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Reduce TCO – Consider Virtualization

Posted in Business (600) by Guest on the April 30th, 2010

Server

Workstation

Applications

Storage

VMWare

IBM Virtualization

ZEN

MS application Virtualization (App-v)

Windows 7 Remote-App

Windows 7 Roaming Profiles

Windows 7 folder redirection

Virtualize – Pano

  

MS System Center

  

MS Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance

  

End User Benefits of desktop virtualization

 

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Data Storage Spectrum

Posted in Compliances (1300) by Guest on the April 30th, 2010

Fibre-channel

iSCSI with Fibre-channel

SANs

Dell, EMC, HP, IBM and NetApp

10 Gig Ethernet

FCoE fibre-channel over Ethernet

Thin provisioning?

MAID Massive Array Idle Disks – Solid state drives

            Tape

            Raid

            CD

            Flash-memory

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Most significant digital data issues

Posted in Business (600) by Guest on the April 29th, 2010

Responsible stewardship: effective recognition of the issue of sustained preservation & access

Scalable, extensible and evolvable solutions for building and operating digital repositories in a networked world

Trustworthy, verifiable methods for overcoming format obsolescence & providing sustained access to authentic electronic records

Resources for digital preservation

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Defense Against SYN Flood

Posted in Security (1500) by Guest on the April 29th, 2010

Increase size of connection table

Add more servers

Trace attack back to source

Ask your ISP to filter malicious packets

Add firewall

Typically “SYN proxy”

Partial solution was “SYN-cookies”

Reply to SYN with SYN-cookie

Allocate no resources until SYN-cookie is returned

Egress filtering restricts spoofed IP addresses

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Secure Data Sharing

Posted in Compliances (1300) by Guest on the April 28th, 2010
  1. What is it
  2. Where is it
  3. What is the Risk
     

Strategic

What Policy should be enforced

How can the process be Audited

Ongoing Process of Sharing Data

Tactical

Manage Removable Media

Encrypt mobile data

Provide users with relevant Policy excerpts and Audit acceptance

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Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Posted in Business (600) by Guest on the April 28th, 2010

Learn from industry analysts, product experts, and customers to gain an understanding of how DLP solutions can help secure your sensitive information no matter where it resides in your organization.

How Data Loss Prevention solutions fit into an overall information risk management strategy.

How to discover, monitor and control sensitive information. 

How to deploy enforcement mechanisms that will secure sensitive data in your data center, network, and at the end point.

How customers have deployed DLP solutions to minimize their business and information risk.

Tactical Options

Manage which devices may connect & who may transfer data 

Hardware encrypted USB devices with Centralised Key Management & soft Authentication Token. Laptop Encryption 

Provide users with relevant excerpts from the Corporate Policy & monitor / Audit their acceptance

 

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Sample Vulnerability Assessment results Tracking Form

Posted in Security (1500) by Guest on the April 27th, 2010

 

Unauthorized ports discovered

Host Name / description

TCP / UDP

OS

Helpdesk -associated tickets updated or opened

         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
         
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Average Web User

Posted in Business (600) by Guest on the April 26th, 2010

Average of:

16 Sessions per Week

26 Unique sites visited

53 Page Views per Session

282 Page Views per Week

9 Hours Per Week

81 Minutes per Session

56 Seconds per Page

Speed will become a major business differentiator in a connected world

70% of IT budgets are spent maintaining what we have

 

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IT Challenges

Posted in Business (600) by Guest on the April 26th, 2010


48% report a quarter or more of IT projects are delivered late
 

75% of Internet initiatives fail due to poor planning.
 

75% of e-business initiatives fail due to poor planning and lack of understanding of the technology.
 
38% report a quarter or more of IT projects are delivered late
More importantly 60% of experienced knowledgeable employees have been terminated or have left the organization.
 

70% of IT budgets go to ongoing operations and maintenance
  
23% will decrease quality and testing of an IT project to prevent a delay
  
57% report up to half of IT initiatives failed to deliver intended positive business outcomes over the past 3 years 

 

It’s not getting any better

By 2012 there will be a 10x increase in the world’s info to 988 exabytes per year
 

Global digital information doubles every 18 months
 

94 billion emails per day

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Backups alone are not enough

Posted in Business (600) by Guest on the April 25th, 2010

Poor policy management

No Standards or procedures

No indexing or search capabilities

Poor segmentation

  

Data is “clumped” on media haphazardly according to source time and place rather than according to policy

Data sharing the same media cannot be truly expired

Retrieval requests will bring back unrelated data

Unworkable as everything we need archives for…

Legal discovery process

Long-term retention

Distant-future recoverability

Consistency of data

  

Archiving Approaches

Traditional archiving

Point-in-time copy of set of related data

E.g., quarterly financials

Sometimes original data deleted after archive

The backup-archiving connection

Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM), NAS, SANs

Automated migration of data to lower cost storage or tape

Typically based on access-based file aging

Data migrated and a “stub” left in its place

File recalled to primary storage upon re-access

Active archiving (redirection)

