Why System Monitoring Simply Isn’t Enough

Why System Monitoring Simply Isn’t EnoughThese days, organizations are spending way too much money, time and effort on monitoring their infrastructure, system, apps, etc. The fact of the matter is, simply knowing there is a problem doesn’t actually solve it! You can spend all the time in the world monitoring your systems, but if you are not able to quickly identify, analyze and resolve the problem, you’re really no better off than you were at the start of the process. Simply put, system monitoring just isn’t enough to keep IT operations running efficiently.

Consider the following facts:

  • More than 85% of outage processes are done manually and require human intervention.
  • IT staff (support and admin) are using manual procedures to diagnose, analyze, notify, escalate and resolve problems.
  • IT staff spends between 30%-50% of their time troubleshooting and fixing problems.
  • Level 2 production support spend the majority of their time on issues that could be resolved (with the right solution) by NOC personnel.

The result: an inordinate amount of time and resources being wasted on a daily basis. Can your organization afford to keep spending money on manual processes? The answer to that question should be a resounding ‘no’. So what’s the solution? Simple: IT Process Automation.

IT process automation can handle all of the manual system monitoring processes, including:

  • Detecting the problem automatically from your monitoring system
  • Troubleshooting to identify the exact issue to isolate the problem
  • Alerting the appropriate parties and escalating if needed
  • Remediating the issue at hand (either fully or semi-automated)
  • Documenting the entire process resolution for process improvements

Think about what happens in the event of a system outage. Whether it’s internal IT or a managed service provider, the focus immediately becomes about time to resolution. The longer critical systems are down, the more devastating an impact it will have on an organization. With regular monitoring, time is not on your side. Every moment you spend manually working to resolve the situation, your service levels are dropping.

IT process automation, on the other hand, takes the entire workflow and executes it in a timely and efficient way, reducing the duration of an outage by upwards of 70%.

Some IT operations think scripting can solve the problem of monitoring. They couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, scripting takes more time and wastes more resources, which defeats the purpose. It’s simply not real automation, nor can it replace real IT automation. ITPA lets you integrate all of the necessary steps into one easy to manage workflow. This saves time and, in the long run, money.

Another popular argument against IT automation as opposed to traditional monitoring is the level of control over the process. Don’t worry! With ITPA, there is still the ability to integrate human decision making, so critical points are still handled with the care and attention they require. Additionally, advanced alert notification and escalation are built in to the workflow process, ensuring a timely response and resolution, and the ability to oversee the entire process every step of the way. It’s basically monitoring but on a whole new level.

What it all boils down to is the fact that monitoring is more than just collecting stats, sending out alerts, and pinging devices to verify availability. It’s about protecting your business from costly and devastating outages, failures and inadequate customer service levels. Monitoring plays a critical role in the overall success of an organization, therefore it is not something that should be put on a back shelf and forgotten about. The best way to maximize your monitoring is to automate it, and IT Process Automation is the right tool for the job.





How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes




5 Reasons Why IT Automation is Critical for Today’s Managed Service Providers

5 Reasons Why IT Automation is Critical for Today’s Managed Service Providers

Managed service providers (MSPs) are certainly no strangers to change. In a world where tools and technology are constantly evolving, Managed Service Providers are on the front line of many of these changes, and it looks like there may be no end in sight. This is particularly true in terms of automation, or more specifically, how IT automation will impact how these talented professionals do their jobs and realize continued success.

Here are five reasons why ITPA will be a must for Managed Service Providers over the coming years:

1. Realize Your Own Savings – There’s no doubt about it, the MSP industry is becoming extremely saturated. The only way to stay ahead of the game is by keeping your own operational costs as low as possible. IT Process Automation is by far the most effective tool to accomplish this goal. So, not only will you stay on top of the changes as they occur within your industry, making you that much more valuable to your clients, but you will also do so in a way that keeps your business lean.

2. Exhibit the Value Behind the Service – Being successful as a managed service provider is all about being able to sell your services, and the best way to do this is by demonstrating the value you provide to your customers. Key decision makers must be able to see exactly why relying on your services is truly worth it. IT Process Automation can help MSPs demonstrate this value in a number of ways. First, because automation is so cost-effective, you can essentially pass along that savings to your customers, offering them better service at a lower price. IT Process Automation can also make transitioning to the cloud much easier and less complicated, something many organizations are expected to be doing over the next few years.

3. Remain Competitive – Unfortunately, as with most industries, the IT field is slowly but surely becoming commoditized. This means that larger organizations will begin to try to outpace smaller, more value-driven ones based on price alone. In order to stay afloat in this type of environment, you must find a way to offer value while also remaining competitive price-wise. IT Process Automation allows you to do both of these things, improving operational efficiency, cutting costs and providing ammunition to out-compete others in the industry.

