The choice of which endpoint management solution to use is a decision that many organizations grapple with. And as many have found out, it is not always a “plug and play” type of decision. Organizations are faced with regulatory and compliance considerations, on-premise vs cloud, operations ownership versus security, initial and ongoing financial costs, personnel required to operate, and more.
In my role as a BigFix Product Specialist, I hear these concerns on a daily basis. All day I am speaking with existing clients and potential clients on how to best accomplish their needs for endpoint management. While no two companies are exactly alike, I generally see the same set of ubiquitous concerns. The biggest concern is always price. Each time that I hear pricing as the key concern, I start to think about tactical versus strategic goals. Some companies are more tactical in their approach and some are more strategic. And that reminds me of my post undergraduate days.
Like many recent college graduates, I lived at home for two years. I had a job and lived at home rent free. One of my most fun activities was modifying and racing my old Chevy Camaro. On Friday nights, my friends and I would head to the local dragstrip, pay five dollars, and race other cars along the quarter mile all night long. While my car was a Camaro, it was not a high powered one. It had a V8 engine, but not the biggest V8. It was the entry level Camaro. As a result, I lost a lot of races and was always ordering parts to make it faster. My friends and I turned my parent’s driveway into an auto repair center thanks to my dad’s impressive tool collection, much to the chagrin of my mother.
After months of losing, my mother asked “Son, what type of cars are you racing against?” I replied, “Mostly Corvettes, Toyota Supras, and Ford Mustangs”. She was not a car enthusiast, but she smartly replied, “So you’re plowing money into a car that was not built to compete against those other cars. You can’t win against cars designed to go fast. If the other man spends $100 to make his car go faster, you have to spend $500. Rather than continuing to waste money, why not save that money and buy a car designed to go fast? Or better yet, why don’t you keep the old car and start paying us rent?”. I never spent another dime on the Camaro and gave it to a needy couple at church.
What I learned from that experience is something I see in many discussions with prospective clients. Organizations want to win but they quite often think tactically instead of acting strategically. There are many vendors with solutions that are similar to my Camaro. They are readily available, deliver the basic capabilities cheaply, and look robust. But when the organization needs to move faster, compete against other organizations, do more with less, and respond quickly to changes, those solutions start to break down. Companies dig in, throw money, time, and staff at updating and retrofitting those solutions to deliver what the organization needs. In many cases it is an exercise in futility, much like me throwing my paycheck at that Camaro. Each week, those of us in BigFix see the equivalent version of my Camaro managing endpoints. Our clients want to go faster and to win. And we help them do just that, if they are willing to invest in a solution made to go fast: BigFix.
BigFix, unlike other endpoint management solution, has some key differences worth highlighting — differences that matter in the race to win:
- Small agent: Our intelligent agent requires only 2% of CPU and 8-10MB of RAM to do its job. You can obviously dedicate more resources, but those are the minimums.
- Multiple operating system support: BigFix supports Windows, Linux, macOS and several others. Over 90+ different operating systems, in fact, from one management platform.
- No scanning the network: Unlike scanning-based endpoint solutions, BigFix does not scan the network. It doesn’t slow down the network.
- Bandwidth throttling: Operators can determine how much bandwidth is used for BigFix operations. We have clients that only have 56k VSAT connections, and BigFix does the job just fine.
- Scalability: One BigFix management server can handle up to 250,000 endpoints. The management server is included free of charge with any BigFix module purchase, and it doesn’t require an army of administrators.
- Reporting: Reporting can be ad hoc or scheduled. With our new feature of BigFix Insights, all data gathered by agents can be placed in a repository. Using BI tools, such as Tableau or Microsoft PowerBI, many different executive-level reports can be created.
- Roaming system support: BigFix uses one port, 52311, which manages endpoints inside the firewall as well as those internet-facing endpoints. We do not poke multiple holes in the firewall, a feature that pleases security teams a lot.
- Pre-built content: Our pre-built content is called “Fixlets.” Rather than having to build new content, organizations can leverage the more than 500,000 fixlets built by HCL, partners and other BigFixers. The BigFix community shares fixlets for free in our BigFix forums.
- Fast implementation: We measure success in days and weeks. BigFix is not a services-heavy implementation.
- Security compliance and configuration: With BigFix Compliance, clients can enforce compliance to either their internal baselines, or DISA STIG, PCI-DSS, FDCC, USGCB, or CIS. Out of the box, BigFix Compliance can help organizations implement and maintain compliance with the top CIS controls recommended by the CCPA.
- ServiceNow integration: Our connectors enables BigFix to exchange data with ServiceNow maximizing the benefits and value of both.
- Multi-cloud management: Multi-cloud management allows BigFix to manage endpoints located in AWS, Azure, and Google clouds, just as if they were on-premise.
- Flexible pricing: We have both perpetual license agreements (you own the license and pay annual maintenance each year) as well as term license agreements (you pay for the amount of time desired).
The differences listed above is what separates BigFix from the competition. Thousands of customers, commercial and governmental, across the globe trust and rely on BigFix. It does what us salespeople say it will do. That may sound arrogant and presumptuous, but the intention is not. It is just simply a statement of fact.
Unlike my weekend side hobby of drag racing in my younger days, enterprise software is purchased and installed to improve business operations. Businesses have four primary goals: increase revenue, reduce costs, gain a competitive advantage, and deliver a profit to owners. When viewed through that lens, BigFix positively impacts all of those, from small installations to the largest commercial enterprises, and for governments around the world. Where the goal is to deliver endpoint management confidently, tactically, and strategically, is where you will find BigFix.
In summary, and in homage to my late mother, I share a quote I read at the beginning of my sales career. I learned in business school that price is not always an indicator of quality, but the quote has a great deal of applicability to this post. I always think about the following quote as I do my job:
“There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey. It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money — that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot — it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”
~ John Ruskin, 19th century English poet
For more information about BigFix, visit www.BigFix.com