Pointers to archived data

Supports single instance store

Data recalled without re-copy to primary store

Indexing and quick retrieval

  

Key Backup Considerations

Frequency – when, how often is an archiving copy to be taken

Retention – how long should the data be kept

Retrievability – drives access/search architecture

Taxonomy – indexing requirements for retrieval

Ingestion – what will be captured and when

Security – both physical (site) and logical (encryption)

Authentication – roles and responsibilities, access control

Immutability – requirement to demonstrate data is unchanged

Render options –is it to be transformed into information

Future proofing – common formats, pdf, xml

Refresh criteria – expiration of media life, platform life

Purge – when is archived data no longer required and how will it be destroyed

 

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Record Management: Sarbanes – Oxley Act

Posted in Compliances (1300) by Guest on the April 25th, 2010

 

Signed into law July 30 2002

A direct result of corporate scandals, such as Enron and WorldCom

Introduced legislative changes to financial and corporate regulations

Intended to “deter and punish” corporate and accounting fraud and corruption, ensure justice for wrongdoers, and protect the interests of workers and shareholders” (Quote: President Bush)

Section 802, Regulation S-X, Rule 2 -06

All audit and review-related information must be retained for 7 years

The penalty for anyone who knowingly destroys documents or files that may relate to a federal investigation or a bankruptcy filing can be fined and/or imprisoned for up to 20 years

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Sample Telco SLA Considerations

Posted in Business (600) by Guest on the April 24th, 2010

 

Description

Target %

Dependencies

Additional Comments

Uptime/availability of critical Telecom systems      
Uptime/availability of critical Telecom systems      
Percentage of MAC reduction in Remedy      
PBX availability:       
Call volume:      
International calls:       
National  & Local:       
Audioconferencing:      
Mobile Services:      
Calling Cards:      
Call Center services:      
VOIP Mail availability:      
VM Servicice Provider Availability:      
Trunk Availability:      
Implementation of unified messaging:      
Percentage of business functions addressed by Telecom DR      
Customer satisfaction rating      
Telecom cost per headcount      
Staff to headcount ration      
Percentage of trunks protected       
Number of critical events reported      
Mergers & acquisitions, office moves..      
Percentage of integrated voicemail systems      
Percentage of systems brought to new Corporate standards      
Percentage of audits performed worldwide      
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Sample Application Hosting Services

Posted in Application (380) by Guest on the April 24th, 2010

 

Server Administration

Application Support

Infrastructure Support

Upgrades

DB Overlays, Cloning, creation and data population

 

 

 

 

Database Maintenance

 

 

 

 

Patch Management

 

 

 

 

Middleware Optimization and Mnagement

 

 

 

 

Databased Backup Administration

 

 

 

 

Database Security Administration

 

 

 

 

Database Connection Management

 

 

 

 

Licensing Maintenance & Contract Administration

 

 

 

 

Project Design

 

 

 

 

Project Implementation

 

 

 

 

Capacity Planning

 

 

 

 

Peoplesoft Client Image Management

 

 

 

 

Office Productivity Applications

 

 

 

 

Email

 

 

 

 
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Common DOS/Windows commands and their Linux counterparts

Posted in O S (375) by Guest on the April 24th, 2010

 

Copy a file  copy path1filename1 path2filename2  cp path1/filename1 path2/filename2 
Copy subdirectory  xcopy path1. path2 /s  cp -R path1 path2 
Delete a file  del filename  rm filename 
Move a file  move path1filename1 path2  mv path1/filename1
path2     
Rename a file  ren filename1 filename2  mv filename1 filename2 
List a directory  dir  ls 
Change directory  cd path  cd /path 
Make directory  md path  md path 
Delete a subdirectory  deltree path1  rm -R path 
List text file contents  type filename  cat filename 
Edit a file  edit filename  pico filename 
Format floppy  format a:  fdformat /fd0H1440 
Check for disk errors  chkdsk drive -or- scandisk drive  fsck /device 
Change file attribute  attrib +- attribute filename  chmod mode filename 
Clear screen  cls  clear 
Display environment variables  set  env 
Set environment variable  set variable=value  env variable=value 
Set time  time time  date MMDDHHSS 
Close command prompt  exit  exit 
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Helpdesk Research – Analysis

Posted in Compliances (1300),Data Center - SOC - NOC,Security (1500) by Guest on the April 23rd, 2010

Executive Summary

After extensive research and evaluation of each Helpdesk’s experiences with Windows Vista and, we have determined that Windows 7 will provide substantial Helpdesk savings for high volume users who switch to Windows 7.  

Windows 7 can be expected to reduce support costs by $483 per user per year and annual savings will continue for the life of the product.

Our Research is able to identify many areas where Windows 7 will offer significant Helpdesk operations impact. Our analysis has shown that, in a steady state environment, users should see a reduction in volume of PC Helpdesk calls of between 15% and 29% annually due to Windows 7 robustness security and ease of use.

