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IT Process Automation News Letter #4

 

Dear Reader,

First, I would like to thank those of you who visited us at the Microsoft Management Summit in Vegas last month. Many thanks for the great feedback you gave us on our new release of IT Process Automation pinpoint solutions, Now available for Free Evaluation Download eyeShare 4.1.
In this newsletter you’ll find useful information about IT automation case study, video tutorial, tips and best practices for managing Network Operation Center.

 

Enjoy!
Gabby Nizri, 
Ayehu CEO
Linked-In group

 

Enhancing SCOM 2012 with proactive IT automation 
Enhance SCOM2012
With System Center Operations Manager 2012 you can monitor IT systems, network and services and react to incidents and alerts or proactively manage IT tasks better and faster than ever before.However, if you got this far, why not take one step further and automate the resolution of problems too? Why not remediate IT incidents automatically, and proactively schedule IT maintenance tasks?eyeShare lets you do all this, with a smooth SCOM 2012 integration. See the video below or Read more about SCOM 2012 and eyeShare integration.

  

eyeShare SCOM 2012 integration
Watch the Video: eyeShare integration with SCOM 2012

  

 

Download Free eBook – 10 NOC Best Practices

Download our new best practices for network operation center management eBook:NOC best practices eBook

  • 5 Essential tools NOC must have
  • How to develop & maintain team knowledge and skills
  • Training new NOC members
  • Improving communication and collaboration within and outside the NOC
  • Escalating, prioritizing, and handling problems

 Download  Download eBook: 10 NOC Best Practices

 

 

Which IT processes should you automate?

When discussing IT Process Automation, one of the first questions you ask yourself is – which processes should be automated?
An InformationWeek survey found five areas that users thought were the most beneficial.

 

  • Backup and restoration
  • Disaster recovery
  • Service fulfillment
  • Incident management
  • Data movement

Researches, however, identified other ‘key win’ areas that provide more value. Read our latest blog post.

 

120 workflow templates are ready for you to test! 
automated workflow

 The eyeShare template library now has 120 templates with ‘pre-canned’ content so you can automate more tasks faster. New templates include:

  • Killing stuck processes
  • Anti-virus inventory reports
  • Cisco router tasks
  • Database table tasks
  • File and folder automation

 

Ayehu Introduces IT Process Automation Pinpoint Solutions

[wpsr_socialbts]

Palo Alto, CA – April 11, 2012 /Targetwire/ Ayehu, provider of IT process automation solutions, today launched its IT process automation pinpoint solutions – prepackaged workflows for the rapid automation of planned, repetitive IT tasks. The solutions extend Microsoft’s System Center Operations Manager (SCOM 2012) capabilities and will be demonstrated at the Microsoft Management Summit.

Ayehu’s pinpoint solutions automate a range of repetitive daily IT tasks within data centers, cloud and virtualized environments – from freeing up server disk space, through unlocking active directory accounts, performing file operations, restarting services and many more. Delivered as pre-packaged workflows, the solutions are designed for automating specific task operations across systems and can be easily tailored without any coding. IT tasks can be scheduled or triggered automatically upon system events. Additionally, execution can be controlled from mobile devices, so that automated workflows pause and branch based on remote SMS instructions.

“As implied by their name, pinpoint solutions are aimed at simplicity, and focused on automating the most common IT tasks, without requiring any scripting or implementation efforts” said Yaron Levy, Vice President of Products at Ayehu. “There is a large pool of mundane IT tasks that are shared by many professionals, regardless of industry. We realized we could automate and productize these tasks, and still offer enough options to accommodate different environments and needs”.

The new IT process automation pinpoint solutions which are a part of Ayehu eyeShare™ version 4.1, will be demonstrated at the Microsoft Management Summit 2012, taking place on April 16, 2012 at the Venetian Hotel in Les Vegas, NV.

To find out more about Ayehu eyeShare watch the demo:

About Ayehu Software
Ayehu. develops and markets eyeShare™, a lightweight, enterprise-grade IT process automation software. Deployed at major enterprises and supporting thousands of users, Ayehu eyeShare helps IT professionals automate IT tasks, free up scarce resources and improve service levels. For more information, visit www.ayehu.com

Want this cool Super Hero T-shirt?

Visit Ayehu at Booth#130 at
Mic
rosoft Management Summit 2012 in Las Vegas

Ayehu will be launching IT Process Automation Pinpoint Solutions – prepackaged workflows for the rapid automation of planned, repetitive IT tasks. These solutions extend Microsoft’s System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2012 capabilities and will be demonstrated at the Summit.

We give this awesome T-shirt for FREE!

Stop by our booth #130, to get yourself the “IT Automation Superhero” Cool T-shirt! It’s Free!

** You can also send us an e-mail to meet us at the show**

Hope to see you there!

Network Operation Center (NOC) Best Practices – Part 1: Tools

Today, Network Operation Centers (NOC’s) are under a great pressure to meet their IT organization’s demands. However, many NOCs struggle to meet these demands with insufficient tools, knowledge or skills.

In this 3 parts blog post series, we will provide Network Operation Center Best Practices and tips on how to ensure you have the right tools, knowledge and processes in place to improve and manage your NOC’s performance and response time.

