Promises Kept: NetBrain’s Investment in Customer Success

Paul Campbell
By Paul Campbell February 1, 2019 3 minute read
Paul Campbell is a seasoned technologist who has designed, architected, and implemented networks for SMBs to large enterprise Fortune 1000 companies. Paul is the CEO & Founder of Quaversal, a consulting group out of Charlotte, NC.

Having used NetBrain for nearly ten years, it is fair to say that I’ve seen many changes occur in the solution. The most important factor I like to bring to the forefront isn’t all the individual advancements, which are numerous, but to highlight how NetBrain listens to their customers and invests in their success.

My initial perspective was that NetBrain was merely a “cool tool” for mapping.

My initial perspective was that NetBrain was merely a “cool tool” for mapping. As a large cable MSO, we were looking to purchase thousands of licenses for our constantly expanding infrastructure. Just like every other vendor that came to our door promising to invest in our success, we wrote it off as conjecture. Who wouldn’t want to invest in their customers’ success? Without customer success, you fail to have a business!

What amazed us was the level of effort NetBrain put in to follow through on their promises.

But what amazed us was the level of effort NetBrain put in to follow through on their promises. My team and I would use NetBrain and make notes, then put together a wish list of features, updates, and sometimes nitpicky comments. What I found astonishing was that most requests were updated in the tool within 6-9 months! I can’t say the same for other vendors – hardware or software – that I’ve worked with over the years. Some things that weren’t implemented were introduced later as part of more significant changes, such as moves from NetBrain 4.x to 5.x.

Their commitment to ensuring we felt empowered to use the solution as much as they were passionate about building it was more than a little comforting.

We found that some of our requests would solicit feedback from the development team, who would then want to get on a call and discuss a more in-depth approach to our suggestion. The development team liaisons were always friendly, courteous, and deeply committed to ensuring we got what we needed. But, without the usual ado of customer service, it was genuine. Sometimes the developers would even show us workaround ways to accomplish what we were looking to do, for example, some monitor changes and things before Qapps.

Something simple: SNMP OIDs for device discovery. As new vendors like Cisco Systems Inc. rolled out new product lines, the SNMP OIDs wouldn’t be in the database. However, a simple email to support with the OID would see the OID added into the next patch of the software.  Granted, you can add it manually in the meantime, but solid turnaround!

visualize SDN network in secondsI was astonished at how quickly NetBrain incorporated SDN into its capabilities.

But new devices bring about new wants and desires – like SDN. As SDN became more prominent, support for it wasn’t visible within NetBrain as the overlay abstraction and concepts were beyond the initial programmability of visualization and context. That’s fine, everything evolves! However, what I found astounding was how quickly NetBrain included SDN into their capability matrix; and if I might say so, it is one of the better visual maps for Cisco’s SDN in the data center I’ve seen! I remember asking for support for this feature as early as the end of 2014. Within two years it was added. I know I wasn’t the only person to ask for such a cumbersome addition, but they delivered – and with it, so many other things.

For example, during this same period, Cisco TAC integration with NetBrain was being developed and rolled out. It seems there is no end to what NetBrain can do as it discovers your network and helps provide you contextual awareness unparalleled by others. Good software is a long-term investment in future updates, enhancements, and staying at the forefront. NetBrain delivers on this promise year after year. Let them make this promise to you.

Integrating with Cisco TAC is just one NetBrain innovation to make customers more successful.