hoping to see the growth in different functional areas so that it's a little bit more dynamic. The other enterprise suites that they're trying to bundle up are great. I think that the core functions of the product itself are great. I think it might need a little more work at the extremities, trying to hook up with other software. Right now, they're doing a good job at trying to implement additional suites and software. What I would like to see is that the quality of what is currently in place just be increased.
There are some components of UIM that are dated, or they're being left behind and some newer ones are being put forward.
I can't see any new features, and if I did, I don’t know what I’d be doing around here. Can this feature do my job here? But no, realistically, we depend on these systems that when we see configured, we know exactly what we're going to get. It's been improving. Still, I think there's a lot of room for growth
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The stability for UIM creates that reliant backbone that we need. If there is anything customizable that needs to be done, that is being done by the other suites; but UIM is very good and it helps coordinate everything and provides reliability.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The scalability is great. I think they understand that it’s a concern because it's at the enterprise level. I think they're moving in the right direction.
I know that right now we're a little bit outdated in the product version that we have; but it's just part of the product, and we understand that. Moving forward, when we update, and when we do all these things, I know that the scalability has been opening up in different components within UIM.
Adding components, such as MCS, which enables you to configure your entire enterprise from one place, is a good thing.
How is customer service and technical support?
I used to work for CA UIM support. I would be the one to talk to. Having worked there, and now coming from the actual implementation where I'm an enterprise-level user is a very up-and-down, roller-coaster feeling. It’s like I'm stuck in support because as much as I want to say that everybody is consistent, and every technical guy wants the best for you, it just doesn't happen that way.
When it does, it's great, and we really appreciate it. When it's lacking, we suffer a little bit and it creates a bitterness. We don’t do anything up front, but we keep a record of it. Technical support was not the best. We could use more. We're wasting money because we see it didn't produce here or wasn't responsive enough.
It definitely raises questions and concerns, but I know CA is very open to hearing customers' concerns and listening to feedback. I think they’re very open and understand that that’s an area they can improve.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I don't do the selecting processes. My boss definitely lets me know, "Hey, we want to read into this," and I go into it with a particular perspective after he gives me some goals and requirements. The most important thing is the goal of your company and what they are trying to achieve.
We have looked at other vendors but upper management is always trying to cut costs, and understandably so. We were looking at other solutions which might provide a level comparable to what we have with CA, where we have what we need, while reducing costs; but it's kind of tough. CA's pretty competitive. They're good. They're solid.
What other advice do I have?
Make sure you have a good grasp on what you need to get out of the product, of course. What does this product do for you? Once you have a good understanding of that, it's really communicating with either the architect or whoever is going to implement it to make sure that it reflects the goals, the requirements, the SLA, and so on. Then you can do the configuration and implementation.