Quali builds cloud software for large-scale enterprises and service providers, network equipment manufacturers, and banks. The company provides its clients with self-service, “sand-boxed” portals for testing and deploying complex application and infrastructure environments, which are in turn used to accelerate software releases and DevOps. Split between Santa Clara in the US and Tel Aviv in Israel, the company employees between 100-200 people.
While it’s incredibly important for Quali’s clients to have a virtual safe space to test new innovations, the kind of data the technology throws out is incredibly dense and complicated - and tough for most business users to make sense of. Quali came to the conclusion that clients would need an engaging, easy-to-use tool to visualize these insights, in order to get the most out of the software.
Before Sisense we had a tool that was hard to use and only really allowed you to graph data. Our goal was to get into the minds of decision-makers, using dashboards and visualizations, and showing progress over a multi-year project.
The Challenge: Translating Complex Data into Digestible Reports
For Quali’s clients, the biggest challenge is generally how to provide their end users with self-service access to IT, development, and test infrastructure and applications. That can mean building private clouds, virtual machines, or global developer portals, where
developers can come in and access production-like configurations of very complex infrastructure build-outs. Quali’s platform gives users self-service access to “sandboxes”, which are isolated, portable, live environments that have all the infrastructure and application stuff an end user might need to test how well their application will run in the real world.
Before integrating Sisense, however, Quali’s problem was threefold. First, they needed a way to capture all this data from the sandbox and deliver it to the user in useful ways. Second, they needed to better track who was using the sandbox and for what purpose. Lastly, they needed a way to make all this make sense to non-technical leadership teams. How could they get them to understand that automation projects are an evolving long-term commitment, while providing evidence to time-poor managers on ROI, before their priorities changed?
What’s more, Quali has 200-300 distinct deployments – and often, multiple deployments within one customer site, catered to different groups and teams. This makes it very hard to provide customers with visibility over how the software is used. The company needed a way to deliver dashboards giving a clear view to inventory or resources and showing how they were being utilized – and at the moment, the solution they had in place just wasn’t up to scratch.
The built-in tool on offer at this stage was getting a lot of complaints for not living up to to the capabilities that Quali was marketing to clients. Simply put, it was too confusing and not powerful enough to do what they needed. Quali needed a solution that would allow users to create their own, powerful dashboards, straight out of the box, that could be embedded into their existing application.
Fast, Intuitive, Embedded Analytics
Quali realized that they could use Sisense to take data from multiple sources and massage it into a single dashboard.
For example, while the primary data source was the database in the Cloud Shell product itself, they could also connect up AWS and VMware vCenter to bring in additional, specific information about some of the resources – and treat the whole thing like a single version of the truth when it came to analysis. Bingo!
Once they’d perfected the system, they were able to embed Sisense into their software, offering clients direct access to the dashboards as part of their purchase.
Now when users deploy their cloud environments, Quali’s software tracks and collects all the usage data and feeds it into Sisense, so that customers can have easy access to clear and coherent reports. They immediately understand who is using what, and can further break down the data by equipment type, usage type, resource category, and so on. It’s fast, intuitive to use and easy to interpret – and while the product can be used straight out of the box, it can be fully customized, too.
Unsurprisingly, customer feedback on the product integration was overwhelmingly positive.
We are always faced with the challenge of proving ROI for our product and sometimes it can be a challenge because all our customers have such different scenarios. But it’s really obvious right there, using Sisense, that there is clear ROI.
For Quali’s customers, the main point of tracking resource use is spotting opportunities to better manage the inventory, increase efficiency, and cut costs.
In one situation, an employee at Quali was able to help a customer build a custom dashboard tracking and controlling power usage in their lab. Using the Sisense-powered insights feature, he and his team created a system for monitoring the impact of dynamic power control, calculating in near real-time how much money the client was saving by introducing dynamic power controls.
At that time, the client was spending $20,000 per month on power usage without knowing where this was going. Now, they could see precisely where power was used – and wasted – as well as what was working to prevent it, giving them the chance to make massive savings.