Strategic Business Services

Technology & Projects

Strategic Business Services, Remote Access, Architecture, WAN Acceleration)

Our approach is to gain an understanding of the holistic needs of a business, determine strategic direction and objectives, and identify technology initiatives that will assist in achieving set goals as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Our team typically review the business process, analyse performance and cost of any existing systems and determine whether efficiencies can be introduced to reduce costs.

An effective way to assess cost is to measure the return on investment (ROI). Keeping score is part of human nature as we are always comparing ourselves or our performance to others, no matter what we are doing. Comparing our current systems with others is no different.

However, determining the true ROI requires an understanding of technology, where value is created or often destroyed. Improving ROI requires a complete understanding of available technology and how to effectively integrate efficiencies into existing systems. Ultimately, our services will: –

  • Improve performance and efficiency

  • Reduce waste

  • Create effective solutions

  • Complete projects on time

  • Document the right requirements

Services Available

  1. IT Cost Analysis & Consolidation

  2. Network Assessment, Design & Implementation

  3. Hardware & Software Audit

  4. Asset Management

  5. Security Audit

  6. Strategic Advice & Consulting

  7. Project Management

  8. Licensing Management Services

1.    IT Cost Analysis & Consolidation

Simplification of the environment is one of our key objectives, and typically we do that by standardising on less different types of resources. We often achieve positive results by considering virtualisation, which allows us to better share the same assets between multiple resources. Reducing the amount of assets required, and delivering better results, is a simplification that can provide a significant cost reduction.

We analyse current system processes and existing technology to determine if they can be simplified, streamlined, and better organised. We perform a technology analysis and consolidation exercise, introducing efficiencies such as standardisation and or virtualisation of infrastructure to provide better value for our clients.

Fewer clients are concerned about whether technology can assist and we typically look for a functional level consolidation, not just around the technology, but around functions required by the business. To gain optimum results it is important to use this as the central element, with the technology supporting the processes, and not the other way around.

Many factors can drive the need for consolidation; however we use a simple analysis comprising four primary elements:

  1. Cost is an obvious one. Cost saving should centre on cost avoidance.
  2. Quality of service. Will this improve quality of the services delivered to the business?
  3. Efficiencies. Are we able to function faster? Turn around business requests, deploy processes, applications, and act on changes quicker.
  4. Have we reduced the clients risk position? Whether against security, or intrusion of compliancy systems, or continuous operation and disaster recoverability. Never underestimate the cost of potential liability.

A successful consolidation will provide cutting costs and the ability to do more with less.  Introducing technologies like virtualisation, automation, and optimised managed services provide significant enablers for consolidation.

2.    Network Assessment, Design & Implementation

Our experienced team can assess most networking environments, custom design effective solutions and professionally implement these as required.

Business growth can cause havoc with your network infrastructure. Finding a technology partner who understands the client’s business goals and existing network infrastructure is the first step to building a sound technology plan. With this information and a commanding knowledge of Information technology systems and strategies, we plan, build and maintain IT networks from the simplest administrative system to the most complex computing platform.

  • The Ultimate Team assesses a company’s infrastructure to get a network baseline. We use this research to pinpoint trouble spots and identify opportunities for improvement.
  • We evaluate, review and report on all relative aspects of the network infrastructure including: Network topology, Internet Access, Firewalls, Routers, Switches, Desktops, Laptops, Servers, Printers, Remote Access, Messaging Platform, PDA’s, Removable Devices, Backup, Security, Power, Computer Room, etc.
  • Our methodology:
    • Comprehensive and unobtrusive data gathering methodology
    • Expert and collaborative design and build process
    • Industry specific and scalable solutions
  • We value client input during the design process. This process, while often highly technical, ultimately must serve the day to day operational needs and financial budget of our customers.
  • From internetworked solutions to secure remote access, our skilled team assess current and future requirements and design and implement technical solutions that are often unique to each business.
  • We support our clients with 24/7 remote management and monitoring of all network devices. This service extends to monitoring firewalls, routers, switches, servers and desktops and proactive and remedial support for all network issues.

