As many of you may already know, I am no longer a BigFix Engineer with IBM. This is purely a voluntary thing as I have moved onto a new opportunity which, in my opinion, goes way beyond what BigFix, err IBM Endpoint Manager, can do.
Essentially, BigFix was “invented” back in the late 90’s. The technology was amazing and extremely advanced at the time. It remained so for more than a decade. If you examine the market for truely generic software that allows very large enterprises to manage hundreds of thousands of endpoints… you would be hard pressed to find more than a couple. BigFix would top that list and is used at many of the fortune 50 companies.
During my employment with BigFix/IBM, I founded an online community for BigFix enthusiasts to share knowledge, content and collaborate to solve problems. The http://bigfix.me community is still alive and extremely active with more than 1000 community members and nearly 500 visitors last week alone.
This community building experience and the projects I started as part of that community is what caught the attention of my new employer, Tanium, Inc.
Tanium is a software designed and built by the exact same people that invented BigFix all those years ago. Their decade long experience has served them well as they created the next generation of enterprise management software.
I joined Tanium with the express purpose of building a community to help customers solve huge problems with this truely amazing product. To give you a few hints, Tanium allows administrators the ability to ask plain english questions and get answers back from nearly 400,000 computers in 15sec–1min timeframe. I have personally seen this work on a 50,000 computer deployment with the customer getting responses back in less than a few seconds on a huge batch of computers and the entire query completeting in far less than a minute.
It took a few months, but I have just finished the first version of my new Tanium Community at http://community.tanium.com. This first itteration allows visitors the ability to search and download Tanium sensors as well as actually build them right on the website. Just like the inventors of Tanium drawing from their BigFix experiences, I too have pulled the knowledge I accrued while building the bigfix.me community to create this wonderful new community. Here are a few of the features I gave a lot of attention to:
1. Must be Mobile compatible. The new community is mobile friendly. It is built using the Responsive techniques I have learned about over the past 6 months. This means you can simply resize your browser and the website will adapt itself for your screen size.
2. Content building Teams. It is rare that enterprises have a single developer. Thus this new community allows for teams to work on content that is shared between them. Any community user can create one or more teams which they can then add any other community user as a member. This means any member of the team can add or edit content (sensors, packages, dashboards, etc) assigned to that team.
3. Private/Hidden content. Every piece of content uploaded or created on this new community website can be hidden. This means only you and your team mates can see it. This allows you to decide what is public and what is private and allows you to experiment with different content ideas before sharing it with the world.
4. One account to rule them all. This will occur in phases, but the Tanium KB and Forum will be pulled into our community and linked directly to your community account. This means you do not have to remember more than one username/password to take full advantage of this new community.
5. Common interface. This one is a bit unusual in that this new website very closely matches the interface used for product. As you use the website and/or the console for the product, you will become extremely familiar with the navigation. This means without any training you can seemlessly transition between the two.
6. Build content right on the website! This one is very different from my previous community experience. I wanted an almost effortless way to build content from this single interface. Having this built right into the community website means I will be able to open it up with lots of script writing enhancements and help menus to make developing content extremely easy.
I am very excited about my new opportunity here at Tanium. As time permits I will strive to publish more on the Tanium product, and my experiences building communities for top notch products like BigFix and Tanium.