Sunday, June 3, 2012

The power of collaborative network management

When we created ISAAC last year we knew it had potential to be a game changing technology. No one before had combined social, cloud and mobile in with network management and we were right. We just didn't know how right.

The first few months we talked about how easy it was to localize to different languages using aliases. Suddenly there was a network management tool that worked in 80 native languages and could be customized to use vertical specific terminology.

We talked about how it allowed better work and life balance by letting network managers remediate issues via any mobile device, and from any location. For example if you are at dinner and a user is having a network problem, no more did you have to go to your car, boot up your laptop, connect to the cell network, fire up VPN and then start figuring out who was using the bandwidth in Tokyo. You could do it from the dinner table on your iphone.

Soon we realized it was a great way to customize the network management framework and allow users to create alarms, notifications, actions and new commands. Life was great but even with all this I think we missed the most important pieces.

Earlier this year we realized that by using salesforce chatter we could automatically create new tickets based on alerts and, for example, have a power supply already on the way to get fixed and waiting for us in the morning. In fact we had this happen the other day.

We also learned that our support team could perform remote diagnostics and troubleshooting without needing to have a VPN or remote control software In fact multiple support engineers could work using the deep collaboration toolset chatter gives us. to make sure that we aren't duplicating efforts, and best leveraging the expertise in our entire organization.

Even better we were recording our troubleshooting steps so junior engineers could learn and leverage the experience of the entire team. This reduced training time and organically grew our knowledgebase. Plus we were recording our steps so reviewing the order of changes was easy.

Now we are taking this even a step further by using the power of crowdsourcing, or as I like to call it Cloudsourcing. We can connect a community of customers together and they can share commands, knowledge and expertise with each other and with Enterasys engineers.

We are already seeing huge benefits to some of our pilot customers and to us. We can create new functionality in near realtime and with an iterative design approach to make sure that we are building things, not just for the customers, but with the customers.

Imagine a vendor that develops new functionality to support it's customers needs in real time, collaboratively with everyone that can use it. It ensures that what is built is useful and implemented and takes the best ideas and creates them with almost unlimited resources.

Now stop imagining it and start using it. That future is here today at Enterasys with Isaac,and it's just the start of the new generation of network management, brought about by the power of collaborative network management.

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