This first part of our NOC best practices‘ series is dedicated to tools, which are an essential element in NOC management and a key feature for improvement.

A ticketing system

A ticketing system will enable you to keep track of all open issues, according to severity, urgency and the person assigned to handle each task. Knowing all pending issues will help you to prioritize the shift’s tasks and provide the best service to your customers.

Knowledge-base system

Keep a one centralized source for all knowledge and documentation that is accessible to your entire team. This knowledge base should be a fluid information source to be continuously updated with experiences and lessons learned for future reference and improvements.

Reporting and measurements

Create reports on a daily and monthly basis. A daily report should include all major incidents of the past 24 hours and a root cause for every resolved incident. This report is useful and essential for the shift leaders and NOC managers. It also keeps the rest of the IT department informed about the NOC activities and of major incidents. Compiling the daily reports into a monthly report will help measure the team’s progress. It will also show areas where improvements can be made or indicate any positive or negative trends in performance.

Monitoring

There are two types of monitoring processes relevant to NOC:
(1) Monitoring infrastructure and (2) User experience.

A monitoring infrastructure can consist of the servers, the network or the data center environment. User experience monitoring involves the simulation of user behavior and activities in order to replicate problems and find the most effective solutions. Implementing a service tree model that connects the monitoring infrastructure with an affected service will allow your team to alert other areas that may be affected by the problems experienced.

IT Process Automation

ImplementingIT Process Automation significantly reduces mean time to recovery (MTTR) and helps NOCs meet SLA’s by having a procedure in place to handle incident resolution and to consistently provide high quality response regardless of complexity of the process. IT Process Automation empowers a Level-one team to deal with tasks that otherwise might require a Level-two team. Some examples include password reset, disk space clean-up, reset services etc. IT Process Automation is also a major help with reducing the number of manual, routine IT tasks and free up time for more strategic projects.

Download Now! Free eBook 10 NOC best practices

The Potential of Run Book Automation

We all face three IT Process Automation imperatives that have a major impact on business profitability:

  • Deploying innovative services (which have increased system complexity)
  • Maintaining service levels and improving system uptime
  • Reducing operating costs (which have grown in parallel with the growth in IT system complexity)

Given these challenges, Run Book Automation (aka IT Process Automation) offers the opportunity to enable significant gains on all three fronts.

Why Complexity is a Good Thing Again
Over the years, we’ve been attacking the word ‘complexity’: The implication was that complexity was unnecessary, difficult to manage, and thus needlessly expensive. But today, we are achieving fantastic savings in capital expenses while increasing flexibility. Solutions such as virtualization and cloud computing, security, network management are smart and robust, yet (unavoidably) complex in their very nature.

So the battle for IT can now be targeted not necessarily at ‘reducing complexity’, but rather on ‘improving the efficiency’ of managing across the variety of complex IT domains. In other words, the goal is to achieve consistent service levels, higher quality of offerings and cost optimization.

IT Process Automation is the Key
Till now, each of the various IT systems has been optimized in and of itself… But we haven’t yet optimized the day-to-day operational activity and troubleshooting diagnostic steps that keeps these systems working together. As much as we all want to believe that our environment can become one well-greased machine that requires no human interaction, it just isn’t a reality. This is not because we haven’t figured out how to get people out of the loop. It is because in most cases, people are an integral part of that loop!

But having people in the loop doesn’t mean everything needs to be rote, manual actions. Run Book Automation has emerged on the scene specifically to meet this challenge.

A Run Book Automation Example
Let’s demonstrate with an example. It’s perhaps the simplest of examples, which you’ve been through one or two or a thousand times. (If not, then congratulations. You are the only IT manager in the world whose users know how to manage their passwords.)

    • A user forgets his/her PC workstation login password (most likely at 7am or noon rush hour, when you have no time for that)
    • He/she calls IT Support to request a password reset. (“Urgent!” of course…)
    • IT Admin goes through a handful of steps:

1. Bring up the pwd reset screen
2. Access the security protocol screen
3. Challenge the user with identity verification
4. Authorize the pwd reset
5. Guide the user in how to proceed

While password reset has become fully automated on most external websites, corporate security protocols typically do not allow for full process automation of internal password management. (And rightfully so, I might add.) So any attempt to fully automate the process is dead in the water.
But why throw out the baby with the bathwater? If an automation platform does the routine work for us, but still allows for two-way communication with the IT admin, we can turn 10 minute tasks into 30 second tasks (done on the go, from your Blackberry or iPhone)! And without adding even a drop of additional risk or corporate policy violation.

What Should a Run Book Automation Solution Provide?
The above example looks at a very simple IT task, which is very compact in comparison to most of our IT processes. But it still highlights the capabilities that a good Run Book Automation solution needs to bring to the table. It’s quite simple:

  • Event-driven visual workflow (No coding, just drag and drop and plain common sense!)
  • Rule-based engine
  • Plug-and-play integration with IT platforms
  • Bi-directional communication between the system and the people, using convenient channels (email, SMS, IVR, IM)
  • Centralized dashboard for process management in real time

I think that Glenn O’Donnell of Forrester says it best when he says “Be the automator, not the automated”. Run Book Automation recognizes that people are part of the IT process. So let’s accept this reality, and use it as a strength, via Run Book Automation.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate