In mid-2018, a 130-person nonprofit with six locations throughout the southeast engaged Integris to solve longstanding internal IT problems.
Their mission of providing social services to individuals and families experiencing disruption was jeopardized by outdated IT systems, flawed processes, and no mechanism to drive accountability.
Integris partnered with their new Director of Finance and Operations to reimagine and strengthen internal IT with a co-managed IT solution.
Internal IT Problems with People, Processes, and Technology
The client’s longstanding IT Director was planning to leave. Before accepting another offer, he was overextended and misaligned with the organization’s vision, strategy, and culture.
These factors – many outside of his control – created quality of service issues, scaling roadblocks, and low user satisfaction.
- The infrastructure was complex, congested with out-of-warranty equipment, and rife with single points of failure.
- Most users wouldn’t play by the rules and allow scheduled system updates.
- The IT Director couldn’t enforce policies without political blowback from colleagues.
- The IT environment had very little documentation.
- The client’s Level 1 help desk specialists needed a third party to assume the soon-to-be departing IT Director’s role (and more).
The Solution and High-Level Business Goals
Integris manages backend IT systems while the client manages front-end IT support (user help desk) to achieve the following business goals:
- Maximize Performance – Drive growth and mission sustainability by removing technology limitations and potential fails and making the IT experience consistent and “on” for all users.
- Reduce Risk – Deploy centralized, team-based engineering resources with best-in-class automated remote monitoring, updating, patching, and management tools to eliminate downtime, emergencies, underserved users, and data loss.
- Enhance Cost Predictability – Prevent surprises and allow the client to operate within a specific budget, including network planning, design, and IT architecture consulting with a fixed-fee billing structure.
- Fortify Security – Ensure the client has visibility, quality control, and enhanced security protection around applications, cloud infrastructure, and data that are increasingly outside the organization’s walls and connected to other IT systems that could introduce vulnerabilities into the network.
A Deep Dive into Integris Co-Managed Services
Integris monitors, manages, supports, and secures all client IT systems for a fixed monthly fee in concert with the client’s two full-time IT resources.
A dedicated Managed Services Concierge (MSC) owns the relationship and coordinates all details for the client.
Virtual CIO Strategy & Services and Internal IT
Integris provides vCIO consulting to their C-Suite and Technology Planning Committee, including documentation: technology roadmaps, network diagrams, business continuity planning, and acceptable use policy recommendations.
This commitment includes applying strategy, budgets, and benchmarks to the client’s short, medium, and long-term business goals in four general stages:
- Evaluate and Assess
- Design Solution
- Implement Responsible IT Architecture
- Monitor, Manage, Maintain, and Repeat
24/7 Server Management
Integris provides unlimited monitoring, maintenance, patching, alerting, and reporting for the corporate server environment, including:
- Troubleshooting and alerting
- Managing multifactor authentication for all servers
- Firmware updates
- Operating system updates
- Microsoft product upgrades
- Line of business application patching and upgrades
Public Cloud Management and Internal IT
Integris provides unlimited administration and support of third-party cloud services.
Integris provides unlimited monitoring, maintenance, patching, alerting, and reporting for workstation assets with the following:
- Troubleshooting problems on all managed workstations
- Tracking of system drive space, CPU, memory, and critical Windows services
- New computer setup
- Workstation patching
- Departing user termination
- Approved software installation on workstations
- Repurposing existing computers for new users
- Virus removal
- Content Filtering
- Endpoint protection
- Multifactor authentication system maintenance and management
- Antispam gateway
- Integris installed software license management
- Third-party software license management (under existing maintenance contracts)
- Microsoft software license management and audit assistance
Integris proposed help desk as a future consideration to allow the client’s full-time IT resources to advance into executive IT roles or line of business application specialties. In both instances, they would abandon Level I help desk duties to pursue new strategic responsibilities within the organization.
Cybersecurity and Internal IT
Integris delivers dynamic cybersecurity, compliance, IT governance, and technology services to ensure the client’s employees, recipients, and vendors have the highest level of protection with basic to advanced programs.
