REVIEWER: Anthony Borelli, systems engineer for e-Nable Corporation.

BACKGROUND: e-Nable Corporation's mission is to automate the life insurance underwriting process by providing the insurance industry real-time, comprehensive technology solutions that streamline policy application, underwriting and issuance processes. e-Nable was founded in 1999 by MIB Group Inc., a clearinghouse for underwriting-related information. MIB is owned by and serves 600 of the largest insurance companies in North America, which underwrite more than 95 percent of the premium dollars of individual life insurance written in the United States and Canada.

PLATFORMS: RoboMon from Heroix is running on Windows NT servers (IBM Netfinity platform).

PROBLEM SOLVED: Because e-Nable's mission is to provide the fastest delivery of underwriting-related information, we needed to guarantee that our database, servers, network and applications performed optimally ­ 24x7. We needed to be able to easily identify, isolate and correct impending performance problems well before they could have any adverse effect on our customers or internal operations. We wanted to centrally monitor and manage our complex infrastructure and have the ability to provide our DBAs, system administrators and our executive team with timely, relevant information. With RoboMon, we were able to address all of these issues and more ­ further strengthening our ability to meet our aggressive customer service goals.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The breadth and depth of RoboMon functionality is fantastic. It provides us with one-stop monitoring and management of all aspects of our IT operation. It comes with detailed monitoring solutions for many of the technologies we use: SQL Server, IIS, Windows NT, etc. In addition, its flexibility allows us to easily manage and support our custom applications. As a data provider, we rely heavily on our SQL Server databases. RoboMon is invaluable in helping us avoid potential problems with space allocation, disk I/O and CPU usage. Not only does RoboMon enable us to meet our availability and performance SLAs, it has allowed us to optimize the configuration of our systems and thus avoid spending money on unnecessary hardware upgrades and additions.

STRENGTHS: RoboMon shines in several areas. First, it provides more functionality and productivity gains than any other solution we looked at. It has helped us enormously in our performance tuning by instantly focusing our attention on emerging issues, before they become critical. It allows us to correlate performance data across disparate systems and functions ­ helping us avoid wasting time trying to identify the root cause of the problem. It's also possible to configure the product to monitor and manage new components and keep up with the evolution of our infrastructure. The investment we've made in RoboMon has paid off significantly. I couldn't imagine living without it.

WEAKNESSES: Because RoboMon provides so much functionality, it is sometimes difficult to feel that you are truly leveraging the product to its full potential.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The selection of RoboMon was unanimous. We initially looked at several point products ­ solutions for managing database performance, load balancing, Web traffic, etc. We knew that putting together a hodgepodge of offerings would likely leave us with holes in our coverage. It quickly became clear that no other tool could provide both the seamless breadth and the depth of functionality available with RoboMon. The flexibility of the product was another key factor. For instance, monitoring our custom EPS application and our messaging middleware, IBM MQSeries, was crucial to us. With very little investment of time, we were able to craft monitoring solutions for both ­ without hiring consultants.

DELIVERABLES: RoboMon provides us with peace of mind. The timely, detailed alerts, suggested corrective measures, and performance and event data help us ensure our performance goals are met and help us deliver on our core business value.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The Heroix support team is exceptional. They are proactive in suggesting ways to increase the value we derive from the product. Throughout the pre-sale and post-sale activities, Heroix has operated as a true partner.

DOCUMENTATION: The RoboMon documentation is very thorough and organized in an intuitive way. The few times I had to refer to the documentation, I found what I was looking for immediately.

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