3.    Hardware & Software Audit

 

Virtual Administrator System Inventory and Audits

Visibility is the key to solving and often preventing network faults. We offer a complete and comprehensive hardware and software inventory across the network providing detailed information on servers, workstations, mobile computers, software and other network devices. This is particularly useful where the network expands beyond the physical office walls to multiple office and remote locations.

We automate regular audits ensuring inventory lists are up-to-date and accurate whenever required.

Hardware and Software Inventory Reports include:

  • Workstations, Notebooks, Servers all are location independent
  • LAN, WAN, Mobile and Remote Users behind NAT and Firewalls
  • All hardware – CPUs, PCI cards, memory and drives with user notes
  • All installed software – Licenses, version numbers, path and description
  • System information from DMI and SMBIOS including:
    • PC make, model, serial number, mother board type
    • Over 40 other detailed configuration items
  • OS information, version number and service pack
  • Inventory of internal and external network links
  • Current network settings including:
    • Local, WAN and gateway IP addresses
    • DNS, WINS, DHCP, and MAC address
    • CPU, RAM and Disk Volume details
    • Printers, local and network

4.    Asset Management

Successful organisations accept investment in Information Communication and Technology (ICT) as a crucial part of increasing operational efficiencies. However without proper asset tracking and diligent ongoing management of equipment as companies grow, valuable assets are easily “lost”.

This hidden cost typically results in budgetary inaccuracies and shortfalls as missing equipment can no longer be depreciated, is prematurely written-off and needs to be completely replaced instead of potentially providing cost effective upgrades.

Our ongoing documentation and detailed reports provides greater visibility of all ICT assets, assisting clients in better management of their technology and effectively provides a tangible greater return on investment.

5.    Security Audit

Our experienced team of security consultants examine network infrastructure and prepare a detailed report on your security risk. A comprehensive security audit provides true visibility on the state of the infrastructure and highlights potential areas of concern along with any recommendations that will reduce any current threat or risk.

Typical areas of concern addressed include:

  •  Physical Security
  • Network Infrastructure Security
  • Remote Access Security
  • Access protocols, methods and Services
  • Application Access
  • Desktop Security
  • File & Data Storage
  • Authentication methods and password strength
  • Network System Administration

This service is only available to business clients.

6.    Strategic Advice & Consulting

We specialise in assisting small, medium and corporate businesses get the most out of their IT systems.

Our team of professionals will eliminate the burden of employing full time IT employees while obtaining the best advice and expertise in today’s technology market. Some of our clients outsource a small portion or all of their IT support to us, but they all benefit from:

  • Business Grade IT Support
  • Guaranteed Response Times
  • Expert Technology Advice from an experienced team
  • Centralised Network documentation
  • Friendly Customer Service
  • Professional Ticketed Support System

 

How do you know if your company is ready to outsource?

Please consider the following factors when evaluating the need to outsource:

  • It costs considerably less to have IT functions outsourced than to have one or more full time employee.
  • IT is a complex function that wastes valuable time of less-experienced  IT staff within small to medium businesses
  • The skills required to isolate and rectify issues are so specialised that it is almost impossible to train (and keep) one or two employees to completely cover typical needs.
  • Internal “IT staff” are not regularly trained and fall behind in technological advances making it difficult to advise on or support growing needs
  • Many businesses end up wasting large sums of money on consultancy advice to supplement the skill shortages of their internal IT employees.
  • Companies core business functions suffer due to unreliable and/or underperforming IT systems

To learn more about our range of quality services contact us on 1300 858 468 or simply complete the Ultimate Advice request form below.

This service is only available to business clients.

7.    Project Management

We can help you plan and implement your IT projects

Every successful business needs proper management and regular maintenance to increase productivity, nurture clients and cater for growth as the need arises. Even with diligent preventative maintenance, remote desktop support and responsive onsite repair, periodic IT projects are required.

Successful IT projects require a delicate balance between business justification and technical expertise. A technology capital expenditure must align with the requirements and goals of your business plan.

  • Your business must continue to operate as seamlessly as possible during an IT project

We built our project development process to identify specific business needs and manage your projects to realize tangible benefits. Our methodology allows us to tailor each project to the unique business drivers, required timeline and budget of each client.

Understanding the complexity and potential impact of IT projects on business operations, we have designed our project methodology to minimise impact on daily operations while ensuring that the project will be a success. We have built our process to provide the necessary levels of organisation, planning, attention to detail and overall level of expertise than most service visits.

