How has it helped my organization?
It helps us organize our projects so that we can get down to really detailed work items; really granular, busting up a task, a feature, and parsing it out so that we really understand what's needed. We can put it into small, bite-sized pieces that can be addressed quickly. If somehow there's a misunderstanding or miscommunication, it can be adjusted and corrected fast and easy.
What is most valuable?
I'm the subscription administrator. I rarely use it as a user. I generally only use it as a user to troubleshoot. So to me, as an administrator, the most important tool is looking up the subscriptions of my customers to see if they had logged in recently.
What needs improvement?
To me, the biggest thing I see that needs improvement is the navigation. When somebody's using more than one workspace, it's not obvious how to go from one workspace to another. It's simple enough once you know, but is you're looking at the screen, you don't notice it.
I actually have to write documentation, and I sent it out often to tell people how to navigate from one workspace to another when they're on more than one workspace; in a sense, more than one project, though a workspace is a bigger bite of a project. If you're really just on a different project, and they're all on the same workspace, it’s not a big deal. But when they have to switch from workspace to workspace, it's not obvious. So, that's where I see they could improve in their navigation. Make it more intuitive.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
For the most part, stability has been good. They did go through a small shaky patch when CA bought them (Rally) and they decided to move data centers. It seemed like there were some outages, but that has been fine since. It can be a little slow at times, but as far as up time, it seems to be quite good.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I don't know about scalability. From my understanding, we're medium to small in the grand scheme of things. There are much bigger shops than us. But we're not small either. We're in the hundreds. So, it seems like there's plenty of scalability.
How are customer service and technical support?
I have to say, since CA bought it, support has actually improved; which I'm very surprised about. I found in the past, when it was wholly owned by Rally, they forced you to always go through their website first, search their knowledge base, and then post a case. And then they'd contact you within a day or so. It was okay, but it was less satisfying when that's the only way to contact them; and I always had to go that way.
The technical support seems to have improved quite a bit since CA bought them, which, again, I was very surprised that it has improved instead of get worse. It seemed to be able to handle phone calls better and are even more responsive. I'm very happy.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I wasn't part of the discussion to buy initially. It was already here when I started. It seems that we have grown, though, and switched from other tools. It just seems like the granularity it provides and being able to really be good for development teams and really focus on their needs, and that is why we use it so much and it's growing.
How was the initial setup?
Setup seems relatively straightforward. It was easy to learn. Most teams teach themselves how to use the tool and new teams generally hire somebody who understands the concepts, so just a cursory show them the fields and the setup, and they're good to go. There's nice three- to five-minute videos that CA provides from their website that helps teams understand the concepts and the usage.
What other advice do I have?
Just be open and take advantage of the videos to see if they understand what the product is and to reach out to the vendor and ask them questions. They seem very willing to help without necessarily charging. If they feel that you're a potential customer, they're happy to talk to you and give you some guidance. If you need a lot of help, then of course, then they have programs to actually send experts.