- Aligning business policies and processes with industry compliance frameworks (HIPAA and NIST)
- Drafting IT policies, procedures, and plans
- Cyber risk management
- Compliance remediation
- Network security advisory
- Network diagrams
- Assistance reviewing and responding to vendor risk management questionnaires
- Cyber insurance application review
- Cybersecurity Awareness Training
- Ethical phishing tests
- Web Filtering
- Comprehensive backup and disaster recovery
- Two-factor authentication and Multifactor authentication
- Spam Email Filtering
- Endpoint Security
- Network Antivirus and Antimalware
- Firewall Management
- Customized service and system reports
24/7 Network Management
Integris provides unlimited management, monitoring, maintenance, patching, support, and security services to protect all network endpoints: firewalls, switches, routers, and more – remotely and onsite, including regular full network vulnerability scans and reporting.
Vendor Management/Technical Assistance and Internal IT
Integris serves as the first contact for issues related to the client’s technology vendors, including:
- Assistance, troubleshooting, and resolving vendor issues
- Evaluating new vendors or renegotiating contracts with existing vendors: cloud and software providers, ISPs, telecommunications, application providers, printers/copiers, equipment procurement, etc.
Technology Asset Monitoring
Integris provides deep-level performance, health monitoring for all deployed assets, and regular maintenance and patch control for all user machines. Asset tagging and reporting are generated at the client’s request, allowing for comprehensive tracking and intelligence on all user-level hardware and deployed software, including warranty information.
Technical Support and Ticketing System and Internal IT
The client’s two internal IT resources have a Managed Services Concierge with day-to-day support from a service pool of engineers who respond based on the priority levels P1, P2, P3, and P4. Clients have four ways to open tickets: 1 – phone, 2 – email, 3 – website, and 4 – desktop icon.
Integris provides portal access for authorized client personnel to its ticketing and support systems. All initiated support is recorded and trackable through a Professional Services Automation (PSA) system.
Client invoicing is generated via PSA to provide complete transparency and ease of review for all services for the life of the engagement.
The Onboarding and Tech Assessment Process
The transition period took 30 days and included collaboration with their current vendors for knowledge transfer of all IT system details and credentials.
Key onboarding details:
- Introduced their vCIO, Managed Service Concierge, engineers, and project managers at the client kick-off meeting.
- Presented an overview of IT services and transition details.
- Deployed management tools and migrated data and mailboxes.
- Swiftly removed the highest priority risks and created a future-focused technology roadmap within 90 days.
- Scheduled remediation projects to implement responsible IT architecture.
- Documented all IT systems and users with an extensive punch list, including new hire/exit checklists.
Significant Milestones and Present State in 2023
Integris effectuated a smooth and secure transition of credentials and access privileges when the IT Director took a new opportunity. We also implemented a tech support process everyone quickly adopted and embraces today. Several of the details include:
- Immediately deployed multifactor authentication.
- Upgraded the client from Office 365 to Microsoft 365 (M365) Business.
- Configured third-party cloud backup for M365 (Outlook, SharePoint, OneDrive).
- Added extra security layers to Outlook with Proofpoint Essentials Advanced.
- Set up Microsoft Intune and disk encryption for device, account management, and local data protection.
- Implemented Mobile Device Management (MDM).
- Moved folders from an on-premise server to OneDrive.
- Rolled out a SharePoint file sharing, collaboration, and repository solution to ensure users save files to a secure location.
- Transitioned Active Directory (AD) from the on-premise server to Microsoft Azure Active Directory.
- Decommissioned the aging on-premise file server.
- Restructured multiple copier leases, securing better pricing and agreements with matching start and end dates.
- Instituted regular Cybersecurity Awareness Training for all employees.
- Refreshed workstations with favorable equipment leasing rates.
- Managed all new office builds, including firewalls, switches, wireless access points, and racks.
Responsible IT Architecture Paved the Way for a Major Pivot
When COVID hit in early 2020, Integris helped the client pivot to a 100% work-from-home (WFH) platform.
The shift was seamless because they shifted most of their critical infrastructure to the cloud before lockdowns.
We now support their 100% WFH model today. And they couldn’t be happier with the new arrangement. Their client satisfaction scores are in the high 90s.
Most importantly, they’ve added two new locations to serve an expanded population of children and families in transition, disaster victims, immigrants, people with special needs, and low-income communities.
Schedule a free consultation if you have questions about solving internal IT problems.