4. Gain Efficiency, Scalability and Profitability – What happens when your bottom-line price simply can’t match or beat that of your competitors? As prices are expected to continue to be driven down by increasing commoditization, you simply must find a way to compete in other ways besides the price tag on your services. This is accomplished by becoming the most efficient and scalable option for your clients and automation is the best way to achieve this goal. Also, because automation increases the efficiency of each employee, it in turn drives your own profitability. It’s a win-win.

5. Leverage the Opportunity of the Cloud – Despite how inherently untrue it may be, organizations of every size, shape and industry are being assured on a regular basis that transitioning to the cloud is both efficient and easy. Of course, experienced Managed Service Providers know that this is far from the truth. In reality, integrating and managing multiple systems in a virtual environment is extremely complex. So, if this is what the customers are going to want, how can you effectively meet their needs without breaking the bank and exhausting all of your own resources? IT Process Automation which will take much of the complexity out of the process and allow you to leverage the value of the cloud to become your clients’ most trusted advisor.

Like it or not, there are plenty of changes coming up the pike in terms of how Managed Service Providers will be able to do their jobs most efficiently and continue to remain successful in an increasingly competitive field. IT Automation will, without a doubt, become the most valuable tool in achieving these goals.

Don’t get left behind! Start leveraging the power of automation for your organization and be prepared to face the future head on.

eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s




IT process automation for Managed Service Providers (MSP’s)- Infographic

Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) are among the biggest beneficiaries of IT process automation.  When your business involves managing thousands of servers running an equal or greater number of complex applications and accompanying databases, you need all the automation you can get just to keep up with your environment’s needs.

eyeShare for Managed Service Providers Infographic

IT process automation for Managed Service Providers

With IT process automation Managed Service Providers get ahead of the curve and not only remediate incidents automatically, but run automated preventive maintenance jobs that minimize the number of incidents occurring in the first place.  Even better, IT automation provides a competitive advantage to MSP’s who need to offer guaranteed SLA’s, but don’t want to increase the budget for additional hires.  MSP’s seeking ways to improve their service levels, optimize their resources, and increase their profits should make IT process automation a core part of their infrastructure stack.




eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s




How IT Automation is Giving IT Outsourcing a Run for its Money

IT AutomationThe subject of IT outsourcing has long been one of staunch debate over the past few decades or so. It seemed that with the increasing use of cloud computing, having IT operations managed elsewhere would become the norm rather than the exception. Yet, there’s one thing that is now giving outsourcing a run for its money and making the need for it nearly obsolete. That thing is IT automation, and here’s why it’s tipped the world of IT outsourcing on its side.

While the concept of outsourcing is by no means going away anytime soon, the need for it – at least in terms of the IT industry – seems to be shrinking. The reason is simple, really. IT automation has provided a solution to each of the main reasons organizations turned to outsourcing in the first place.

Cost – For small to medium sized businesses, the costs associated with managing IT operations in-house were simply too high to justify. Instead, they turned to outside sources to provide these services, reducing expenditure. Automation makes managing IT operations internally much more affordable, so there’s really no need to rely on a third party provider.

Scalability – Another common reason businesses choose to outsource is the ability of these services to evolve along with the changing needs and demands of the business – something managing IT in-house couldn’t easily accomplish in years past. With automation, however, businesses can scale up or down with ease.

Resources – Finally, there is the topic of logistics. Housing IT internally once meant the need for bulky and complex equipment, something that many SMBs simply could not accommodate. Automation, combined with cloud technology, eliminates this need, streamlining IT and making it simple to manage in an office of any size.

Essentially, IT automation is enabling enterprises of any size to do more with less. No longer is it necessary to employ a huge group of professionals to manage IT operations. Rather, the day to day IT tasks needed to keep the business running smoothly can be handled by just a handful of people. Now, what once made sense both financially and logistically – outsourcing –  is becoming more of a hassle than it’s worth.

As we’ve pointed out in previous articles, there are many benefits to keeping IT operations in-house. These advantages include, but are not limited to:

  • Increased control over procedures and processes
  • Enhanced security due to limiting access to only internal employees
  • Improved flexibility and customization (unique to each organization’s specific needs)
  • Time savings – no more relying on a third party
  • More cost-effective option than outsourcing to an MSP

For those businesses that choose to continue outsourcing their IT needs, automation will likely still play a significant role, as IT service providers leverage automation to deliver timely, precise and efficient results to their clients. So, either way IT process automation will impact your business in some way, even if that impact is indirect.

In any event, as IT automation continues to become a household name in 2014 and beyond, it’s becoming more and more evident that the decision to outsource IT operations will be an increasingly complicated one. Overall, the trends indicate that IT process automation will ultimately win the battle and provide businesses of all shapes, sizes and industries the ability to run efficient, effective internal IT departments.

