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"Since 1986 CommNet International has provided Technology Solutions to businesses throughout the Tri-State Area. CommNet’s expertise to help your business is focused in 4 areas:
Project Services, Managed Services, Computer products at competitive prices, Management of distributed computers used by Sales and Field Service forces
Our mission is to deliver superior innovative solutions, and more importantly, the best service and support in the industry. As an ISO certified organization, we have developed critical methods and procedures geared toward maintaining, securing, and enhancing your organization’s largest investments.
Source : CommNet International
In-house vs. Managed Services: 4 Key Questions You Need to Ask
Managed Services is also known as :
Managed IT Services,
IT Managed Services,
Selling Managed Services,
Managed Hosting Service,
Managed Services Software,
What is Managed Service Provide,
Managed Services Portfolio,
Managed Hosting Managed Services,
Managed Services Requirements,
Managed Services Suite,
Align Managed Services,
Managed Service Providers,
Managed Services Engine,
Managed Services Model,
Insight Managed Services,
Strategies for Web Hosting,
Strategies for Web Hosting and Managed Services,
Managed Services Platform,
Comprehensive Service Capabilities,
Managed Services Allows,
Complete End to End Services,
Managed Services Support,
Fully Managed Services,
Term Managed Services,
Fully Managed Services Maintenance.
Deliver Business Value with Software Change Management: Comparison of
In-House vs. Managed Services
evaluate software change management?
Software Change Management is key to managing risks, controlling costs,
and improving productivity.
Installing software and patch updates
can be frustrating and time-consuming for IT staff and end-users. Yet, it's
critical to update computers regularly to keep applications and security
filters current. A solid software change management strategy is needed to
manage risks, costs and productivity.
Mobil computing threatens security
This need increases exponentially if your users are mobile and geographically
dispersed. Computers outside the corporate firewall are especially vulnerable
to attack. The availability of open, wireless connections exposes
notebooks to viruses and malware. To protect your company's network, special
approaches like audit trails and exception management are required.
Comparing in-house and managed services
When developing your software change
management strategy, an important step is deciding who will perform the
- If you already
employ IT staff, should you purchase a software "tool" and continue
increasing the change management responsibilities of your IT staff?
should you outsource this function to a Managed Service Provider (MSP)
specializing in software change management? If so, which MSP will deliver the
best service at a reasonable cost, while minimizing your risk?
This white paper examines these questions to help
you define the best software change management strategy for your
organization. What's more, it shows you how to leverage this strategy to
deliver business value to your company.
How do you choose the best strategy?
Clearly there are significant differences between the two approaches to
supporting software change management. In the "software tool" paradigm, your
IT organization takes complete responsibility for managing the software
change management process. In contrast, a managed services solution transfers
much of the effort and accountability to the MSP.
Answering four key
To decide what's best for your organization, consider how each
approach will impact the business value your IT organization delivers to your
company. This can be easily determined by answering four key questions:
- How does your strategy integrate with your IT organization's core
- Does your strategy increase or reduce your company's risk?
- How well does your strategy support your company's mobile workforce?
much does it cost to fully implement your strategy?
examine each of these business value questions in more detail.
your strategy integrate with your IT organization's core competencies?
The in-house approach places a heavy burden
upon your IT staff. They will have to learn to implement,
maintain, monitor and use the software distribution tool.
As an IT organization, your core competency is what you do best it creates
value by servicing your customers and generating profit for your company.
Examples range from mining a customer purchasing database, to managing your
supply chain, to making an eCommerce site easy to use.
approach to software distribution
When you implement the "tool" strategy for
software change management, you place a heavy burden on your IT staff. They
will have to learn to implement, maintain and monitor this tool..&8230; and
then use it to successfully execute your software change management strategy
on an ongoing basis.
you want your IT staff to focus on strategic efforts to build your business or
day-to-day tactical issues? This graphic shows the numerous tasks and
responsibilities associated with the in-house software tool strategy, and who
will perform them in this scenario. Assuming these responsibilities will take
your IT staff away from their core competencies on a regular basis.
|Tool Vendor Responsibilities
||In-House IT Tasks & Responsibilities
Management, both start-up and ongoing
- Train staff on use of tools (also train
- Provide Internet bandwidth
- Provide Servers, Database, and other
- Architect the solution, including security
- Develop and document
Processes & Procedures
- Conduct pilot roll-out and implementation
agents to client computers
- Develop and test scripts to deploy software
- Test software for compatibility with environment
- Research & resolve
interdependencies & conflicts
- Communicate with users about updates
- Monitor and report progress
- Resolve exceptions
- Monitor PC
Assets to ensure compliance
MSP approach to
The MSP approach empowers your IT staff to focus
on core competencies.