From our analysis, Research projects this average size Helpdesk will also see an average reduction of 67%, range 44% to 93%, from the previous number of onsite visits requiring technical staff. In this average sized site, Research projects a further savings of $333,600 /month due to on-site visit avoidance of 112 visits per month. Technicians will be able to use Windows 7 remote management services, other advanced features to fix the call via the network. The Windows 7 characteristics of reliability and high security contribute to reductions in onsite technician visits.

We should point out this is for the steady state condition after the users have passed the learning curve of using Windows 7. The savings cited above are for larger computer sites; however, we feel the results can be extrapolated to different sized sites and your results should vary proportionately. It was readily apparent from our research that each organization’s Helpdesk varies considerably in the types and range of problems encountered, as well as costs associated with resolving the problems. See the spreadsheet at the back of this document for use in auditing your own site-specific Helpdesk data and calculating estimates for your organization. In addition to the cost savings noted above, there are also business and productivity benefits that accrue through increased user satisfaction, less end user downtime and improved confidence in system reliability.

Helpdesks are moving from an expense center to an integral part of the technology implementation matrix.

Research was retained to quantify potential support and Helpdesk benefits that might be derived through the major operational enhancements that will be delivered as part of Windows 7. Examples of these enhancements include: protection of operating system from user programs, improved and simplified security and multitasking, Remote Control, Systems Management Services, the same simple and intuitive user interface as used in Windows 7, support for long file names and User

Configuration information centralized in a registry, etc.

If your Helpdesk is like most support organizations today, it is probably being asked to do more with less. Demand for support has risen sharply, but staff levels have either remained flat or dropped. For this reason, the future of successful support rests in a user’s ability to interface with a Helpdesk possessing complementary support tools that take advantage of broad open-system standards, which facilitate the required technology interfaces.

Increased desktop complexity and networking have driven call growth volume geometrically.

Client server system implementations have brought an unexpected dark side-the cost of technical support. Many times the customer bought the vision of re-engineered, open, flexible client server systems as the way to reduce cost and increase service to all users. Frequently, what users have experienced has been increasing complexity, sometimes-unmanageable application development, soaring support costs and less-than-effective implementations.

Many times users inadvertently brought down their systems by deleting files or altering settings.

As more advanced networked applications have been deployed over the past five years, the cost of the Helpdesk and technical support has grown geometrically. The desktop user effectively became a desktop (and larger) systems manager. Many times users inadvertently brought down their systems by deleting files or altering settings that ultimately required a technician’s visit to complete a repair. Microsoft has addressed a significant number of these operational issues with Windows 7. The result will be a reduction in the number of user calls to the Helpdesk due to improved reliability and security, as well as functional improvements, making systems more crashworthy and controllable.

Windows 7 prevents and assists in the resolution of a wide range of user problems.

This paper reviews the Helpdesk operations of a number of large existing Windows Vista users, identifies the types of problems they are currently experiencing and then isolates those problems that Windows 7 will either prevent or assist in resolving more efficiently. It is the objective of this white paper to provide reasonable quantitative estimates of how the inclusion of Windows 7 functional enhancements delivers productivity improvements to users, while lowering customers’ internal and external support costs. The paper will also supply a method and worksheet that can be used by the reader to estimate their own savings using their data.

Primary paper objectives are to:

Analyze existing Helpdesk loads and costs of running Windows Vista or Windows 7.

Project steady state cost and productivity benefits when the organization migrates to Windows 7.

Note the estimated cost savings that users should experience.

Provide a methodology that can be extrapolated to a customer’s current Helpdesk environment.

 

Note user productivity gains through improved Helpdesk efficiency.

Research Results

Helpdesk Goals

The existence of a Helpdesk clearly has a singular purpose-to assist users in resolving difficulties they incur while using their PCs. Every Helpdesk subscribes to the following three goals:

Call avoidance

Obviously, the best call is no call at all. The majority of Helpdesks, today, attempt to do everything possible to eliminate calls, from assisting in the selection of a more reliable product to conducting in-depth training for users. Any product or methodology that will result in a reduction of calls is examined closely. Windows 7 is clearly such a product.

Rapid problem resolution; either on-the-phone or via the network

The goal is problem resolution in 1 hour or less in 80% of the cases.

If a call cannot be avoided, then the Helpdesk’s goal is to resolve the call as effectively and quickly as possible. Simply put, user downtime is unproductive time. While our sample achieved an average repair time of less than one hour 61% of the time, all indicated their goal was to achieve a better than 80% rate. Systems or software that allow easy remote access to a user’s PC for diagnostics, rebooting, remote loading of software, remote management and lockdown are very effective methods of resolving problems without the overhead of a site visit. Again, Windows 7 offers a rich set of features that support these requirements.

Technician visit prevention by reducing events that will cause visits

The goal is to also reduce site visits to an absolute minimum.

Finally, while site visits will always be a necessity, substantially reducing the number of visits as well as their duration is a major goal given the costs associated with field calls. Systems Management Services facilities of remotely loading software and updates, Remote control which enables the helpdesk person to set the user through unfamiliar actions greatly reduce the need for physical site visits. 