Want to learn more about how you can leverage IT automation for your own organization?





eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s




Run Your Internal IT Just Like a Managed Service Provider

Run Your Internal IT Just Like a Managed Service ProviderFor decades, businesses have been turning to Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) to handle their day to day IT needs. This outsourcing was something that many smaller or mid-sized enterprises were forced to do, since housing IT internally wasn’t always an option. The good news is technological advances have begun to make it possible for these companies to actually manage IT operations in-house with the same efficiency and service levels as an MSP.

We recently wrote about how tools like IT process automation (ITPA) can be leveraged by MSPs to save time and reduce costs. This same concept can be applied to internal IT departments as well. For small to mid-sized businesses that previously relied on external MSPs to essentially serve as their IT office, the reason was typically due to cost. It was simply more cost-effective to outsource the tech duties rather than to manage them in-house. But with the ability to accurately measure the value of internal IT, more and more small to medium sized businesses are recognizing the benefits of keeping things in-house.

The answer to the age-old question of how an internal IT group can match the efficiency of a managed service provider lies in the concept of IT automation. When you can begin to automate not only individual repetitive tasks, but entire workflows, suddenly the idea of running a busy IT operation doesn’t seem as overwhelming. You no longer face the need to hire more staff than you can afford, and those staff members that you do employee will have the ability to focus on critical things that require a human touch, such as analyzing and developing business strategies for future success.

Benefits of Using IT Process Automation to Keep IT In-House

While using Managed Service Providers is certainly not a bad option, there are a number of specific benefits that a business can realize by keeping IT in-house. These benefits include:

  • More Control – Outsourcing always requires giving up a certain amount of control. Keeping IT operations internal gives the business full control over all processes and procedures.
  • Flexibility – A quality IT process automation product provides flexibility and customization to each business’s unique pain points. That means that your internal IT can be designed specifically for the needs of your organization, unlike an MSP which can only adapt to a certain point.
  • Higher Level of Security – It goes without saying that internal versus outsourced departments always provide a more secure atmosphere. IT operations for industries that deal with more sensitive information, such as the financial sector, benefit greatly from keeping all transactions in-house.
  • Saves Time – Internal IT operations eliminate the need to contact and rely on a third party for any support requests, which can save time. The beauty of ITPA is that it is designed to make IT operations more efficient, so it is inherently a time saver. Couple this with the fact that ITPA lets computers do the heavy lifting, freeing up personnel to be available if and when an issue arises, and you’ve got a highly effective and efficient department with exceptional service levels.
  • Saves Money – Keeping IT internal saves money over time, since you will no longer need to incur the costs of outsourcing to an MSP.

Think your business is too small or lacks the resources to manage IT operations internally?  Think outsourcing to an Managed Service Provider is your only option?

Think again.With technological advances, namely the rise of IT process automation, now organizations of any size have the ability to achieve the same operational efficiency with their in-house IT as they would with an Managed Service Provider.

eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s




Ayehu is going to ‪Las Vegas for ‎knowledge15! Stop by booth #731 and meet us in person!

Meet ayehu team at KNOW15Will you be at ServiceNow’s Knowledge15 conference in Las Vegas this year?  It takes place April 19-24 at the Mandalay Bay resort, and Ayehu will be there as an exhibitor (booth #731) demonstrating our latest upcoming release of eyeShare™!  We’ll be revealing some innovative new functionality, so if you get the chance, please stop by booth #731 to check it out, particularly if ServiceNow is on your radar.

Many of Ayehu’s clients have deployed ServiceNow or are thinking about it, because ServiceNow is rapidly becoming the standard for cloud services that transform enterprise service management.  Since eyeShare™ integrates with ServiceNow (Calgary, Eureka, & Dublin versions), we are able to provide IT departments a closed loop process between their Service Desk application and network monitoring systems such as Solarwinds, Nagios, and Splunk.

Once a closed loop process is in place, automating the reporting, resolution, and closure of incidents within the ServiceNow ticketing system becomes a snap.

eyeShare™’s integration with ServiceNow ITSM lets you:

  • Automatically open, update, close tickets and query tables in ServiceNow
  • Leverage two-way SMS and email for event notifications and escalations
  • Accelerate the reporting, escalation, and resolution of incidents
  • Eliminate manual work and human errors
  • Ensure fully documented end-to-end processes
  • Reduce the amount of “noise” at the service desk
  • Enforce problem and change management procedures such as ticket status changes and the additions of CMDB entries
  • Easily tailor and customize integration with ServiceNow to your needs.

Hopefully we’ll see you at Knowledge15 so you can see for yourself how easily this functionality can be deployed on your own instance of ServiceNow.  Viva Las Vegas!

Meet ayehu team at KNOW15

QA Engineer required to join Ayehu – Tel Aviv

work

As a Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer, you will work with a team of developers and product manager to maintain a high level of quality in Ayehu eyeShare product. The fast growing product needs a high-quality QA team and testing, testing, testing!

