PeerPanel: APM Tips from Real Users

We’ve all dealt with the time consuming sexchange-of-ideas-222788_640earch for quality advice about enterprise tech products. Unfortunately, for a long time this was the best way to research IT solutions. At IT Central Station, many of our users have helped to change this by sharing their input about various solutions. Fortunately for the enterprise tech community, these real users provide our community with quality and unbiased reviews of the most popularly used APM products.

Written reviews are great. But let’s say you want more details about what a reviewer has written. This is why we at IT Central Station have decided to host an APM Solutions User Perspective Roundtable. This will allow current users to voice their opinions, further explain their experiences and help guide community members who are currently considering investing in these products. Most importantly, it will allow those interested in APM solutions to ask any specific question which they may have.

The PeerPanel, which will take place on January 8th, will showcase a panel of real users of APM Solutions, including users of CA APM and New Relic, who will discuss the pros and cons of their solutions, tips and tricks, and the secrets they have learned along the way. These real users only goal will be to share their experiences with their peers and candidly answer any questions in an open discussion environment.

Join us on Thursday Jan 8 at 9am PT / 12pm ET / 5pm UK for APM Solutions: A User Perspective Roundtable! (Limited spaces left.)

 

How to Find Trusted Sources of Information During the Buying Process

Today’s guest blog post is by Chris Newton who is VP of Business Development at Influitive, the advocate marketing experts. Before joining Influitive, he started the first product-centric customer advisory board at Siebel, and created one of the earliest advocate marketing programs using Influitive’s AdvocateHub platform at Xactly. In his life before software marketing, he was a pilot in the U.S. Navy and earned an MBA at Harvard.

As someone involved in technology purchases at your company, you may be skeptical about some of the information and collateral that vendors ChrisNewtonprovide.

While some companies do a terrific job of truly educating their prospective buyers, others are guilty of producing self-serving, promotional content that leaves a bad taste in the mouths of tech buyers like you.

A recent study by the CMO Council backs this up. Its research found that “BtoB buyers and influencers are turned off by self-serving, irrelevant, over-hyped and overly technical content.”

This even extends to customer references supplied by vendors. While seemingly objective, there’s no way around the fact that companies cherry-pick the customers and experiences they want to highlight. In other words, they’re carefully presenting a positive – and unbalanced – picture.

To bypass this, B2B buyers are “migrating to peer-based communities and new sources of trusted, relevant and credible content and conversation,” according to the CMO Council report. Recent research from Forrester also demonstrates that customer advocates and category influencers are the most trusted sources of information for buyers today.

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Lucky for you, these days you can discover plenty of unbiased viewpoints about a vendor and its offerings. In fact, existing customers of a vendor you’re considering are an invaluable resource that you can trust due to their independence.

Moreover, by tapping into the experiences, insights and advice of fellow B2B buyers, you can eliminate a lot of the legwork involved in evaluating a vendor and its offering.

Your peers can guide you through the selection process by:

  • advising on questions to ask
  • sharing competitive comparisons
  • explaining the implementation process
  • indicating the price you can expect to pay
  • and more

So, as you are evaluating options for a purchase, be sure to gather information directly from your own trusted sources, whether via a social network such as LinkedIn or Twitter, a vendor community, a product review website like IT Central Station, or in-person at networking events and conferences.

Not sure how to take advantage of the wisdom of your peers? Here are a few recommendations for how you can connect with other buyers and benefit from their insights:

  • Attend a vendor’s user group conference to interact with existing customers.
  • Send an email to trusted peers or post your vendor-specific questions on a relevant LinkedIn Group or online community forum.
  • Search for vendor names on social networks and third-party sites to unearth relevant conversations.
  • Seek out customer “testimonials” and reviews through third-party sites such as IT Central Station to avoid a “pre-selected” customer reference.
  • Take into account both positive and negative feedback about a vendor and/or its offering to develop a well-rounded picture.

Learn more about the role of customer advocates in the buying process:

Join me and IT Central Station Founder and CEO Russell Rothstein for a Google Hangout on March 13 at 1 p.m. EST. Our guest will be Eric Dirst, a former CIO who spent more than a decade leading IT organizations before being promoted to President of Online Services at DeVry Education Group. Register now.

Users Share Real Experiences with BI Tools

Are you evaluating Business Intelligence tools for your organization? Have you read the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Tools but you’re still undecided? If so, you need advice and answers to your most important questions from real users who have implemented and use the various BI solutions on the market. Question mark made of puzzle pieces

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn from real BI users! Join us for the most insightful hour you will spend all year. Hear their most important tips ans tricks, pros and cons of various solutions and the secrets they have learned along the way. Whether you use or are researching QlikView, Microstrategy, SAS, Tableau, BusinessObjects, Cognos, OBIEE, Microsoft or another vendor, it’s time to get the info you need from a reliable source.

We’ve partnered with IT Specialist to bring you a vendor-free event which will feature real users who will tell us their unbiased opinions and who aren’t interested in making a sales pitch. We’ll also have time for questions with the real users to answer any questions you may have.

Join us for ‘Business Intelligence Tools and Big Data: A User Perspective Roundtable’.

Register for the event now and receive a special whitepaper, “Business Intelligence Secrets: A Peek at What Users Really Think.”