Typical Helpdesk Position in the Organization

The Helpdesk has long been considered part of the MIS backwater;
a service organization that was typically treated as an expense center. However, we found the Helpdesk is increasingly an integral part of the IT organization as shown in Figure 1 and is usually centrally funded from the IT budget. Regardless of how a company implements a Helpdesk function, Windows 7 offers substantial potential savings.

Helpdesks are evolving from reflex response to productivity.

The evolution is from an organization historically noted for simple reflex response to one that is becoming extremely proactive and integral to technology employment decisions. It is not unusual, today; to have the Helpdesk staff evaluates a product for serviceability and reliability as well as provide input to user training programs.

Whether internally provided or outsourced, call savings are very similar.

For many of the sites we worked with, at least some portion of the Helpdesk and technical support function was outsourced to a third party organization. Often, the outsourcing was done on a flat per call basis, especially for onsite technician visits. Although usually providing very effective support, it is clearly not in the third party’s best interest to effect sharp reductions in call or visit volume. 

Helpdesk Functions and Responsibility

Most sites operated a three level Helpdesk structure. The first level usually qualified the call, logged it and tried simple remedies for the most frequently observed problems. If unsuccessful in resolving the problem, the call is escalated to level two. Level two technicians investigate the problem and do everything possible short of visiting the site to effect a fix. If a fix is not possible after an hour or two, the job is handed over to a field technician to resolve at the user’s site. If the fix requires new hardware or parts, the technician frequently has to make a return visit with the new part to complete the repair.

Top problem call generators require immediate, proactive remedial programs.

The three levels of Helpdesk responsibility are:

Dispatch, qualifying, fixing easy problems

Technical support working via network or dial-in access

Field Technician or third-party dispatch sent to site

There is also a management layer that handles human resources as well as proactive problem identification and prevention. In nearly every site, there are proactive measures taken to seek out the top problem call generators and fix them through special training or by changing systems to reduce recurring problems. Many Helpdesks also provide direct input to the development of user training courses. 

Current Helpdesk Problems

After analyzing over 47,000 call detail reports from 9 Helpdesks (responsible for more than 1.4 million Helpdesk calls per year), Research has gained significant insight into the types and frequencies of problems experienced by users. The size of the sample base is more than adequate to achieve statistically significant results.

 

Analysis of Data from the Sites

We were able to qualify 9 sites, conduct in depth interviews with the Helpdesk managers and acquire large volumes of call detail reports, which we analyzed in detail.

The most consistent problem areas are printing, applications and operating systems followed by networking. Hardware shows substantial swings due primarily to age and equipment configurations.

Clearly, Windows 7 will have impact upon the OS, networking and printing categories and will provide some relief for hardware and application based problems. The nature of how Windows 7 impacts each of the problem categories is described below.

 

Feedback from Organizations who have Adopted Windows 7

Research conducted primary research with Windows 7 adopters in December 2009 to understand how their use of Windows 7, in practice, was impacting their operation. This research was conducted on a small sample, 22 users, whose adoption of Windows 7 varied from 2 months experience with a limited number of pilot users to 18 months experience with up to 1000 users within their organization. A majority of these 22 users had not yet reached a steady state environment with regard to use of Windows 7.

We define a steady state environment as that in which at least 80% of desktop users and all the helpdesk and relevant technical support personnel use and are conversant with Windows 7. We have used their feedback in a qualitative sense to compare to our own analysis of Windows 7 in use, however we have projected the impact and saving on the statistically valid database of helpdesk calls described in previous sections of this report.

 

Benefits from Use of Windows 7

There are a large number of functional and product improvements in Windows 7 that will allow end users to run Windows 7 more effectively and reduce the number of trouble calls. As indicated in the table below, there are many areas where Windows 7 can prevent and/or easily resolve problems that present users are experiencing.

The number of calls avoided through the use of Windows 7 due to the reliability aspect of the product across the sampled sites was found to be in the range 10% to 20% with an average of 15% helpdesk calls avoided.

The number of calls avoided due to the security features of Windows 7 was in the range 4% to 10% with an average of 7%. The total average percent of helpdesk calls avoided, the sum of the two elements, is thus 22%.

Fixed by Helpdesk – This class of problems can be solved via the first level Helpdesk operator. This includes logging the call, qualifying the call and providing remedies for the simpler and or the most frequent recurring problems. Our analysis of the calls showed that Windows 7 enabled between 22% to 74%, average 45%, of all PC and network helpdesk calls to be fixed at the helpdesk level. As a subset of these fixed calls 6% to 17% average 11% of calls can be handled at the helpdesk operative level using the remote control “show and tell” technique whereby the helpdesk operator explains how to achieve a task and shows the user how to perform the steps by taking control of the users PC and executing the functions in real time. A further 1% to 3% range of helpdesk calls can be handled by the helpdesk operator using the System Management Services functions to install or update the users software over the network. We made the assumption that there are some circumstances where this can be undertaken by the Helpdesk operator, about 2% of calls. In other cases this function would be handled by the second level support technician ( see below).

