Remote Team Support
As a distributed organization, our client encountered unique challenges in aligning IT resources with business needs. A distributed firm since inception, CSNW is well-positioned to advise and assist other firms with remote-only workforces in a variety of ways (often with the opportunity to apply some hard-won lessons). In this particular case, that assistance encompasses everything from data center design and management to end user technical support. Projects include lifecycle management for workstations and devices, migration to cloud-based email, and migration to Office 365.
The client provides technical services and risk management consulting to energy and transportation industries and government. They represent a critical link in the safety of our energy infrastructure. As such, they require eminently reliable and responsive IT support, centralized, easily-accessed IT resources, and efficient IT infrastructure. Though our work with them began in another capacity (a small data mining and visualization project in 2001), this earlier collaboration led to our increased support of their mission via application development, data science, and specifically in this case study: remote team support, in which our aim was to resolve the client’s IT challenges and improve operational efficiency.
We provide lifecycle management for the client’s workstations and laptops, including: (1) workstation asset management—acquisition, per-policy configuration, distribution, and decommissioning and data wiping, (2) workstation user-specific data backup management, (3) user support for all hardware issues, (4) management of local storage encryption keys (5) A/V installation and support, and (6) decommissioning and compliant disposal services for hardware at end-of-life. The distributed nature of the client’s workforce had made device standardization difficult for them in the past, as there was no central distribution center for hardware and configuration management. Instead, we introduced a set of approved hardware configurations and proactively worked with each employee to determine which would be best for their context. We then ordered, configured, and re-shipped the hardware to the user’s location.
When the client decided it was time to retire self-hosted email, we facilitated their move to a cloud-based SaaS approach for this mission-critical application. In order for our client to maintain their stellar reputation for almost instant responsiveness to their clients, this transition needed a zero-downtime execution, which we planned, staged, and achieved. Support services include: (1) user management—account setup, password resets, and compliant off-boarding process, (2) set up and management of email groups, and (3) security advisement and active threat monitoring.
Additionally, we manage the client’s productivity tools. Including migrating their team to their tool choice, Office 365, our service work includes: (1) user management—account setup, password resets, and off-boarding process, (2) email group management, (3) security advisement, and (4) support forum service management which includes user account management, trigger/rules configuration and maintenance, and support agent management.
Resolving the client’s IT challenges to better align resources with business needs produced the following outcomes:
- Workers received hardware and software that was customized to their context yet based on known maintainable standards for the company.
- Pathways for getting support were consolidated and communicated.
- Compliance with mandated standards and best practices was automatic because we monitor the standards for the client and ensure their deployed tech and policies are compliant.
- Efficient and secure resource sharing was established between this client's remote workforce.