AITS employs Enterprise Management Services (EMS) to provide complete life cycle and configuration management of enterprise assets. Through an integrated tool suite, we provide "cradle to grave" services utilizing a suite of products for standardized, repeatable processes for Procurement, Asset Management, Configuration Management, Help Desk and Service Level Agreement (SLA). These integrated products and processes combine to provide the centralized management, tracking, and performance monitoring and reporting on a number of the processes that touch our customer. The EMS database provides the resource for continually assessing and improving customer service, in addition to enabling AITS to leverage state of the art technology and tools to support the operational and reporting aspects of a managed services contract. Through our experiences with enterprise/data center operations, we have learned how to configure the EMS to support "best-of-breed" processes, provide SLA reporting, and perform trend analysis to improve overall performance.
Asset Management employs a full-life cycle approach to asset planning, acquisition, and management, allowing us to maintain a complete history on every asset from requisition through disposal. AITS maintains records of all events associated with a specific asset, providing clients with the ability to make or support enterprise-wide decisions that positively influence customer services (e.g., proactively implementing an early equipment refresh to correct unsatisfactory outages or downtime). We use automated tools as valuable sources for enterprise development and prudent financial planning that support cost efficiencies. Asset management is central to supporting technology refresh cycles; defining maintenance and support levels by site and by customer and group; assessing the total cost of ownership (TCO), cost allocation, and accounting; making buy/lease decisions; and identifying re-market value. This information provides the basis for planning and assessment by AITS and its managed services customers and provides a means for continuous evaluation of the program's successes and opportunities.
Configuration Management (CM) is a critical process in base lining and maintaining an end-to-end view of the IT infrastructure. The CM system is designed to avoid system errors caused by unplanned/uncoordinated changes to the system baseline, provide a history of system development efforts and problems that support lessons learned, streamline future system troubleshooting, and enhance control over the project's schedule and cost. Our approach provides a proven process to control and track work while ensuring that nothing is lost or destroyed. AITS begins by collecting a comprehensive, documented snapshot of the IT infrastructure that establishes the system baseline. We then establish a Configuration Control Board (CCB) to validate and authorize changes to the baseline. We track all items that drive changes to the system (such as change requests and problem reports) and all data relevant to changes (such as what was done, who did it, when it was done, and the status) to provide project visibility and process improvement. The key to our success is the Configuration Management Plan (CMP). The CMP describes our processes for performing CM audits, providing CM reports and creating software documentation. It will also provide detailed processes for establishing and controlling the CM library, system baselines, and using and responding to problem reports and requests.
SLA Management consists of a four-phase approach: examine, measure, correct, and continually guide the SLA metrics to ensure that they meet or exceed performance work standards. AITS employs automated tools to create and maintain a database of SLA requirements. By implementing the SLAs in a collaborative fashion with the customer, AITS can institutionalize an organizational, problem-solving structure that fosters a pervasive atmosphere of continuous improvement. The entire process is repeated in a continuous iterative cycle that may generate new service requirements and changes to existing requirements, while maintaining the ultimate goal of customer satisfaction.
Requirements Management plays a key role in building a common understanding between AITS and an organization's user community. AITS uses an integrated, centralized help desk process to capture, administer, and manage all levels of service requests. Through extensive use of the help desk's categorization capability, AITS categorizes all requirements or service requests by level of effort (i.e., basis service request, task, or project) as associated with a predefined SLA service request that is actively monitored through completion. Our Requirement Management process provides a complete picture of work in progress, backlog planning and staffing, and assessments of impacts due to emerging requirements.
Customer Relations Management (CRM) enhances our ability to know and understand an organization's needs and expectations. AITS's use of an EMS suite of tools allows us to maintain a history of the customer's experiences and relate them back to specific problems or needs. For example, as AITS captures service requests, we categorize them by service type and use this to analyze trends that may indicate specific training needs or process changes.
Problem Management documents severity levels and defines escalation procedures. Severity levels define business risk and the potential impact of the problem. Our data center management team prioritizes problems, monitors problem status, and assesses the potential frequency of recurrences. Escalation procedures must be in place for all open problems based upon severity level, time of day/week, and chain of command and is based upon business rules. Agreements are developed between the support tiers for tracking, notification, and hand-off assists as a prerequisite to a successful problem management process. Critical problems that remain unsolved require management notification and reallocation of personnel or other resources. Open problems are analyzed so patterns are uncovered over time and corrective actions/changes can be implemented. A standard practice is to identify the type, frequency, number, and patterns of problems, so the help desk can set realistic service objectives and document service-level successes.
Financial Management is a core practice supported by AITS's web-based electronic task order management system that provides monthly financial reports showing period, cumulative and projected expenses, and hours for all contract activities and services. AITS can ensure that any customer's financial concern is detected and corrected well in advance.
Quality Assurance is standards-based using SEI/CMM to provide a structure approach to defining, repeating and optimizing processes throughout a system's or service's lifecycle. AITS is a firm believer in this practice for quality assurance and improved efficiency, and has made a corporate commitment to endorse it. AITS also operates in ISO 9000/9001:2000-compliant environments on a number of our Data Center contracts.