This class of problems can be solved via the first level Helpdesk operator. This includes logging the call, qualifying the call and providing remedies for the simpler and or the most frequent recurring problems. Our analysis of the calls showed that Windows 7 enabled between 22% to 74%, average 45%, of all PC and network helpdesk calls to be fixed at the helpdesk level. As a subset of these fixed calls 6% to 17% average 11% of calls can be handled at the helpdesk operative level using the remote control “show and tell” technique whereby the helpdesk operator explains how to achieve a task and shows the user how to perform the steps by taking control of the users PC and executing the functions in real time. A further 1% to 3% range of helpdesk calls can be handled by the helpdesk operator using the System Management Services functions to install or update the users software over the network. We made the assumption that there are some circumstances where this can be undertaken by the Helpdesk operator, about 2% of calls. In other cases this function would be handled by the second level support technician ( see below).

Second Level Support Technician – This class of calls will be solved by the technician working both with the end user by phone and via network connections, running remote network tests and checks of the user’s system to try to locate and correct the problems. Now, with Windows 7 robustness, System Management Services and Remote Control, Remote Registry Edit, and network policy files, many of the calls can be fixed over the network, avoiding travel to the user’s site. The technician may ask for assistance from the user to try to get the PC running and connected to the network or walk the user through a self help process, facilitated by Remote Control and Event Viewer to locate the problem. Our analysis of the Helpdesk calls found that Windows 7 enabled between 2% to 22% of calls to be fixed at this level across the sampled sites; an average of 11%.

This class of calls will be solved by the technician working both with the end user by phone and via network connections, running remote network tests and checks of the user’s system to try to locate and correct the problems. Now, with Windows 7 robustness, System Management Services and Remote Control, Remote Registry Edit, and network policy files, many of the calls can be fixed over the network, avoiding travel to the user’s site. The technician may ask for assistance from the user to try to get the PC running and connected to the network or walk the user through a self help process, facilitated by Remote Control and Event Viewer to locate the problem. Our analysis of the Helpdesk calls found that Windows 7 enabled between 2% to 22% of calls to be fixed at this level across the sampled sites; an average of 11%.

Technician Visit – These problems will continue to require a field service technician to visit the site. The technician will often replace parts and may include swapping out the whole unit if the problems cannot be rectified. We found that site visits were required in the range of between 1% and 38% of calls to the Helpdesk, this range reflects the widely different levels of hardware problems reported across the different sites sampled; an average of 13%.

These problems will continue to require a field service technician to visit the site. The technician will often replace parts and may include swapping out the whole unit if the problems cannot be rectified. We found that site visits were required in the range of between 1% and 38% of calls to the Helpdesk, this range reflects the widely different levels of hardware problems reported across the different sites sampled; an average of 13%.

No Help – There were many Helpdesk calls which were unrelated to the operating system, where Windows 7 could not address the problem.

There were many Helpdesk calls which were unrelated to the operating system, where Windows 7 could not address the problem.

 

Our research analyzed over 47,000 calls and was able to project how each of the various problems can be avoided and/or more easily fixed with Windows 7. While there may be some “hindsight effect” that makes it easier to fix a problem after you know what the problem is, the vast majority of problems are directly impacted by Windows 7.

It should be noted that the results of our research are specific to the companies that participated in the program. It is clear from the research that every company encounters significant differences in Helpdesk call make up, as well as costs, due to variations in hardware, software and peripherals populations. For this reason, the figures shown are for illustrative purposes only, although it is reasonable to assume, due to the sample size, that similar savings ratios will apply to most organizations. In an effort to make this information easier to relate to your specific situation, Research has provided a worksheet and instructions, so you can see both the areas of benefit as well as the projected cost savings for migrating to Windows 7.

In the table above observe that application and operating systems calls are the most frequent running at 30% and 23% respectively. Although we set out to acquire PC Helpdesk calls, we see variations in our call samples. In some cases, the hardware calls were subcontracted out or handled by another portion of the Helpdesk and, hence, that hardware calls are not included in sites 3, 4, 5 and 9. While in other samples, sites 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7 included other kinds of calls, e.g. telephone changes, adds, moves and repairs, requests and reservations for LCD plates, projectors and other shared equipment. As a result, we should be careful about the conclusions at individual sites. Other variations in Helpdesk call make up, as well as costs, may exist due to variations in hardware, software and peripherals populations. For this reason, the figures shown are for illustrative purposes only, although it is reasonable to assume, due to this large sample size, that similar savings ratios will apply to most organizations.

 

Comments on the Site Specific Data

At the individual site level there is considerable variance in the call detail reports we received due to different modes of operation, organizations, metrics, outsourcing, data capture tools being used and other factors.

Research believes that the average of results is indicative of general industry trends and these will be used in any conclusions for this report. For further background information about each of the sites, the reader is referred to the appendix. 

