Faster Resolutions, Higher Quality of Service with Proactive Monitoring
Proactive monitoring systems detect problems and alert administrators in advance, for faster resolutions and fewer service interruptions. This article shows you how proactive monitoring, managing and reporting solutions help you do more with your existing IT resources. Solutions from two BlackBerry® Alliance Partners are featured; BoxTone® (for Microsoft® Exchange and Lotus® Domino® environments) and Zenprise® (for Microsoft Exchange environments).
Do More Without Adding Resources
How do you add more BlackBerry smartphone users without increasing IT support costs? How do you provide a higher Quality of Service (QoS) for VIP users? More and more IT departments face these questions as their BlackBerry solution becomes mission critical to their organization.
As BlackBerry deployments expand, IT departments require sophisticated tools for managing, monitoring and reporting across their entire messaging environment. Many IT Administrators got an introduction to the breadth of robust tools available from BlackBerry Alliance Partners at Wireless Enterprise Symposium 2007 this past May.
“We noticed a lot of interest in our partners that offer monitoring, managing and reporting solutions at WES this year,” says Jeff McDowell, VP Global Alliances. “Administrators found these applications very eye-opening, in terms of the visibility they provide into the messaging environment, the time and cost savings of proactive monitoring, and the breadth and depth of reporting available,” he says.
”These proactive monitoring systems give IT administrators end-to-end visibility within their messaging environment, from the smartphones all the way through to the mail platform. This lets IT evaluate bandwidth, monitor outages, and compare delivery speeds for detailed troubleshooting, improved quality of service and more strategic capacity planning,” says McDowell.
BoxTone and Zenprise are two BlackBerry Alliance Partners that offer different approaches to end-to-end monitoring of the entire messaging infrastructure – including BlackBerry® Enterprise Server, mail platform, carrier network and smartphones.
These solutions can detect problems and alert administrators right away, so they can be resolved before the problems interrupt service for end users. For example, the system might alert the administrator that a certain user is experiencing an issue, before the user has even noticed a problem.
This allows the administrator to analyze and resolve the issue so that service continues, reducing troubleshooting and resolution time for IT Administrators. When problems are fixed early, calls to the helpdesk are drastically reduced, further reducing IT resource costs.
Grow Your BlackBerry User Base and Minimize IT Support Requirements
The time and costs savings brought about by proactive, automated BlackBerry solution monitoring allows IT to support more users with existing staff for significant reduction in the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of the BlackBerry deployment.
Some large Zenprise customers, for example, have been able to grow their BlackBerry population by 300%, without needing to add any additional Help Desk employees or BlackBerry administrators. Zenprise’s alerts also include detailed resolution instructions that walk administrators through how to fix user specific problems like hung threads, enterprise activation issues, and email/calendar synchronization issues. These instructions are so precise that resolutions can usually be performed by Junior Administrators.
Some BoxTone customers have reported saving one hour per help desk ticket, freeing up IT resources to focus on other projects. With the BoxTone solution, issues can be resolved by front-line Help Desk through a dedicated role (including frequent issues like out of coverage, activation and reset password problems).
Both BoxTone and Zenprise offer algorithm-based capabilities that observe performance patterns and predict problems, although they each look at a variety of different metrics and data sources.
BoxTone Customer Success Story
BoxTone client Synopsys, Inc., a semiconductor design software company, has more than 1,700 BlackBerry smartphone users provisioned to 15 BlackBerry® Enterprise Servers, 20 Microsoft Exchange mail servers and ten wireless carriers.
“Whenever we had an outage, six different teams managing six different silos of operations were looking at each other for answers,” says Vipul Vishwanath, senior manager of IT at Synopsys. “Finding the cause of a problem was like looking for a needle in a haystack.”
Using BoxTone, Synopsys reduced troubleshooting time by 70 percent. “Faster troubleshooting has also allowed us to redeploy two administrators who had previously helped manage our BlackBerry network,” says Vishwanath. “Using BoxTone for proactive management capabilities, we know about impending problems with someone’s BlackBerry smartphone before they do.”
Zenprise Customer Success Story
One Zenprise customer, the County of Alameda in California, relies on Zenprise to help manage their BlackBerry user population, which includes local officials like the Sheriff, the head of the Fire Department, and all members of the Board of Supervisors. More than 25 million emails per month flow throughout the organization.
Paul Hinsberg, the Senior Server Engineer for the County of Alameda, is the lead engineer responsible for the BlackBerry environment. Prior to using Zenprise, Hinsberg thought that his system was set up correctly, but users continued complaining about slow email service. Hinsberg installed Zenprise and was suprised to learn about a DNS misconfiguration that affected his BlackBerry Enterprise Server. "I thought I had it all under control," Hinsberg says, “but Zenprise was finding issues I didn't even know about.”
Hinsberg now relies on Zenprise’s solution, not only for monitoring and alerting on BlackBerry user problems, but also to provide step-by-step resolution instructions that his IT Administrators can easily follow. "I'm estimating that 90% of the everyday operational problems can now be handled by the Tier 1 and Tier 2 teams." With fewer help desk calls coming in, Hinsberg's team can use their valuable talents to tackle all other pressing projects."
These solutions also help with capacity planning. The solutions collect performance characteristics across the environment, which allow Administrators to make intelligent decisions on when to add capacity to support growth of BlackBerry smartphone users. Performance characteristics that can be analysed and reported on include:
- Uptime and bandwidth usage per day of the week
- Messages received per minute
- Available memory of the server hosting BlackBerry® Enterprise Server
- Network TCP Connection failures
Both BoxTone and Zenprise include many other valuable reports built into their solutions, to assist in managing, monitoring, and planning across the entire corporate messaging environment.
See the links below for special offers, and helpful information on these and other BlackBerry Alliance Partners offering enhanced monitoring and management for your BlackBerry® Enterprise Solution deployment.
Special Offers and More Information:
$100 Gift Card for Scheduling a Zenprise Demo
Zenprise Product Demonstration
Network World: Nine Wireless Network Companies to Watch
Exclusive offer for BlackBerry Connection subscribers: Your BlackBerry platform is trying to tell you something. Only the NEW BoxTone Asset Management module knows the whole story… utilization, expense, lifecycle, compliance and more. Click here for a 50% discount to get started now. Offer expires 15 December 2007. Don’t get caught unprepared…
BoxTone Case Studies: Synopsys and Chesapeake Energy
BlackBerry Solutions Guide 2007 – For a directory of partners offering Enhanced Monitoring and Management for BlackBerry Enterprise Solution Deployments