Managing IT systems and staff is a massive trial for any business, but when you’re experiencing growth through expansion and acquisition it’s even more challenging. Taking a managed services approach allowed one organisation get a grip on its infrastructure, as MATTHEW SAINSBURY found out.
Managed services provider, Netforce, was called in to streamline one organisation’s IT assets, after the customer found itself struggling to keep track of everything while experiencing strong growth. The financial services organisation has 80 people spread across three locations. Netforce’s mission was firstly to clean up the IT systems running, and then engage in strategic discussions with the customer in order to meet its growth needs and prevent the systems from falling into the same state of disrepair.
“The customer wanted to solve a number of ongoing IT problems that the company that it was working with previously was not really addressing in an efficient manner,” said Netforce director and CTO, Scott Atkinson.
“They seemed to have people coming onsite a lot to address problems, but those problems kept occurring, so there wasn’t any permanent solutions put in place – it would get the problem fixed for a day but not forever.”
Step by Step
The first step in the solution was to rollout a management platform across all systems, both in the headquarters and remote offices, Atkinson said. Kaseya’s Web-based system provided PC remote control and support, audit, automated maintenance, patch management, network monitoring and alerts, software upgrades, network policy enforcement and integrated reporting. Netforce also implemented some WAN and Internet management tools.
“We rolled out Kaseya throughout the environment to get a baseline audit done, so we could understand what the situation was and that pulled up a number of interesting patterns across the organisation – a mix of things that weren’t properly patched or weren’t up to date,” Atkinson said. “These are the kinds of things that are difficult to find out on a manual basis, but following the rollout it was easy to run a report. Once everything was up to a reasonably stable level, it tended to fix a lot of the little things.”
During the process, Netforce also discovered a great number of inefficiencies, Atkinson said. Once visible, these proved easy to remedy.
“First of all, we were able to run a software audit to show what they were running across the organisation – it wasn’t entirely clear what people had on their machines before that – and we were able to make sure that licences were properly allocated to the right people,” he said. “Some people had machines with software installed with licences that they were never going to use, while other people were saying ‘we need this software, but we don’t want to buy another licence’. We were able to better balance out some of the software licences.”