I would advise others to check it out. It doesn't hurt. They give you a two-week free trial. You can kind of just say that you want to try this, and then, you try it. There is no haggling back and forth with sales. They give you access to the platform for two weeks. For us, I had done the trial just to get it implemented, and then, they extended the trial for us free of charge for another two weeks so that we could get all the approvals in place to adopt the platforms and start paying for it. They make it super easy, so try it out.
The automation of network mapping has enabled junior network specialists to resolve issues directly and freed up senior-level team members to perform higher-value tasks, but it is not because of the tool. It is because of the proficiency level of our team. We don't have junior network staff. There is just me. Our help desk folks are our junior staff, and it is just not in their wheelhouse yet. It goes back to that organizational operational maturity. We've got like the help desk that helps the end-users, and then we've got the engineers who deploy and are kind of like that highest escalation point. It kind of goes from zero to 60. They check something out there, and the help desk will get a ticket saying that it must be a network thing. It just comes right over to me. I'll try to use those opportunities as a teaching opportunity to show, "Hey, log in to Auvik, and then you can see here that the device is online. We've got some other monitoring tools that we use as well for workstations in virtual infrastructure to see that it is not a network issue, and here's how you can dig through Auvik to see it." It increases the proficiency level of our staff. The tools kind of assist with that change and with them improving. A network engineer can tell the help desk guy until he is blue in the face about how things work, but when you have something to kind of visualize, you can look at metrics and performance indicators. It, kind of, helps in providing a little bit of context to the topics that I'm talking about, and then, they can, kind of, use those things. So, the proficiency definitely is improving, and the tool helps with that.
We have not used the TrafficInsights feature. We have a cybersecurity team, and they have a tool called Darktrace, which is TrafficInsights on steroids. It has got some AI or machine learning built into the platform, and it does some really gee-whiz stuff. Because of the presence of that tool, I haven't gone into configuring TrafficInsights yet. It is on my list of things to do because it is just convenient to have all of your data that you might want to access available in one window, as opposed to having to log into another device and learn how to use another device or another tool. So, eventually, I'll get around to that TrafficInsights so that the information is available.
If there is anything that Auvik has taught me, which is also one of my general rules of thumb, is that when something is not working as expected, it is not necessarily a problem related to that thing. For example, if it is a problem that I'm having with Auvik, usually it is not indicative of a problem with Auvik. Similarly, it is not necessarily a problem on the network that is impacting users. It tends to point to something not being configured correctly on the network. It kind of highlights our own mistakes.
For an advanced network operations center, Auvik is very easy to use and super easy to deploy. It is intuitive, and its features are very useful to an extent. When it comes to a more advanced network team, there are things that Auvik doesn't do. Doing those things would make it awesome, but they would just make the platform more complex and probably less easy to use. So, for the fundamentals, Auvik does a fantastic job. Once you go beyond the fundamentals, Auvik still does a pretty good job, but there are some things that I would not be surprised that the platform will never do. That's because it is not intended to be Cisco DNA Center. It is intended to be a broad platform that supports everything to a degree.
For an unsophisticated or a very small network team, I would give it a nine out of 10 because of ease of use. A managed service provider is a good example because the folks who consume the product are not network specialists. They primarily used it for backup, mapping, KPIs, and assisting in troubleshooting. For mid-range organizations, it is a solid nine. For advanced networking teams, it is probably a five because it is not going to give you all the information that you want. It is not going to do all of the things that you might want it to do, but the things that it does, it does very well.