The Weekly Roundup – Citrix XenServer

In preparation for our Server Virtualization Round Table next week, January 8th, 2013, this week’s roundup looks at what people are saying about Citrix XenServer, an enterprise-ready, cloud-proven virtualization platform available in both free and paid editions. Here are a few highlights:

  • Kapilmalik1983 (IT Administrator at a large Tech Energy and Utilities company) says: “It provides simple and robust commands to manage Xen environment for managing virtual hosts. [It is] highly recommended for administrators having sound knowledge of open source commands.”
  • sumodirjo (Infrastructure Expert at a small System/Network Integrator firm) says: “XenCenter is not available on Mac OS X or Linux so we can only manage XenServer(s) from Windows..[It is a] good alternative to VMware ESXi [and] you can use the free version to try the product first.”
  • Mgrntwrk422 (Network/Communication Manager at a small organization in local government) says: “XenServer is my favorite virtualization product. After previewing VMware, Xen and Hyper-V, I found this to be the easiest.”
  • Anon375 (Network/Communications Expert at a small retail company) says: “Simple and highly optimized performance. Bigger footpring than VMware, alone with dependence on Linux in Dom.”

Citrix XenServer was awarded 4 stars by real users. Click here to see what else people are saying about Citrix XenServer and share your thoughts.

Want to learn more? Join us in 4 days on Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 at 9am PST/12pm EST for a live webinar discussing server virtualization software. IT Central Station co-founder Russell Rothstein will be hosting a panel of real server virtualization users in the event ‘Server Virtualization: A user perspective roundtable’. Whether you’re using VMware ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer or another vendor, this will be the ultimate forum to hear what people really think about server virtualization.

If you haven’t already, sign up with IT Central Station, browse reviews or write a review of your own!

IT Central Station covers a gamut of technology products and services that are used every day to power the business of Fortune 1000 and Global 2000 enterprises.

The Weekly Roundup – Oracle VM

weekly-roundupIn preparation for our Server Virtualization Round Table on January 8th, 2013, this week’s roundup looks at what people are saying about Oracle VM, a fully integrated enterprise management solution that is designed to enable rapid enterprise application deployment and simplify lifecycle management. Here are a few highlights:

  • Anon359 (Developer at a small Tech Consulting Firm) says: “The product offers [a] number of benefits to the users who often use multiple platforms. Though there are some disadvantages of the product which can be fixed with some workarounds.”[…]
    Continue Reading…

Server Virtualization Software: What the Vendors Won’t Tell You

We’ve all dealt with them–vendor hosted webinars, biased promotional material and the time consuming search for quality advice about enterprise IT products. Unfortunately, for a long time this was the best way to research IT solutions. Over the last several months, many of our users have helped to change this by chiming in about various products such as Server Virtualization Software and application performance management solutions. Fortunately for the enterprise tech community, these real users are providing our community with quality and unbiased reviews of the most popularly used products.

For me written reviews are great. They allow me to get a clear overview of the Table Discusionvarious products including their advantages and disadvantages. The problem which occasionally arises is when I want more details about what a reviewer has written. For example, one of the reviewers of Hyper-V wrote that it “Lacks advanced features of virtualization platform”, but what I really want to understand is what advanced features is he talking about and does my environment actually require those features. Yes, I could easily go ahead and contact the reviewer and wait for a response, however often I have several questions about more than one review (and this isn’t to say that the reviewer didn’t do an excellent job!) This is why we at IT Central Station have decided to host a Server Virtualization Peer Panel. This will allow current users to voice their opinions, further explain their experiences and help guide IT community members who are currently considering investing in these products. Most importantly, it will allow those interested in Server Virtualization Software to ask any specific question which they may have.

The webinar, which will take place on January 8th, will include a panel of real users who will discuss the pros and cons of various solutions, tips and tricks, and the secrets they have learned along the way. Instead of the commonplace vendor webinars which are centered on making a sales pitch, we have invited real users who will provide their unbiased opinions. These real users only goal will be to share their experiences with their peers and candidly answer any questions in an open discussion environment.

Join us on January 8th for ‘Server Virtualization: A User Perspective Roundtable

In addition, early registrants will receive the free whitepaper ‘Server Virtualization Secrets – A Peek at What Users Really Think.”

The Weekly Roundup – VMware ESXi

weekly-roundupThis week’s roundup explores server virtualization software. Let’s find out what people are saying about VMware ESXi, a free enterprise-level server virtualization product offered by VMware. Here are a few highlights:

  • lasso says: “[It is the] most usable hypervisor in the industry. It’s well documented, really simple and quick to set up.”
  • RonSNunes says: “ESXi has one major benefit that outweighs the others; IT’S FREE! The only issues I have with ESXi is that it is console (CLI) based…some people might now want to configure a high availability virtual machine server via the Command Line.”
  • sys_admin says: “Virtualization has made datacenter operations easier. As a sysadmin, managing multiple hosts is more simple and flexible with VMware ESXi. Running multiple hosts, operations systems on a single host makes it more efficient and saves costs. ESXi also allows you to pool the resources of several machines effectively, thereby helping to run the application smoothly without hassles.”
  • Francis Lee Mondia says: “[There is] no central management of other ESXi servers, each one needs to be logged-in individually if you have multiple servers.”

VMware ESXi was awarded 4.5 stars by real users. Click here to see what else people are saying about VMware ESXi and share your thoughts.

Want to learn more? Join us on Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 at 9am PST/12pm EST for a live webinar discussing server virtualization software. IT Central Station co-founder Russell Rothstein will be hosting a panel of real server virtualization users in the event ‘Server Virtualization: A user perspective roundtable’. Whether you’re using VMware, Microsoft, Citrix or another vendor, this will be the ultimate forum to hear what people really think about server virtualization.

If you haven’t already, sign up with IT Central Station, browse reviews or write a review of your own!

IT Central Station covers a gamut of technology products and services that are used every day to power the business of Fortune 1000 and Global 2000 enterprises.