In Table 5, we have summarized the cost savings (for the average site of 9602 PCs) of $19,940 per month for the 999 calls that are avoided and $366,600 per month for the 1,222 visits avoided. This should provide a resulting $483 cost savings per user if the users were all running Windows 7 versus Windows Vista.

Expected Cost Savings: 

Calls avoided per month 999 $20 $19,980
Visits avoided per month 1,222 $300 $366,600
$/month     $386,580
$/year     $4,638,960
$/yr./user     $483

The reader is also encouraged to check out the worksheet in the appendix for use with their own data to estimate their own savings, both in the areas of benefits as well as the projected cost savings.

 

Other Corporate Business Gains

Another major corporate benefit is the increase in productivity arising from two principal attributes of Windows 7, reliability and multitasking.  

The lack of user interruption due to the resilience of this operating system and that the system is inviolate to user applications faults, increases productivity and provides a more professional business image without the loss of real-time opportunities in critical areas such as trading, order entry and customer service. Further, users will be able to use the Windows 7 system, with the new graphical user interface, with less training or learning time. Both these factors increase their ability to use their PC effectively and efficiently. While not a quantifiable factor for this report, our experience clearly points to significant gains in this area.

http://www.bestitdocuments.com/Operating_system.html

 

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Help Desk Enterprise Integration

Posted in Business (600) by Guest on the April 22nd, 2010


 

Service Desk offers true enterprise-class integration services through its unique SNMP and SMTP Listeners. These powerful network listeners watch for alerts from enterprise management platforms such as Remedy, Landesk, CA Unicenter. Tivoli or HP Openview. When relevant events occur, trouble tickets can be automatically generated at the help desk.  From there the business rules that apply to the particular event take over to automate the process of assigning and notifying the appropriate personnel.


In addition, Help Desk integrates with all industry standard email systems (BES, MAPI and SMTP).  With this integration, users can log calls via emails, get automated updates of actions taken on their issues and even notify technicians they have a task.
 

Customization

Although’s solutions are designed to work right out of the box, we also make it easy to tailor it to your environment. Creating your own views, buttons menus, add, change or hide fields, make certain fields required, etc., its as easy as point-and-click with our customization palette. 

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Anatomy of Audit Logging

Posted in Business (600),Compliances (1300),Security (1500) by Guest on the April 22nd, 2010

The Information Security Forum’s (ISF) The Standard of Good Practice for Information Security (Version 4.1, January 2005) states that the objective for logging is “To ensure individual accountability and to enable incidents, such as access violations, to be investigated and resolved.” This is easy to state, but a major challenge to implement in heterogeneous environments that involve hundreds or thousands of hosts and devices. For example, simply detecting an incident can require the correlation of data from multiple systems and devices (hosts, firewalls, IDS, switches, etc.) that are then compared to a profile of past behavior to identify anomalous behavior.


So, how does one deal with this complicated and less-than-glamorous activity? A clear understanding of the audit logging requirements, which can be derived from the organization’s policies and compliance audit criteria (i.e., the legal requirements and/or auditor’s checklist), is a critical first step. Almost everything flows from these requirements and there are no one-size fits-all solutions. Thus, the remainder of this section is based on dealing with a fictitious set of requirements (worse case scenario) that can be summarized as:

Multiple compliance requirements (e.g., SOX, SEC, and HIPAA) exist and involve different types of audits
Security incidents perpetrated by both internal and external sources are a real possibility 

An extremely heterogeneous environment is used by the organization
Multiple levels of data sensitivity and criticality exist
Some audit log data must be preserved as evidentiary information1
Lengthy retention periods exist for some, but not all, of the log data

To address this hypothetical set of requirements, a moderately complex audit logging implementation would be necessary. As a first pass, the heterogeneous environment predisposes the solution to a cross-platform logging approach such as the de facto standard, Syslog2, to transport log event data. Further, the approach needs flexibility in handling logging information.

 

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MS IE Advanced Settings (8.0.6001.18702)

Posted in O S (375),Security (1500) by Guest on the April 21st, 2010

 