Project Process Steps include:

Comprehensive needs analysis and network assessment
Scope of work definition with scalable solution options
Project plan build and customer end user communication
Active project management
Project verification
Project close documentation report

Successful Projects:

The upgrade or introduction of new servers
The upgrade or introduction of a new set of devices (i.e.: 5 or more)
Implementation of new company wide resources (i.e.: Database or messaging systems)
Complete office relocations
New office space IT network design and fit-out
Implementation of Off-site Disaster Recovery or Data Replication/High-Availability scenario
Spam blocking solutions
E-Fax solutions
E-mail access and management solution

Complete Projects on time – Project delays are typically more costly than projected:

  • Project costs – For every day of delay, the project team continues to incur costs and expenses. Considering the larger part of development teams are often outsourced at premium rates, the costs quickly escalate especially where contracts are on a time and materials (T&M) basis. Fixed price contracts with external parties will limit this risk. With internal resources, unless time spent by resources is being tracked against the project, the costs of delays are not as visible; even so productivity and opportunity costs are near impossible to measure.
  • Opportunity costs – opportunity costs come in many flavours – lost revenue and unrealised expense reductions. Some projects are specifically undertaken with the purpose of driving new or additional revenues to the bottom line. When projects are delayed by any period (a day, week, month, year) the company foregoes this new revenue stream for this period. The purpose of other projects is to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. For each period of delay, the realisation of anticipated expense reductions is further delayed for at least that same period and often more as they may miss an opportunity or sales cycle. Again, it is near impossible to accurately determine the loss and results in misleading ROI calculations.

Improve Project efficiency by reducing rework and by shortening project length.

Rework is a common industry headache and it has become so common at many organisations that it is often built into project budgets and time lines. It generally refers to extra work needed in a project to fix errors due to incomplete or missing requirements and can impact the entire software development process from definition to coding and testing. The need for rework can be reduced by ensuring that the requirements gathering and definition processes are thorough and by ensuring that the business and technical members of a project are involved in these processes from an early stage.

Shortening project length presents two potential benefits. For every month that a project can be shortened, project resource costs can be diverted to other projects. This can lead to savings on the current project and lead to earlier start times of future projects (thus increasing revenue potential).

In summary, our team assess the overall business and information needs of an organisation; they co-ordinate the design of new IT solutions to improve business efficiency and productivity.
We do this by:

  • Evaluating business needs, and contribute to the design and development of a business solution
  • working closely with developers and clients to ensure technical compatibility and end user satisfaction
  • ensuring timelines and budgets are met, and oversee the implementation of a new system
  • writing proper user manuals
  • providing or co-ordinating training to clients and users of any new system

8.    Licensing Management Services

Our License Management Services assist clients in understanding and management of software and service licensing policies and best business practices.
In today’s ever changing and evolving IT and regulatory climates, software asset management and licensing strategies have become a focus for many organizations. Developing adequate processes for managing software licenses acquired and deployed is an important part of sound software asset management practices.
Furthermore, changes to corporate structures (such as following a merger or acquisition), business functions, and infrastructure technologies will often significantly impact software licensing structures and contractual agreements.
Software is both a valuable asset and a significant investment. Failure to effectively manage software assets can lead to significant risk exposure, including:
•    Financial Risk: lack of budget control and planning, including unbudgeted compliance liabilities and/or overspending.
•    Operational Risk: lack of control over software asset allocation and availability.
•    Legal Risk: breach of software license agreements and corporate governance legislation.
Deliverables of these services include:
•    Providing assessment of current and future licensing needs
•    Advice on how internal controls comply with common practices
•    Validation of roles and responsibilities
•    Reconciliation of licenses with deployment
•    Education of licensing policies and business practices
•    Advice on suitability of licensing structures in meeting and optimising the licensing of Client business and system environments
By engaging our services we work together to:
•    Obtain a detailed understanding of your Network environment and investment
•    Implement license management best practices
•    Identify spare capacity and optimize the use of your investment
•    Quantify and report on the financial risk of non-compliance
•    Ensure informed decision-making regarding future IT developments
•    Provide for accurate budgeting and reporting

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