(Originally posted on 5, February 2014)
Follow me on this everyone.I spoke to a few of the reps at Samanage and was asked to put in my feedback on what I need out of the product and what I think would help accomplish that. At the surface this started with a discussion of Reports and what kinds of reporting tools I would need, but it evolved into a much broader analysis of how the Samanage tools work at a fundamental level.What this brings to me to is: I think the base engine that drives Samanage needs to be thoroughly re-worked to treat all data equally. Currently if I want to manage some data about an asset or its properties, there are at least 10 different ways to go about it. I could:Search for itchange Inventory default view settings to view what I wantFind/browse to an asset and go to a specific tab of infoUse a Widget on the Dashboard to show me somethingSet/check Risks to alert meCreate/run a Reportuse the Organization feature to create a ruleExport it to another format (CSV, etc) and manage externallyetc.All of this is great and I can/will go into greater detail about how each of those features can/should be improved (most notably the Organization/Rules). The unfortunate part is that all the data contained in Samanage is treated differently in every different element of the list I made above. There is no central repository of information that everything is based around, instead certain data is treated as more important or more visible than other data, and it makes it very difficult to do what I want with my data. What use is all the data that Samanage collects if I cant use it? For example, I LOVE that Samanage can give me the serial number of a monitor connected to a computer. We treat monitors as assets just like computers, they can often cost the same amount of money (27" or larger monitors anyone?). However, monitor information is treated like a Computer Asset property and as such, I really cant do anything with it. I cant browse my inventory by Monitor Serial Number. I cant run a report on only that field. I cant create an alert or a report to let me know that a computer asset doesnt have a monitor serial number. I need to be able to control/sort/search/export/report on the "other" data like Monitor info just as easily as I can with the computer or printer info.This brings me to a discussion of "what is an asset"? Samanage has already decided for me that "Computers" are the most important. Ok, but why does that matter? Second most important seems to be Printers, they get their own tab. But they arent even physical printers, they are "printers" that the Samanage agent sees on computers, whether or not they are valid. What about peripherals? There's just as many monitors, keyboards, and mice as there are computers, why are they not given any priority?My point is, there shouldn't be a priority of data. The tools provided to me as the customer/user need to be fully customizable so ANY data field that is collected is as accessible as any other data. Currently if I want a custom entry for a field like "Status" it has to be a feature request and that has to get posted, viewed, agreed on, and then implemented for ALL Samanage customers. Something I may need might be totally useless for someone else and we'll end up with 1 of 2 scenarios:Lists polluted with excess junk in an effort to meet the needs of all customersOnly the "most common" entries to meet the "most common" needs, therefore alienating the majority of customers who need something slightly different but are forced to do what everyone else is doing. I brought up some of these ideas to the Samanage Engineers. I was given an excuse by one of them that what I am asking would require a complete restructure of how the product is designed. Well, so be it. You should have thought of this stuff in the first place. Currently the Samanage product is not scalable or customizable enough for it to be a usable by anything other than small mom-and-pop home businesses. Anything Enterprise, Public, Large Business, or Education (where I am), or will have a hell of time making the product meet their needs with more than, let's say 50 or 100 computers. Samanage, I hope you become a quality product but in the meantime I am very skeptical of the future of this product."
|What problem will this feature solve?:|