In contrast, the MSP's core competency is software
change management. It's their job to seamlessly ensure that your mobile
employees always have their computers available and information secure&8230;
thereby empowering them to deliver business value to your company.
software tools are used in both the MSP and in-house approaches. The big
difference is that the MSP assumes responsibility for most of the day-to-day
work involved in implementing your software distribution strategy. This frees
your IT staff to focus their time and attention on your IT organization's
This graphic shows the responsibilities for Software Change Management when
an MSP is involved, and who will perform the day-to-day work.
|MSP Tasks & Responsibilities
||In-House IT Tasks
- Project Management for both startup
and ongoing operations
- Provide the software tools
- Provide & Host Servers,
Database, and other software
- Provide Internet bandwidth
Solution including Security
- Conduct pilot & implementation
- Deploy agents
to all client computers
- Develop & Test deployment scripts
- Test software
- Research & resolve conflicts
- Deploy the software.
- Monitor & report on process
- Liason with MSP
- Request Deployments
- Final test of critical scripts
- Communicate with users about updates and
Monitor PC Assets to ensure
they remain compliant Resolve exceptions
How does your strategy
increase or reduce your company's risk?
Security is compromised when best practices are not
It's crucial to implement
processes to ensure that all computing assets are at the current approved
patch levels, have up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware, and properly
configured personal firewalls. Managing these processes, and applying them
consistently, is critical to successfully reducing security risks.
IT organization tackles software distribution alone, your staff is left to
research and develop best practices and procedures for each of the numerous
tasks. This can lead to sloppy procedures, which can harm computers and limit
user productivity. For example, improperly tested software updates can create
system instability, shut down applications, and leave computers vulnerable to
Focus on Best Practices
An experienced MSP will have a consistent,
repeatable process for distributing software across an increasingly
A qualified MSP has been managing
the day-to-day tactical issues of providing software distribution processes
for several years. During this time, they have adopted accepted industry
best-practices for tool related software distribution. These procedures span:
- Project management
- Script development
- Exception resolution processes
In addition, a
leading MSP will have developed auditable processes to manage the entire
software distribution life-cycle, as a part of ISO-9000 certified
methodologies. This assures quality through continuous process improvement.
When you partner with an MSP, your IT organization and company benefit from
all of the MSP's software distribution experience and expertise. The MSP
minimizes your security risks and maximizes user productivity by focusing on
certified best practices.
How well does your strategy support your company's
Notebook computing has forever changed the way people
work. Employees with laptops can do their jobs anytime, anywhere. They are
empowered to respond to customers, partners, and colleagues more effectively.
Sales, service, marketing and logistics improve&8230;generating a substantial ROI
for your company.
But these gains can be quickly erased. Laptops raise many
security issues by extending the perimeter of the corporate network to
branch offices, homes, hotels and other remote locations. Your data becomes
more vulnerable to unauthorized access, theft and corruption. Wireless
mobility is a key innovation that is accelerating this trend.
mobile users have special support needs. While working away from the home
office, they are not easily accessible by your IT staff. This can have a huge
impact on end-user productivity when it comes to software distribution. As
the percentage of mobile employees continues to grow, this factor increases
Sample MSP mobile workforce software distribution
Is your IT staff currently supporting your mobile workforce
satisfactorily and cost-effectively? An experienced MSP will have developed a
consistent and repeatable process for performing the business of software
distribution across a mobile workforce.
For example, here is a simplified
scenario for handling a typical Microsoft patch distribution:
- Microsoft releases a critical patch (on "Patch Tuesday" or another time).
- The MSP develops any necessary scripting.
- The MSP tests the deployment and
results on local test machines configured to match the most common
configurations, or all configurations if your equipment configuration is
- Using the request form on the dedicated Web Portal,
the MSP deploys the patch to a number of designated test machines at your
organization for further testing and validation.
- After ensuring that the
patch doesn't interfere with any of your applications, your IT group requests
that the patch be deployed to designated groups (by region, all regions,
etc., using the same request form).
- Your IT staff communicates to
appropriate local/regional IT staff that patch XYZ has been tested and is
being deployed, whether it will require a reboot, and other instructions.
- The MSP's staff, using automated monitoring software, verifies that the
deployment is working and being successfully installed on the remote systems.
Your IT staff can also monitor the deployment via a Private Web Portal and
automated email notifications.
In the event that there is a problem
with the deployment in the field:
- Your IT staff would notify the MSP by
sending an email "trouble ticket" via the Web portal
- The MSP would
investigate the issue and respond ASAP. (Note: Service levels, often
monitored via SLAs, are a key differentiator between MSPs.)
- As an
alternative, your IT staff could back out of the software deployment if
necessary using the link to the command console.
- When working with an
experienced MSP, it's very rare for a deployment to get this far and have a
problem that isn't individual machine-specific.
How much does it cost
to fully implement your strategy?
