Shield IT Solutions: Managed Service Case Study

We were approached by South West Regional Development Agency in mid-2009 whose previous managed service provider had ceased trading, leaving them with no support for their network and infrastructure. As they did not have the in-house capability to manage the network, they urgently required a new service provider capable of picking up the support where it had been left off, including several projects which were only part-way to completion.

The requirements of this contract included management of the following:

  • 24/ 7 support of their LAN/WAN and firewall infrastructure
  • 3rd party supplier management
  • Capacity planning
  • A controller based wireless network
  • Proxy servers
  • Remote Access appliances
  • End point protection solution
  • Network monitoring and alerting
  • Intrusion Prevention Systems

Shield IT Solutions quickly agreed the scope of managed service contract which covered all of the above support requirements. We assessed the status of the outstanding projects, agreed a number of additional projects to be delivered during the first year, and incorporated these into a new contract.

With the contract in place,we reviewed the existing maintenance contracts and arranged for any outstanding tasks, including proxy server replacement and upgrades to both the remote access and end point protection solutions, to be prioritised and completed. All remaining contracts would be renewed throughout the year as required, anda schedule of suppliers and maintenance agreements was then provided to the customer for review.

In addition to the agreed project work, Shield IT Solutions also delivered a number of extra projects throughout the first year.

Additional Services Provided under Managed Services Contract

As part of the managed services contract, Shield IT Solutions took responsibility for the day-to-day management of the network and security infrastructure for the South West Regional Development Agency. This service was provided remotely through the customer's existing remote access solution and supplemented by a dedicated remote management systemat each site.

The customer already made use of a helpdesk call management service for the rest of their IT team, so we were integrated into that system to allow for calls to be easily passed between teams and to facilitate centralised reporting. This was supplemented via automated alerting from the Network Management platforms, which delivered urgent messagesvia SMS. As a number of the client’s sites lacked permanent IT resources, console servers were deployed to all sites to allow direct remote access to the serial ports of network equipment, in order to help reduce the impact of any problem and allow for quick identification of hardware issues. Where a problem warranted an on-site engineer, Shield IT Solutions were able to provide an engineer to site within the agreed SLA.

This managed service also covered software upgrades in accordance with existing policies. Additional documents were produced for services where documentation was missing, and existing documents were updated as required.

Managed Services from Established IT Solution Provider

As a further part of the contract, Shield IT Solutions also made various recommendations for service improvements, which included the decommissioning of out-of-support hardware; network consolidation; and enhancements to improve infrastructure manageability, business continuity, and performance.

Following its first year, the service was deemed a success for both parties and the contract was subsequently renewed with only minor alterations being required. With improvements made to the customer’s service, helpdesk call levels concerning network incidents fell dramatically.

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