Managed Services and Proactive Support

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Managed Services

ACT is an Infrastructure Solution Provider and is the leader in Bermuda in all aspects of IT infrastructure. A reliable IT infrastructure is a necessity to a business’s overall success. In today’s business your IT infrastructure must be scalable, flexible and reliable. ACT offers services from architectural design through to implementation and support. We believe it is critical to work with the client to understand the business drivers so collectively the right technical solutions can be mapped out. Once a client has achieved steady-state ACT moves from a project based approach to an on-going support or managed services approach. Our managed services support encompasses a combination of remote monitoring, patching and maintenance and regular hands-on support of the infrastructure.

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Bringing all pillars of IT Service Management together into a readable format provides both our clients and ACT another tool for future planning. ACT provides two monthly reports that clearly detail utilization of core infrastructure and the general overall health of the environment. In addition to the monthly reports ACT generates a weekly email that will highlight all tickets opened throughout the week and their current status.

Proactive Monitoring

Most organizations recognize the need to monitor their IT infrastructure. What is important to understand is what is being monitored and how the alerts are being actioned. There is very little value in having a monitoring system in place if alerts are not fine-tuned to weed out “white noise” or worse, alerts that are regularly ignored.

For monitoring to be effective for ACT and for our clients we felt it necessary to have a dedicated team reviewing the alerts and passing meaningful alerts on to our technical team. As such, ACT looked at many options in recent years on how best to monitor and ensure that our clients were receiving consistent, reliable monitoring. We determined that partnering with an organization that excels at monitoring would be the best option for us and our clients. ACT has been partnering with Amicus ITS for over four years to provide monitoring for our diverse client base in Bermuda (www.amicusits.co.uk). Amicus has been providing IT services since 1988 and was voted the 9th best Managed Service Provider in the World by the MSPmentor awards in 2011.

ACT and Amicus have deployed a suite of products to ensure that our customers are monitored 7×24 and that alerts are properly tuned, reviewed and escalated. The collection of monitoring tools known as iCentre is capable of monitoring devices at a very granular level, using an agent-less model (software doesn’t need to be installed on each server or device). The advanced reporting engine will generate tactical, business facing reports using data extracted from the management tools.

The monitoring service will detect unexpected systems reboots, hardware failures, operating system failure and application service failure.

Proactive On-Site Support

The third pillar of ACT’s Infrastructure Management practice is regularly scheduled on-site support. Just as remote monitoring is essential to ensure a reliable infrastructure we believe that regular on-site visits are equally as essential. At ACT we believe in consistency and therefore one regularly scheduled engineer will be assigned to each account. However, we also recognize the need for trained and “ready-to-go” backup to cover in the case of illness, emergency and vacation. As such we always train at minimum one additional resource (at no cost to our customer) to become familiar with your environment.

Reactive Support

ACT is committed to providing the best proactive support available by utilizing our monitoring and on-site support however as we know technology can be unpredictable and as such our clients may require reactive support on occasion. Utilizing our Support Management process one email or phone call is all that is necessary to initiate a ticket for immediate response.

Patching and Maintenance

To ensure a continued stable, reliable environment it is essential that regular maintenance of the IT infrastructure occurs. Part of this maintenance includes the regular review and patching of the environment.

Microsoft releases security-related updates once a month and it is important that these updates are reviewed and applied appropriately. As part of our managed service the server infrastructure is assessed on a monthly basis and recommendations on required patches are made. These patches will then be applied following the client’s change management process. In addition to Microsoft’s monthly patches in the event of high-priority security threat Microsoft will release a corresponding update as soon as possible. ACT will assess the update and will request permission to install if the threat is applicable to the environment. In addition to Microsoft patches, VMware and other third party vendors will release patches on an as required basis. These updates are generally applied twice per year unless a critical update has been identified.

Regardless of operating system in use it is essential that regular management and patch updates are applied. ACT has a well constructed patch management process which ensures that clients’ infrastructure is proactively patched following rigid RFC processes. We work with our customers to understand their outage periods and ensure that patch management is conducted in a fashion as to not disrupt business.