No discussion of business value would be
complete without a cost comparison. The hard dollar cost of implementing each
software change management strategy is relatively easy to calculate. It's
based on your number of seats (client computers), and which MSP or software
distribution tool you choose.
- To implement the in-house "tool" strategy,
you typically need to purchase the software distribution tool, a SQL Server
CAL for each user, one or more servers (up to 7 servers for SMS!), and
provide Internet bandwidth.
- The MSP strategy follows an all-inclusive
"per-seat" pricing model, which can be customized for your needs and budget.
Generally, the MSP will bill you on a monthly basis.
To calculate your
total costs, you also need to determine how much time your staff will spend
implementing each strategy, and what impact that time will have on your
personnel resources and budget. With the MSP approach, this impact can be
minimal. However, when you choose to take on this responsibility in-house,
then you need to budget for training, testing, process development, and the
handling of exceptions, in addition to everyday software distribution tasks.
Save 20% or more with the MSP strategy
Most IT organizations will save 20% or more by working with an experienced MSP
like CommNet International.
When all of these factors are
taken into consideration, most IT organizations can save 20% or more by
working with an experienced MSP like CommNet International. CommNet has
delivered software change management solutions to a variety of customers for
more than 12 years. Over this time, CommNet's team of experts has carefully
developed and honed best practices and procedures for software distribution.
You can leverage this experience to reduce your costs, minimize risks, and
ensure user and IT staff productivity.
Why is CommNet the best MSP for
As a Managed Services Provider with more than two decades
of experience, CommNet International is completely prepared to meet your
needs. Our software change management services are designed to minimize your
risk and deliver ROI to your IT organization in the following ways:
- CommNet is a trusted business partner of a leading tool provider. This
provider completely empowers and supports us to meet our customers' needs.
- CommNet can conduct an agreed upon 45-60 day trial and evaluation period, so
you so can see the service in action, review private Web Portal reports, and
- CommNet's contracts include a 90-day no-fault out.
- CommNet can
provide your authorized IT staff with console access to the software
distribution command server, so they have full access to the same tools
CommNet uses for package distribution, status monitoring, and code libraries.
Partner with CommNet to deliver business value to your company
software change management strategy is critical to managing risks, costs and
productivity. But implementing a software distribution tool places a
tremendous burden on IT staff, taking valuable time and focus away from your
organization's core competencies. What's more, your company risks security
breaches and data loss when best practices are not followed.
Clearly, hiring an MSP has several advantages:
- The MSP's technical
team performs the day-to-day work for you.
- The MSP's staff performs the
work while following well-established procedures.
- Software change
management is the MSP's focus and business as a low-cost niche provider.
- Ramp-up and delivery times for both project start-up and ongoing custom work
are significantly reduced when working with an MSP.
- When capital and labor
costs are considered, an experienced MSP like CommNet International can save
your company 20% or more.
backup and recovery software automatically backs up business-critical
selected directories and files using a standard Internet connection.
CommNet will leverage decades of expertise
and a long-term relationship with a leading tool provider to meet your
software change management needs. The result? Your IT organization will
deliver business value to your company by reducing costs and risks, and by
enhancing IT staff and mobile user productivity.
CommNet offers pricing and
services that are customizable to your company's requirements and budget. To
discuss your company's software change management needs, contact CommNet
today at 800-345-8988 or email@example.com.
About CommNet International
Founded in 1986, CommNet International is a
leading solutions provider of information technology (IT) products and
services. Our mission is to deliver superior, innovative solutions and, more
importantly, the best service and support in the industry.
exceptional customer satisfaction, we adhere to ISO 9000 continuous process
and quality improvement procedures. Recently, we received registration to TL
9000 3.0 and ISO 9001:2000. Our performance is continuously measured and
documented through customer satisfaction surveys and both internal and
CommNet specializes in partnering with enterprises and
mid-sized businesses to support their notebook users. In response to our
customers' needs, CommNet developed Virtual Seat Management (VSM), a suite
of tools and services that provide total lifecycle management of portable,
mobile and remote computers.
VSM enables our customers to maximize their
return on investment by keeping every computer fully functioning and in the
hands of mobile and wireless users. As a result, VSM is proven to
significantly boost end-user productivity, reduce exposure to security risk,
and increase the business value of our customers' IT organizations.
learn more, visit our web site at www.commnetinternational.com, call
1.800.345.8988, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Puphal is the Director of Technical Services for CommNet
International. Prior to joining CommNet, Mr. Puphal was the Director of
Information Systems at Philadelphia database publishers BIOSIS and the
Institute for Scientific Information, and held positions at Decision Sciences
Corporation, Control Data, and Burroughs. Mr. Puphal holds a Bachelors Degree
in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix and a Masters of
Business Administration from Drexel University.