What is our primary use case?
We deploy these solutions to customers like big banks, here in Nigeria, as well as in some government agencies. We liaise with the OEM of the product to deploy the solution for the customer. We do infrastructure management projects, all with CA products.
We use it for infrastructure monitoring across the board. We monitor our clients' infrastructure from a central location: their servers, applications, etc., from end-to-end.
How has it helped my organization?
It used to take longer to identify issues and to resolve them. But with this solution, we are able to know exactly where an issue is coming from and to tackle it. It helps us to reduce the time and cost involved and the number of employees involved. That's where it gives us added value.
What is most valuable?
It gives us visibility inside applications. It helps us to dig down and find the root cause of any issue within the network. It flags issues and sends an alert or SMS so we can dive down and know exactly where an issue is coming from, and resolve it as quickly as possible.
What needs improvement?
One issue I'm having with CA now is the complexity of the solution. They have APM now, Application Performance Manager, as part of it. I think they are still trying to understand how the application works. In terms of deployment, it's not straightforward. We are having issues with that. APM is not really user-friendly, in terms of the dashboard. People want to see a dashboard on the screen, to understand in real-time what is happening.
Also, there is something a customer requested from us. They wanted to know if we could manipulate the script to do the following. If an alarm is sent by the product they want to see it scrolling on the NOC monitor, instead of them having to click it.
There is also room for improvement in the reporting. It is not really good enough, according to our customers. So what we now usually do is use Power BI to get them the kinds of reports they want.
How are customer service and technical support?
Sometimes we contact CA itself. They log in and help us to resolve some of the issues. I would give them 8.5 out of ten.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We did not have a previous solution. I have tried other solutions, such as Microsoft SSCM and SolarWinds. I've played around with them, but I have not really used them.
How was the initial setup?
First of all, we get the stakeholders together and gather their requirements, exactly what they want to do. We can then provide them with the tech for the solution. We engage their different units to understand their processes. So, by the time we present the concept for approval, they will sign off and we can commence implementation.
What about the implementation team?
We use an in-house consultant to gather the information. There is also a company called Feedware, a foreign company we partner with. They are quite good, but in terms of response time they do respond on time. In all other ways they are okay.
What other advice do I have?
CA is a very nice solution. Before you make a final decision though, make sure all the stakeholders understand the solution and how it works. If they don't understand how it works they might not be able to appreciate it. It's a powerful solution, but give them some visibility into it, its capabilities and what they can do with it, before implementing it.
I would rate the solution at eight out of ten. It's not a ten because of the reporting aspect. Apart from that, the solution is okay. It's the reporting that users complain about.