Managed Desktop Services
AITS is an experienced provider of managed services to the public sector. For customers such as Department of Transportation we have implemented the full range of managed services from the desktop to the infrastructure in complex, distributed environments.
At the heart of our managed services practice is a proactive, integrated management approach that has the following objectives: reduce operating costs and downtime, enhance performance, and create opportunities for increased service delivery. Our experience has consistently demonstrated that process-driven services coupled with well defined responsibilities and experience that are actively monitored through service performance measurements, complemented by "front-line" execution and feedback, are the critical success factors (CSFs) for managed services. Our knowledge and experience in planning and implementing managed services has allowed us to formulate a Life Cycle Support for Managed Services methodology, that incorporates best practices for Managed Desktop Services.
Life Cycle Support for Managed Services - AITS's fundamental approach to supporting managed services is based on the Gartner Group's model for managed services. Central to this model is the need to form a successful partnership with the customer during the "as-is" assessment of the infrastructure. By baselining the existing IT architecture that includes inventorying a customer's IT assets, we have the basis to implement a structured methodology for managed services that is characterized by repeatability and standard processes in the life cycle service delivery. This approach provides the framework for migration to a service delivery model that comprehensively addresses the four phases for managed services life cycle.
Planning and Definition - Establishment of the program plan that defines specific hardware and software standards, technology upgrades and refreshment deployments and strategies. Critical network topology designs and transition service activities are determined in this phase. The current IT infrastructure is baselined and stored in a Knowledge Management System.
Transition - The activities associated with the migration from the customer's current, "as-is" state to its "managed" state. Key process elements include asset acquisition, preparation and insertion, infrastructure upgrades, customer application integration, and acceptance testing. At the beginning of this phase and prior to any procurement, we normally deploy a transition team to provide a focused effort on those elements that are critical to meeting the client's service goals. Procurement is measured by key metrics throughout and supported by a proven suite of integrated software including an automated procurement system. Automated asset tracking that begins as asset-identifying data is entered into an Enterprise Asset Management Database (EAMD) - an essential tool for desktop managed services.
On-going Support - The activities associated with sustaining client operations. These activities include system administration and network management; asset management; centralized, Customer Relationship Managed (CRM)-based help desk; and engineering support and training. Our objective is to implement enterprise system management using an integrated set of tool suites. For technology insertions and refresh, we use a structured approach that begins with formal planning based on transition team scripting, that emphasizes minimal disruptions to our client's worksite, and ends with a final quality check. Importantly, our help desk, structured to meet ISO 9001 requirements, is viewed in operations as the "hub" a virtual solution center wherein the help desk is the entry point and closure point for all end user assistance and is integrated with system administration and network management support. This integration of technologies facilitates the sharing and analyzing of data throughout all customer support requirements - a key strategy in advancing improved customer relationships and administration.
Project Completion - While we expect our customer engagements to be long term, there may be customer organizational or financial reasons to terminate a task. The transition from AITS support to other alternatives is as rigorously planned and executed as the "transition in". AITS also tracks the asset's fair market value and can provide contract "buy-out" information from our EAMD.
Best Practices for Managed Desktop Services - AITS employs industry best practices for the Managed Services Model as a solid foundation for enterprise management of the IT infrastructure. An Enterprise Management System (EMS) is employed 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, change 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 of 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. AITS makes optimum use of its EMS processes and tools to achieve enterprise management of an organization's IT assets. By using an integrated approach, AITS maximizes the efficiencies of the program while meeting the day-to-day operational demands. Through our experiences with other enterprise/data center operations as well as Managed Services programs, 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.
Migration Plan to Managed Services requires baselining the "as-is" environment as a critical first step in the migration to managed services. To fully record and characterize the IT infrastructure, we review and analyze available documentation, interview current staff and document our findings. Automated tools are used to collect, analyze, and validate information about the environment using advanced network management products for the "auto discovery" of the IT infrastructure (desktop, servers, and network). Our processes and automated data tools are designed to collect data for status review, planning, and decision-making. These data are available throughout all phases of the Managed Services process. An automated data repository is establish to estimate the resources that will be required for purchasing, installing, and supporting systems. AITS uses an asset management tool to support technology refresh cycles; define maintenance and support levels by site and by user and group; assess the TCO, cost allocation, and accounting; make buy/lease decisions; and identify re-market value among others. Information gathered to support a TCO analysis includes burdened labor costs for the administration, preparation, installation, maintenance and operation of the asset infrastructure, and the number of hours spent on various asset management and support tasks throughout the organization. This information provides the basis for planning and assessment and provides continuous evaluation of the program's successes and opportunities.