3 Case Studies on Out of the Ordinary IT support
In the normal course of helping our clients, Lucidica do all the normal IT support requests you would expect from a quality IT support company. We create users, get computers ready for use, and install software.
Every job is special to us because someone, somewhere, is relying on us getting it done. But sometimes we go the extra mile for IT support jobs that are a little out of the ordinary; it might be an out-of-the-blue failure or some intense complexity due to a multi-vendor environment.
No matter the cause, we pride ourselves on being able to bring the whole team to bear on tricky issues.
Case Study 1
A question of questions
Featuring: Complex contracts, deep infrastructure understanding, a mix of business and IT savvy.
The first example is one that comes more from a complex business environment than an IT one.
Our client, a PR firm of around 35 people, had a large multinational on their books. They were so happy with the work the PR firm was doing that they asked them to take a bigger role.
So far so good, but the new role came with more responsibility and, therefore, a tougher supplier agreement. Through the door came a document featuring over 500 questions on the ultrafine detail of their IT operation. The questions ranged from their everyday IT usage right down to how their CCTV worked, their leak protection and the technical grade and function of their locks. All of these needed an answer before the supplier agreement could commence.
The first step was a meeting between the client, the account director, and a senior engineer. With a limited timeframe and no current compliance in place, such as ISO27001, it was up to Lucidica to figure out how to bring them fully into compliance.
“The early winner, strategy-wise, was to move as much as we could into the “de-scoped” area,” said Josh, the senior engineer involved “meaning we had to make use of other services, like Azure, where their certification would take precedence.”
Using a combination of cloud and managed services, local site changes and technical documentation writing, Lucidica managed to find a way to get the client compliant, and their new enhanced supplier agreement was enacted shortly after. This mindset of overcoming obstacles and “never say never” IT support is one of the many ways Lucidica go above and beyond clients’ expectations.
Case Study 2
Under pressure when failure is not an option
Featuring: Time criticality, unsupported systems, detailed planning
When our customer, an accounting firm, had to close a commercial agreement with a supplier hosting one of the line-of-business applications, it was a matter of working out how to move their software package to a new environment.
Normally this would not be a cause for concern, but the client alerted us that a 30 day notice period had already been given, so we had 29 days and counting to get it moved.
“It’s what makes having a bigger team so useful”, explained Josh “we were able to bring lots of know-how to the table with experience in planning work like this.”
Case Study 3
When things just go plain wrong
Featuring: Sudden failure, Unmanaged IT, going above and beyond
Having sent a network engineer onsite for a simple small network install call, things looked plain sailing. However, before he left, Josh was asked to swap out a disk in a RAID system that had failed. That’s fine, since this kind of redundancy is exactly what a RAID system is designed to do.
The environment was unknown as the client, a business incubator, only used Lucidica for specific one-off jobs and Lucidica didn’t manage their infrastructure. As Josh took out the disk to replace it, the power failed in the whole building. Normally this would not be a problem as the battery backup would kick in. Well in this case, for unknown reasons, the battery backup system was not configured to make this happen. Everything lost power, with Josh holding the failed disk in his hand and wondering what was going on!
Once power was restored it was clear there was a problem. The RAID system had forgotten all its settings (another smaller battery in the RAID itself had also been allowed to run flat). This means it had failed and then forgotten its original configuration and even that it had ever failed in the first place!Once power was restored it was clear there was a problem. The RAID system had forgotten all its settings (another smaller battery in the RAID itself had also been allowed to run flat). This means it had failed and then forgotten its original configuration and even that it had ever failed in the first place!
Due to the number of disks in this particular system, and the lack of site documentation, it took a herculean effort from Josh to get things back up and running. He stayed until 10 pm that night and was back at 5 am the next day.
Things were soon under control with Josh having to do several restores of data and recreate all the settings manually. “Yeah, there were a lot of unknowns so it was pretty stressful,” said an understated Josh “but getting the client back up and working was the key concern.”
This type of unplanned outage is where good long term IT management from Lucidica would have really helped. Allowing the batteries to become non-functional isn’t something Lucidica would have let happen, so the entire problem would have been avoided.