Accessability
Always expand ALT text for images Unchecked
Enable Caret Browsing for new windows and tabs Unchecked
Move system caret with focus / selection changes Unchecked
Reset text size to medium for new windows and tabs Unchecked
Reset test size to medium while zooming* Checked
Reset zoom level for new windows and tabs Unchecked
Browsing
Automatically check for Internet Explorer udpates Unchecked
Automatically recover from page layout errors with compatability view Checked
Close unused folders in History and Favorites* Unchecked
Disable script debugging (Internet Explorer) Checked
Disable script debugging (Other) Checked
Display a notification about every script error Unchecked
Display Accelerator button on selection Checked
Enable automatic crash recovery* Checked
Enable FTP folder view (outside of Internet Explorer) Checked
Enable page transitions Checked
Enable Suggested Sites Unchecked
Enable third-party browser extensions* Checked
Enable visual styles on buttons and controls in webpages Checked
Enable websites to use the search pane* Unchecked
Force offscreen composting even under Terminal Server* Unchecked
Notify when downloads complete Unchecked
Reuse windows for launching shortcuts (when tabbed browsing is off) Checked
Show friendly HTTP error messages Checked
Underline links
Always Checked
Hover Unchecked
Never Unchecked
Use inline AutoComplete (outside of Internet Explorer) Unchecked
Use most recent order when switching tabs with Ctrl+Tab Unchecked
Use Passive FTP (for firewall and DSL model compatability Checked
HTTP 1.1 Settings
Use HTTP 1.1 Checked
Use HTTP 1.1 through proxy connections Checked
International*
Always show encoded addresses Unchecked
Send IDN server names Checked
Send IDN server names for Intranet addresses Unchecked
Send UTF-8 URLs Checked
Show Information Bar for encoded addresses Checked
Use UTF-8 for mailto links Unchecked
Java (Sun)
Use JRE 1.6.0_20 for <applet> (requires restart) Checked
Multimedia
Always use ClearType for HTML* Checked
Enable automatic image resizing Checked
Play animations in webpages* Checked
Play sounds in webpages Checked
Show image download placeholders Unchecked
Show pictures Checked
Smart image dithering Checked
Printing
Print background colors and images Unchecked
Search from the Address bar
Do not submit unknown addresses to your auto-search provider Checked
Just display the results in the main window Unchecked
Security
Allow active content from CDs to run My Computer* Unchecked
Allow active content to run in files on My Computer* Unchecked
Allow software to run or install even if the signatures is invalid Unchecked
Check for publisher’s certificate revocation Checked
Check for server certificate revocation* Checked
Check for signatures on downloaded programs Checked
Do not save encrypted pages to disk Unchecked
Empty Temporary Internet Files folder when browsing is closed Checked
Enable DOM Storage Checked
Enable Integrated Windows Authentication* Checked
Enable memory protection to help mitigate online attacks* Checked
Enable native XMLHTTP support Checked
Enable SmartScreen Filter Unchecked
Use SSL 2.0 Checked
Use SSl 3.0 Checked
Use TLS 1.0 Unchecked
Warn about certificate address mismatch* Checked
Warn if changing between secure and not secure mode Unchecked
Warn if POST submittal is redirected to a zone that does not permit post Checked
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Knowledge Lake Imaging Server

Posted in Application (380),Business (600),Compliances (1300) by Guest on the April 21st, 2010

KnowledgeLake Imaging Server eliminates the costs and challenges of using paper documents, as well as the limitations it puts on your business processes. Built on Microsoft® SharePoint®, KnowledgeLake Imaging Server uses the latest technology to provide features that extend SharePoint’s enterprise content management capabilities throughout your organization.  

With KnowledgeLake Imaging Server, you can: 

  • Provide easy access to your information workers with pre-configured or flexible search scenarios 
  • View, annotate and index images from a web browser 
  • Easily scan batches of documents 
  • Centralize the configuration of indexing, database validation and lookups for use across the entire KnowledgeLake product family  
  • Effortlessly receive and send SharePoint documents with associated index values from the document library

 
Search

Allows users to perform exact relevance searches using any combination of index values. Searches can be pre-configured and saved so that users can simply enter the appropriate index values and search across multiple SharePoint sites and document libraries. The KnowledgeLake Imaging search interface is a web part that is completely customizable to display the required document and associated index columns in either list or column mode.


KnowledgeLake View 

Allows users to view images in TIFF, JPEG and PNG formats on any computer without the need for special software or downloads. This zero-footprint viewer makes it possible to view thumbnails and rotate, zoom, print and email images directly from a web browser. In addition, users can view and/or edit the SharePoint properties while viewing the document, as well as can also annotate documents from the browser using text and image stamps, highlights, line drawings and sticky notes. Workers can also bookmark specific pages of large documents for easy access, plus easily send URL Links to these bookmarks to any SharePoint user.

In addition, KnowledgeLake View is integrated into SharePoint and Office Workflow, so users can participate in or start workflows directly from the viewer.

 

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Sample ERP Lines of Service

Posted in Data Center - SOC - NOC by Guest on the April 20th, 2010

 

Server Administration
ERP Application Support
ERP Infrastructure Support
ERP Upgrade
Patch Management      
HW & Firmware Updates      
DNS Support      
Virus Protection      
Server OS and Non-DB Backup Administration      
Offsite Storage      
Maintanence of Active Directory Forest      
Group Polcy Admiistration      
Operations/Alarm Monitoring      
User Authentication Issues & Security Administration      
Project Design      
Project Implementation      
Capacity and Systems Planning      
Procurement      
Licensing Maintenance & Contract Administration      
Configuration Optimization      
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Help Desk Change Management

Posted in Data Center - SOC - NOC by Guest on the April 20th, 2010

 

Today’s distributed computing environment has made change management a nightmare for many organizations.  Today’s Service Desk solution processes new hires, employee transfers, common system upgrades, and other frequently repeated tasks can be managed with ease. The ability to setup dependencies in advance to ensure that the various tasks are completed in the correct order. Automating changes in the workplace has never been easier.

