Micro Focus ALM Octane Review

Presents the graphics that people need immediately, without drilling into the dashboards

What is most valuable?

The most valuable are the Agile practice methodologies. We have Waterfall with ALM and we use Octane for our Agiles. That's our distinction between the two.

I like the visual interface. The way they've redesigned the interface over ALM. ALM is kind of old-school, but it's mature and functional. Octane presents the graphics and the feedback that people need immediately without drilling into the dashboards. That's probably the biggest selling point for our teams.

How has it helped my organization?

Two things. One is Agile. The other is the CI integration. We've always struggled bringing the development teams directly into ALM. ALI is a bridge, but it's cumbersome. The CI integration of the pipelines is what we're looking for right now. To bring us into the DevOps potential. That's the biggest draw right now.

Octane fits that niche that we never had. We need an Agile solution. We had other teams using other products that are semi-Agile, but we didn't have an approved standard. Octane gives us that. It's awesome.

What needs improvement?

The biggest challenge for us is to bridge the ALM practices for testing more directly into Octane. That's going to be a challenge because the methodology between Waterfall and Agile is so radically different. We're going to have a challenge with that, but we knew that going in. The testing is new and we have a lot of embedded testing practices with the old ALM approach.

So it would be good to have something in-between there. Some kind of a bridge or training, that is going to be what we're looking at now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have yet to see anything that doesn't work. It's awesome.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've only got 20 live projects in there right now. So I don't see any issues with it. Until we can put some massive projects in there. We've taken one 65-gig project from Agile Manager and ported that into Octane. We don't see any degradation, but that was still prototype.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've used them pretty much every day. It's the most responsive tech support, it's been awesome. That's another reason we're going to Octane, because of that immediate support. That feedback.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used Agile Manager and it does not have the testing capabilities. We really needed that. We also need the business rules, we needed some of the workflow that's not in Agile Manager. We needed an Agile solution that had a lot of the same capabilities and business rules that ALM has.

We didn't see that coming in the Agile Manager, so as soon as Octane came out, we jumped on it.

In choosing a vendor what's important is communication. Show up. Talk with us. Build that relationship and then we'll talk product.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in it, yes, but I have to qualify that. It's SaaS. All I have to do is call Mike. I didn't have to do anything, really, other than start using it. It's intuitive as can be.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, just HPE, Micro Focus. It's our standard.

Getting something new approved is a nightmare. It also makes our job easier. We tell them, "This is the standard," and we can move on. We're not deluded by looking at bunch of other options.

What other advice do I have?

Invest the time. Invest the time. Learn what it can do. Right now, it's still being developed. It's an Agile tool being developed into Agile practices. Don't get ingrained in what you see today. Accept changes. If you truly are an Agile environment, you get that. If you don't get that and you want things to be finished before you get there, then you probably don't understand Agile. They kind of go hand-in-hand. It's an Agile tool being built Agilely and you've got an Agile practice. You should be able to put two and two together. If not, you need to stay in Waterfall.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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