What is most valuable?
The portfolio manager add-in is very valuable for our company, because it allows our business partners to create their road maps, and then link their road map to their user stories, that our engineering teams then work on. They can roll up the progress and see that at the portfolio hierarchy level. That's a very powerful aspect to the tool.
Also, all of their reporting, the dashboards, the custom apps, everything that you can create within the tool, makes it very powerful for us as an organization, as well.
How has it helped my organization?
The benefits of the solution are the collaboration and transparency. We encourage everyone across the organization to have an ID and to log in to the tool – daily or weekly, whatever their needs are – to see the data. They log in to the tool to see the real-time data. We have really pushed back on teams that would still want to do external reporting, where the data is old and stagnant. I would say that real-time transparency is one of the most valuable aspects for us.
What needs improvement?
One of our main challenges right now is that we have not deployed our value streams yet. We still have an organizational hierarchy within the tool. We have the need to be able to report from different levels of the hierarchy. We really need to be able to have a virtual project hierarchy within the tool. I'm looking forward to seeing it. I know that the company's working on a slightly different approach to solve that issue, and we're working with them on those user needs and we'll be working with them on the beta as well.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We're on the SaaS platform; it is very stable. One of my favorite things about being on SaaS is that, when there's an issue, I don't have to panic and try to work internally with a support team to try to bring the tool back up. I reach out to my technical account manager, she gives me updates, and it's usually back up, relatively quickly.
How is customer service and technical support?
I love technical support. They have a personal touch. When you start to work with someone, they stay on your case. Even if it's a long-term case, you get to stick with that person that knows what you're working on. I've been working with someone for months on a rollout of a new piece of functionality and he's stuck with me the whole time; he'll check in with me. I would say that that's a very valuable aspect.
What other advice do I have?
I was talking to someone at a recent CA conference. They don't use Agile Central yet and she asked me, "What should we do?" I told them that they should take advantage of CA’s transformation consulting group, to come in and provide that entire solution from start to finish, so they don't get stuck like we did and not having their value streams identified, not having the tool set up and the best way to make them effective.
It's a partial solution. It's a big problem for us right now.