Built-In Reporting

Service Desk has three ways to retrieve valuable information from the system.  The first is the ability to do adhoc queries for any screen in the system.  Using standard and custom reports, designed to track the most common help desk and support center metrics.

Web Support

Any authorized user with a Web browser can check on the status of open trouble tickets and update or resolve activities directly.  They can even access the knowledge base within the Help Desk to give users a self-service option.

http://bestitdocuments.com/Services.html


 

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Help Desk System Considerations

Posted in Compliances (1300),Security (1500) by Guest on the April 19th, 2010

Modern day Helpdesk considerations includes the following system capabilities:

· Call Management
· Problem Resolution
· Problem Prevention
· Asset Management
· Automated Crisis Management
· Integrated Service Level Agreements
· Change Management
· Built-in Reporting
· Web Support
· Enterprise Integration
· Customization Today’s help desk solutions offer a blend of power and ease-of-use. Help Desk gives mid-range and departmental help desks a robust enterprise-ready product that fits your needs today and grows with you seamlessly into the future.

http://bestitdocuments.com/Services.html

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Help Desk Call Management

Posted in Compliances (1300),Security (1500) by Guest on the April 18th, 2010

The moden Help Desk automates the process of entering caller information. Enter a caller’s name, for example, and all other relevant fields fill in automatically.  And because of our intuitive Windows interface all functions are point and click or if you should choose through the keyboard.

Today’s Help Desk makes everything clear from the outset and makes logging calls quick and easy, which means faster service and happier customers— with minimal duplication of efforts.

Entering problems is equally easy. Simply type in a quick description, and does the rest. Even misspelled problem descriptions present no problem. You can further automate this function by allowing users to log activities via any email program or via a web browser.

Also includes specialized interface environments designed to meet the specific needs of 2nd and 3rd tier support technicians and help desk managers. You can also modify existing windows and create custom views to meet your organization’s unique requirements.

A history or audit trail is automatically tracked for each activity with date and time stamps, such as who did what, changes made, when it was acknowledged, responded to and resolved, etc.

http://bestitdocuments.com/Services.html

 

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Help Desk – Change Controls considerations

Posted in Business (600),Compliances (1300),Security (1500) by Guest on the April 17th, 2010

Package software support Considerations:

Third party development and/or maintenance

Project Review by Management

Restriction on Transfer to Production

Documentation

Change Control Procedures:

Emergency Changes

Segregation of Test and Production


Approval of system testing

 

Training in new systems

Computer Operations

Operations Procedures


Supervision of Operations:

Communications Management

Documentation of Procedures

Monitoring of Operations

Network capacity review


Authorization/Testing of Upgrades

 

Documentation

Suitability

Records

Security

Control over Utilities

Policy and Management:

Authorizing software purchases

Authorizing hardware purchases


Security and Control

 

Uploading

Procedural Control and Documentation:

End User Development

Documentation


Testing

 

Built-in Controls

Management and Policy:

Supplier Monitoring

Service Agreement


Level of Dependency


Software Quality


Monitoring third-party


Business Continuity:


Risk Assessment-Business Disruption


Business Continuity


Workarounds


Site Hardening

 


Disruption Prevention/Minimization


Back Up Frequency


Changes in systems software which may impact recovery

 

 

Physical Security:


Access to premises

 

Security awareness of staff ie to challenge unescorted visitors

http://www.bestitdocuments.com/IT_Security_Methodology_solutions.html

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HIPAA Heatlthcare Business Considerations Part 3

Posted in Compliances (1300) by Guest on the April 17th, 2010

Financial System Data:

Master Patient Index Product Management

Provider Contract Management Provider Network Modeling

Provider Catalog and Selection Provider Credentialing

Product P/L Reporting Sales & Marketing

Group Contract Administration Enrollment and Eligibility

Membership Accounting Customer Service/Call Center

Encounter Processing Referral and Authorization

Claim Processing and Payment Coordination of Benefits

Provider Profiling Utilization Management

Disease Management Capitation Accounting

Standards, Quality, & Reg. Reporting

 

Registration:

Scheduling Provider Index

General Ledger Budgeting

Master Patient Index Patient Accounting

Collections DSS/Cost Accounting

Fund Development (Charity) State and Federal Reg Reporting

Eligibility Referral Authorization/Precert Claims Scrubber

Accounts Payable

 

Materials Management:

Fund Management Medical Records

Dictation and Transcription Medical Staff Credentialing

Pt. Satisfaction Survey Time and Attendance

Labor Productivity Report Staff Scheduling

Asset Management  

Payroll and HR:

Employee Education and Registration Help Desk

E-Mail Calendaring

EDI Groupware and Knowledge Management

Internet/Intranet/Extranet Medical Database Access

Business Database Access Workflow Process

Online Directory Services Media Services

Nursing IS

 

Physical Security:

Security

Parking and Registration

Utility Management

 

Equipment Tracking

Space Utilization

 

Fire

Disaster Management

http://www.bestitdocuments.com/IT_Business_solutions.html

 

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