What is our primary use case?
Due to COVID-19, almost all of our customers are buying the virtual edition now. Our customers use this solution for connecting people from home to the office. APM is security encrypted and allows them to create an SSO (through a third-party) so they can access just about anything they could from their office computer, under normal circumstances. Everything is in one portal, including your SAS application and on-premise application.
What is most valuable?
F5 is great for handling complex issues. Most of our big customers, including banks and insurance companies like it, because it's such a robust platform that enables them to do almost anything.
Also, the new GUI seems to be very quick and simple for users, and our customers appreciate speed.
What needs improvement?
Cloud services are something that F5 Access Policy Manager could do better. In the last two to three years, there has been a slight degradation in regards to their service. Another company bought them and from that point on, their service hasn't been the same.
I think it's a very mature product. I have known them for more than 10 years and I have yet to witness any scenario or use case that they are not capable of handling.
In order to reach more customers, their marketing could be better. They are a nice company but they are not aggressive like their main competitors; they are trying, but if they're serious, they need to focus on the cloud in order to compete with larger companies.
It would be nice if they would incorporate their own SSO solution, so you don't have to use a third-party. At the same time, customers don't want to pay for a service like Cisco Duo, mostly, they just want a free token.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been selling APM for roughly two years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Our customers have never complained about the stability. This solution is the key which allows our customers to work from home and it's very stable, it has to be.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
This solution is also very scalable. Due to COVID-19, companies have had to move from, say, 100 concurrent users, possibly up to 500 or more, and it still works very well.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Recently, they have simplified their licensing. Two years ago it was much more complex. It's very simple for our customers to understand; however, the cloud is not simple because it's per consumption, so you don't know in advance how much you're going to pay.
What other advice do I have?
Due to a bug issue, some customers felt they needed to upgrade to protect themselves from hackers. Thankfully, our security vendors advised us on this issue. They told us the risks and spent a few days updating our software. For this reason, they are a vendor I can trust.
Honesty is important because there are a lot of allocation websites, personal information, and data at stake.
Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I would give F5 Access Policy Manager a rating of nine.