What is most valuable?
The most valuable feature for us are the way it brings silo products together that we've invested in over the years, and it allows us to consolidate our views for our customers.
We started off with standard infrastructure – networks, switches, routers, firewalls – but as we've grown, our proposition has been able to expand to the cloud, internet of things, and big data. Although we don't use all of those capabilities from it today, the key thing for us is, we know it's flexible enough to do that.
How has it helped my organization?
The key things for us are: help bring people together, break down the silo teams, and then be able to see the customers' problem, the pain points, in a single place. It helps us make more-effective decisions and also the response time to fix.
What needs improvement?
I would like to see further consolidation of the tools from a deployment point of view. Make it more modular; drag and drop; being able to have a commercial model that also lends itself well with what we're trying to achieve for our customers.
It's not only about features and gimmicks. It's about making sure the features and products align to our customers’ outcomes.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using UIM for about seven years now.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Stability is an interesting one. From a design point of view, if you understand the type of demand you're putting on it and you plan forward, which we've worked to learned to do, it becomes more stable. If you don’t know what you're doing and you try to do something with it which it's not really designed for, of course you have performance issues with many products.
So, it's really about knowing what you want to get out of the product and how you want to architect the product to meet your objectives.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I would say it is scalable. We use it in a multi-context environment. What I mean by that is, as a service provider, naturally we have customers who scale horizontally. So, for us, we've got a template-driven approach now. With the advent of virtualization and cloud, that's also allowed us to scale out much quicker.
How is customer service and technical support?
Technical support is interesting. Initially, in the UK, we had challenges having to engage the standard process. But, with the advent of the online forums and the communities, that's allowed more open questioning and learning from others out there and the peers, not necessarily just from our own industry; from areas that are adjacent to our market but are also trying to achieve the same outcome. I think CAhave now created more of a flexible platform to do that.
How was the initial setup?
I think there are areas where initial setup has become more simpler now, but in the early days, it was really trying to understand what we want out of the product because, without knowing what the requirement was, we were kind of grappling with lots of the features. But then, once we understood what we're trying to deliver and then we worked with CA; I think once we engaged with CA, they did really come through. They came forward and supported us along the journey.
What other advice do I have?
I think organically we tried putting it in for various products and services. Over time, when we realized that we can harness more out of it, we made a decision to put more energy for our enterprise customers into tools that really give them more value. Rather than trying to invest in too many tools, we decided to actually work on fewer tools; we'll get more out of them.
Without being biased, I feel that the most important criteria when selecting a vendor is about the people and whilst there's always a tradition in an organization when you're working with a vendor, it's really important that you have engagement from all levels of your business, from product marketing, engineering, architecture, as well as from a commercial relationship.
If you have a transactional relationship, you will only get suboptimal results. What we've learned is to broaden the discussion with different areas of our partner-vendor and work with them at different levels to bring the best out. That collaboration is really important. That's, I think, changed a lot over the last few years and we're now starting to get the value out of the relationship.
I’d never give anybody a perfect rating. If you asked me about two years ago, my rating would have been lower. As I’ve mentioned, the collaboration has definitely improved things.