By Charles Leaver

It’s All About Extensibility, Generic Tools Are Only Good for Generic Challenges

Call them extensions, call them customizations — no matter what you call it, the best technology platforms can be tailored to fit an organization’s specific business requirements. Generic operations tools are fine at performing generic operations tasks. Generic security tools are fine at addressing generic security challenges. Generic can only take you so far, though, and that’s where extensibility comes in.

“In many customer conversations, our built-in extensibility has caused eyes to light up, and won us trials and deployments.”

Extensibility comes up often when I’m talking to customers and potential customers, and I’m proud that a Global 10 company chose Ziften over everyone else in the marketplace primarily on that basis. For that customer, and many others, the ability to deeply customize platforms is a necessity.

This isn’t about simply creating custom reports or custom alerts. Let’s be honest – the ability to create reports are baseline capability of many IT operations and security management tools. True extensibility goes deep into the solution to give it capabilities that solve real problems for the organization.

One client used lots of mobile IoT devices, and needed to have our Zenith real-time visibility and control system be able to access (and monitor) the memory of those devices. That’s not a standard feature offered by Zenith, because our low-footprint agent doesn’t hook into the operating system kernel or work through standard device drivers. However, we worked with the client to customize Zenith with that capability – and it turned out to be easier than anyone thought.

Another customer looked at the standard set of endpoint data that the agent collects, and wanted to add additional data fields. They also wanted to program the administrative console with custom actions using those data fields, and push those actions back out to those endpoints. No other endpoint monitoring and security solution could provide the facilities for adding that functionality other than Ziften.

What’s more, the customer developed those extensions themselves… and owns the code and intellectual property. It’s part of their own secret sauce, their own business differentiator, and unique to their business. They couldn’t be happier. And neither could we.

With many other IT operations and security systems, if customers want additional features or capabilities, the only option is to submit that as a future feature request, and hope that it appears in an upcoming version of the product. Until then, too bad.

That’s not how we designed our flagship products, Zenith and ZFlow. Because our endpoint agent isn’t based on kernel hooks or device drivers, we can allow for tremendous extensibility, and open up that extensibility for customers to access directly.

Similarly, with our administrative consoles and back-end monitoring systems; everything is customizable. And that was built in right from the start.

Another area of customization is that our real-time and historic visibility database can integrate into your other IT operations and security platforms, including SIEM tools, threat intelligence, IT ticketing system, task orchestration systems, and data analytics. With Zenith and ZFlow, there are no more silos. Ever.

In the worlds of endpoint monitoring and management, extensions are increasingly where it’s at. IT operations and enterprise security team need the ability to customize their tools platforms to fit their exact requirements for monitoring and managing IoT, conventional endpoints, the data center, and the cloud. In many customer conversations, our built-in extensibility has caused eyes to light up, and won us trials and deployments. Tell us about your custom needs, and let’s see what we can do.

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