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IT Helpdesk Network Management

helpdeskYour Business and Staff Require Technology to Work.

There’s no getting around it, there’s almost no business on the planet these days that cannot fucntion without technology. It is a tool that all businesses and staff require to function.

Help Desk:  Professional, Certified Experts Supporting Your Business

In the world of IT, problems happen. Computers crash, passwords are lost, email stops working, and the list goes on. And without proper technical support in place, these problems can bring your business to an abrupt – and potentially damaging – halt.

Not every support issue can be called a catastrophe…until it prevents you from being able to do your job. We’re here to help you stay ahead of the curve, so you can focus on growing your business – and to do so, we’ve adopted a proactive approach to network monitoring and IT maintenance.

That’s why our help desk is a seamless extension of our Sentinant Networks remote monitoring platform. So when you call to report an issue, there’s a good chance we’re already aware of the problem you’re experiencing – and are actively working to resolve it.

Our technicians receive regular training, coaching and quality review to continuously sharpen their skills, and they’re backed by a team of professional supervisors and managers to ensure consistency and unmatched service delivery.

Network Management

network-management-system-4-0We define a network management system (NM system) as a methodology and a set of tools that help in performing network management. In this section we describe the set of desirable features of an NM system in the form of a network administrator’s wish list. At this point, we are not concerned with whether the items on this wish list are easy to provide, how much they cost or even if it is even possible to provide the features listed. The main objective of this section is to capture all that one could possibly want from a NM system.

A NM system should help in rectifying network faults. Many organisations provide a helpdesk where employees call if they experience any network problems. The helpdesk staff records the problem and take corrective action. This form of management is often called Reactive Network Management. In contrast, a NM system may autonomously monitor the network to detect faults. When faults are detected, the NM system records it and may either take corrective action on its own or inform the appropriate personnel who then decide what to do. This form of management is often called Proactive Network Management. Proactive Network Management is generally better since it minimises the impact on the users. Ideally, a network fault should be detected and rectified before users even become aware of it.

HOW CAN WE HELP YOUR BUSINESS?

help-desk-solutionsRustyice’s strength is that it will tailor the service it provides to suit you and your business needs, rather than have a ‘one solution fits all’ mind-set.

Each customer is different. If needed, we can essentially become your internal IT Department, taking full responsibility for administration.  Or if you already have IT Staff, we can provide an external, independent and professional ‘fall back’ situation in times of need or emergency.

Just look at the list of benefits our customers receive as standard:

  • A Bespoke Package That Fits Your Needs
  • Direct Access to Engineers
  • Remote Live Equipment Monitoring
  • Unlimited Support Calls/Remote Access & Site Visits
  • Detailed Site Audit/Documentation & Security
  • Free Help & Advice
  • Free Project Management
  • Free Loan Equipment
  • Free Holiday Cover for IT Staff
  • Detailed Call Logging
  • Discount Installation Charges for New Equipment Purchased
  • 24/7 Cover Available
  • Quarterly Courtesy Visit & Health Check
  • Low Staff Turnover
  • Excellent Client Retention & References

We have a dedicated team of professionals and monitoring systems ‘in house’, which often enable us to see a problem developing, and respond swiftly before you incur difficulties. Of course, you can still call or email us, and your request will go straight to an engineer who will respond swiftly and professionally.

If you need a site visit, do not worry, these are included (unlimited) as standard for our premium support customers.

call-recording-1024x1024Our Call Logging and Proactive Monitoring systems at Rustyice have been developed in house and are a source of pride to the team and the envy of many of our competitors. They have been designed to facilitate a rapid response to problems and queries raised either by you the customer, or triggered by our in-house analysis.

We’d be delighted to visit you and demonstrate these systems, or alternatively welcome you to our office facility in Kilmarnock where you can see our systems in action over a cup of coffee. See what our customers think about our service and response!

Call us now on 01563 701075 or use our online form.

Why Incident Management is hard?

An Incident is defined as any event which is not part of the standard operation of a service and which causes, or may cause, an interruption to, or a reduction in, the quality of service. A simplified Incident Management work flow is provided in the figure below.

When an Incident is reported to the Service Desk, it attempts to resolve it by consulting the Known Error Database and the CMDB. If it is unsuccessful the Incident is classified and transferred to the Incident Management. Incident Management typically consists of first line support specialists who can resolve most of the common Incidents. When they are unable to do so, they will quickly escalate it to the second line support team and the process continues until the Incident is resolved. As per its charter, Incident Management tries to find a quick resolution to the Incident so that the Service degradation or downtime is minimized.

So why is it hard

There are several factors that make Incident Management one of the most difficult and expensive of all the ITIL processes. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Please feel free to add to it by commenting below.

Complex System Architecture

Over the last 60 years, the IT industry has seen breakneck growth. IT services have evolved to meet increasingly sophisticated and complex business demands. A typical IT service today includes the following:

Hardware

  • One or more servers or virtual machines
  • SAN storage
  • Network components
  • Backup servers

Software

  • Hypervisor (if virtualized)
  • Operating system
  • One or more databases
  • One or more web servers
  • One or more application servers
  • Load balancing servers
  • Monitoring software
  • Interfaces to internal and external services

In the above we are not even talking about Business Continuity which adds its own layers. This results in a complex architecture which is difficult to understand and manage. What’s more, the architecture is often not documented adequately and is rarely up to date.

Poorly architected or missing processes

In addition to inadequate documentation, many IT departments do not have processes to manage their IT service. This results in ad-hoc and sometimes unauthorized changes resulting in cascading effects.

Silo effect caused by super specialization among IT professionals

As a result of complex architectures super specialists are becoming necessary to manage them. This creates silos in which super specialists operate with specialist jargon that is only comprehensible within their silos but not elsewhere. When serious incidents are reported, it is not uncommon to find half a dozen domain experts spending valuable time on swat calls.

Incomplete monitoring of processes and systems

For a variety of reasons, not all of the processes and systems that belong to an IT Service are monitored. While there seems to be no alternative to this because of cost and resource issues, it results in blind spots. An unmonitored Incident in one stack may result in an unpredictable incident in another, but may take a long time to diagnose because no one is aware of the original causal incident.

Lessons learned do not propagate

Even though domain experts may have excellent troubleshooting skills, once a difficult Incident has been resolved, they do not always have the tools to spread the knowledge. Search engines have reduced this problem somewhat by providing tag based searches. Complex Incidents that have multiple or cascading root causes cannot easily be captured in a community knowledge base. This results in frequent re-inventing of the wheel.

Missing or unclear context in exception handling

IT hardware and software are often developed in an environment that is far removed from the ecosystems where they eventually end up. When exceptions do occur, the exception handlers usually do not understand the context and therefore do not provide a comprehensible explanation.

There are many other reasons why Incident Management remains hard. There is a tendency to throw resources at Incidents when the underlying cause is poorly architected software, infrastructure or business process. Insufficient attention is paid to training IT professionals in troubleshooting which remains an art form. Finally it is getting more and more expensive to hire trained professionals with IT budgets shrinking.

Better automation and autonomics provide some relief to the Incident Management process. A cost effective network management platform from Rustyice Solutions can help alleviate some of these all too common stresses and strains that are a part of the story all across the industry. Call us today to arrange a chat with one of our Network Management Specialists.