Responsibilities

  • Ensure that eyeShare product working perfectly in high-quality
  • Write and execute test plans, file bugs, and communicate with the team about issues
  • Expand our end-to-end manual tests and create automated test coverage
  • Work with Engineering, End Users Support, and Product Management teams

Requirements

  • At least 3-4 years of experience in quality assurance or equivalent
  • Programming experience, especially in a professional setting, a plus
  • General facility with technology, able to learn new technologies quickly
  • Excellent communication skills, Highly detail-oriented, Smart and gets things done
  • Commitment to quality and a positive, collaborative attitude and approach to testing
  • Self-motivated, Comfortable working in a fast-paced, constantly changing atmosphere
  • Bachelor’s degree in a technical field preferred

What makes a good QA Engineer

To test efficiently a product, the QA engineer must know it well enough. This sounds obvious must unfortunately, this is often under-estimated. Knowing well the product includes also knowing how end-users expect it to work. Again this may sound obvious but remember that the biggest part in testing is black-box testing. The QA engineer must have a “customer-focus” vision. But a good QA engineer must also know how the product is designed because the more you know the product, the better you’re able to test it. However, the QA engineer will have to analyse the design only after his black-box testplan is completed. Indeed, knowing the design can widely influence the test strategy. It is better to first write the test plan with a high-level vision, then getting more and more information to refine the testing. Source: www.xqual.com

Location: Tel Aviv
Start Date: April 2015
More information: email us at hr@ayehu.com

How IT Process Automation Helps Managed Service Providers Reduce Costs

managed services

Across the globe, managed service providers face the similar challenge of finding ways to maximize their output and organize workflow in a way that reduces costs and increases profitability. Surprisingly, the IT process is still one of the least automated segments of business today. By automating IT tasks and processes, managed service providers can overcome the challenges of time management and organization, and achieve their goals of reducing cost. Here’s how.

 What is IT Process Automation (ITPA)?

IT Process Automation (ITPA), also sometimes referred to as Runbook Automation, is the process of automating a number of IT-related tasks in an effort to address a business situation or operational requirement. The purpose of IT process automation is to reduce labor-intensive manual tasks, streamline workflow, accelerate processes, eliminate costly delays and reduce human error.

IT Process Automation is the ideal solution for managed service providers who face the challenge of managing incidents remotely across multiple sites and via various channels. MSP’s are tasked with finding a way to quickly identify, analyze and resolve any number of incidents as they arise in as timely a manner as possible to meet service levels and maintain profitability. Of course, the most effective way to do this is by reducing costs.

 How does IT Process Automation Reduce Costs?

Saves Operations Time:  IT process automation allows managed service providers to maximize their productivity. Automating common labor-intensive, manual processes reduces waste of both time and resources. And as any good business person knows, time is money. IT professionals are free to focus on other, more critical issues, which is a much better allocation of resources.

Optimize Resources: The remote nature of incident management is inherently demanding. The challenge is developing and implementing a process workflow that optimizes all available resources in the most efficient way possible. ITPA allows you to centrally manage, automate, and support a large number of remote data centers from one single network operation center (NOC).

Reduces Risk of Error: Communication plays a pivotal role in successfully meeting service level agreements. Not only does it improve turnaround time, but without it you are faced with the possibility of costly human errors, which can undermine the profitability of your organization. IT process automation leverages bi-directional communication steps to remotely control the advancement or execution of any step within a particular process, such as re-starting a server. Remote communication can be performed via SMS, IM, email, or phone.

Improves System Recovery Time: Any business owner knows that following an IT critical incident, the sooner you can get your critical systems back up and running, the better. Implementing process automation procedures improves this recovery time. Less downtime means improved service levels for the provider and lower risk of penalties and loss for the client.

 Other Benefits of ITPA

Control: The good news is automating tasks doesn’t mean giving up control. In fact, with the right ITPA, management can remain fully in control over IT task automation by embedding human decision points within the workflow process. When the process reaches a critical decision point at which human judgment is required, the process owner can immediately be contacted via SMS, email, IM or phone, presented with the available information and allowed to make a decision prior to the process continuing.

Flexibility: One of the nicest features of a quality IT process automation product is that it is inherently flexible and customizable to each user. managed service providers have the option of using already designed automation workflows to automate their most common IT functions, and to customize others to address specific unique pain points of their particular organization. The result is a tailor-made solution that will help streamline internal workflow processes, thereby significantly improving the service provided to the end user.

The managed service industry is one that is riddled with time consuming manual tasks. If not addressed, these manual tasks can have a negative impact on productivity, which can decrease service levels and cost a business profits as a result.

By automating these tasks, managed service providers have the ability to lower costs and improve performance, bettering their chances of success both now and in the future.

eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s