Enabling a 24/7/365 global support service
For global IT support businesses that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, there is a need to provide high-quality, year-round customer support that can be relied upon unquestionably. So much rests on the technology propping up a global support service. If it is prone to failing for whatever reason, a business will not be able to deliver the 24/7/365 service to its clients and their customers. Here at Tek Experts, we’ve built an IT infrastructure that enables us to be online and supporting our clients 100% of the time.
We spoke to Tek Experts’ Chief Information Officer Richard Shaw, who revealed what’s required to create a fail-proof IT infrastructure.
“Networks and the equipment supporting them will fail at some time – it’s a fact of life,” Richard explains. “To eliminate points of failure, we utilize the power of the Tek Experts’ own cloud. It’s both easier to manage and more reliable than its physical equivalent – providing you support it accordingly.”
What Tek Experts offers
- Resilience and security
The traditional set up is to have local internet connections, with each site individually served, and a local backup for redundancy. “We use the Tek cloud for resilience and redundancy,” says Richard. “In this day and age, everybody is trying to break in and get information from you. If we were to do it the traditional way, there would be 12 different entry points (front doors for someone to keep knocking on) into the business: an internet connection for each site, along with a back-up connection. With the cloud, we only have three entry points to look after, so we can be a lot more secure (making bigger and stronger front doors).” For our clients and their customers, this means that all data is super-secure and protected from online attacks.
The Tek Experts Cloud also means that, should here be an outage at one of the points, the connection can quickly be diverted to one of the other two firewalls. This would happen seamlessly and automatically, without the users even realizing it.
The cloud is also very easy to scale up for a Follow the Sun, global support business like ours. As everything is virtualized, it’s an instantaneous process to increase infrastructure resources: processors, memory, storage and networking bandwidth.
“Historically, you’d have to buy a new server,” Richard explains, “which would mean lead times and costs to contend with. It also prevented you from being able to react quickly to increased usage. The virtual world allows a business like ours to react much quicker to demand for example a client wants to expand their level of support following the launch of a new product, we can scale up within a matter of days. Plus, with the cloud, you only pay for what you use, so you become a leaner organization.”
Cloud computing gives a business the advantage of quick deployment which is sometimes needed at the request of a client. Take the Tek Experts’ site in Colorado Springs – it went live just two months after getting the green light from the client.
“In business terms, that’s incredibly quick,” adds Richard. “The slowest thing in our ability to expand is local network providers. Ultimately, we need to connect to something and sometimes the infrastructure just isn’t there. On the cloud side of things, we are pretty much good to go straight away.”
Supporting the Tek Experts Cloud is a real-time monitoring system that alerts the central team whenever anything stops working or is reaching a critical point – right down to flagging when a toner in a printer at one of the sites is running low. There is no technical part of the global organization that isn’t monitored to ensure efficiency, capacity management or security.
When it comes to supporting its users, there are both local and central teams to ensure everything runs smoothly. “We make sure that our staff are supplied with enterprise-grade equipment, all of which is less than three years old,” Richard highlighted. Just another part of providing a high-quality 24/7/365 service. When it comes to looking after our clients and their customers our own infrastructure plays an important part in our overall offering.