Mac IT Best Practices. Michael Volchok Volchok Consulting, Inc.

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1 Mac IT Best Practices Michael Volchok Volchok Consulting, Inc.

2 INTRODUCTION Volchok Consulting New York-based Apple Network VAR Provide IT Consulting Operate a Mac Help Desk Develop MAX Help Desk Management software

3 INTRODUCTION Mac IT Best Practices What are Best Practices? Policies and procedures for delivering IT support Where do these procedures come from? Accumulated experience of senior consultants IT Infrastructure Library - ITIL Industry standards

4 INTRODUCTION Guiding Principles No single point of failure Equipment Staff Have problems solved at the lowest level possible Make sure IT supports the business

5 INTRODUCTION How IT impacts your business IT has a direct impact on the success of the business IT can be a competitive advantage IT is a major expense Poor IT management can be a productivity drain

6 INTRODUCTION IT WARS The names of our clients have been changed to protect the guilty and innocent Good Guys: Alliance Recycling Bad Guys: Imperial Waste Management

7 INTRODUCTION Alliance Recycling Business growing Staff not stressed Work regular hours

8 INTRODUCTION Imperial Waste Management Business shrinking Low employee morale Reactionary IT support

9 How to Evaluate Your IT Service Delivery

10 HOW TO EVALUATE IT SERVICE DELIVERY How to Evaluate How much money are you spending per user IT management software reports User satisfaction surveys Management interviews Service Level Agreements

11 HOW TO EVALUATE IT SERVICE DELIVERY IT Management Software Metrics from Reports Users per technician Calls per user Help desk solve rates Tracking IT workflow

12 HOW TO EVALUATE IT SERVICE DELIVERY IT Software Example Alliance Recycling All issues must be entered into IT software Extensive use of knowledge base Clear procedures As a result more incidents resolved at the first level

13 HOW TO EVALUATE IT SERVICE DELIVERY IT Software Example Imperial Waste Management Many issues not entered into the software Almost no use of knowledge base Few incidents updated by desk side Much lower solve rate at help desk

14 HOW TO EVALUATE IT SERVICE DELIVERY Service Level Agreement (SLA) Determine the business requirements Create SLAs that match the requirements Ensure SLAs are being met

15 HOW TO EVALUATE IT SERVICE DELIVERY SLA Example Imperial Waste Management No written SLAs Have unwritten expectations requiring extremely high levels of support for all users and all issues Expectations are rarely met

16 HOW TO EVALUATE IT SERVICE DELIVERY SLA Example Alliance Recycling Written SLAs, differing response levels based on urgency Manage user expectations well These expectations are almost always met if not exceeded

17 HOW TO EVALUATE IT SERVICE DELIVERY Evaluation: The Alliance vs. The Empire

18 HOW TO EVALUATE IT SERVICE DELIVERY Imperial Waste Management Spending per year per user: $1250 User to Desk Side Tech Ratio: 77 to 1 Support Level: Inadequate 15% solved at Help Desk level Poor Documentation No defined procedures and policies Poor coordination, no management

19 HOW TO EVALUATE IT SERVICE DELIVERY Alliance Recycling Spending per year per user: $1250 User to Desk Side Tech Ratio: 90 to 1 Support Level: Excellent 44% solved at Help Desk level Excellent Documentation Well defined procedures and policies Centralized management and coordination of service delivered

20 How to Improve Your IT Service Delivery

21 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY INTRODUCTION How to Maximize IT Resources Personnel Software Tools Procedures and Policies

22 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY PERSONNEL Support Teams Help Desk, Desk Side, Network, Application Support, Telecom Purpose of support teams Different skill sets, different pay rates Clear lines of responsibility Establish lines of promotion and growth

23 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY PERSONNEL Support Teams Example Alliance Recycling Five support groups Strong focus on getting least expensive group to handle any issue Strong use of help desk

24 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY PERSONNEL Support Teams Example Imperial Waste Management Two support groups use software (help desk and desk side) several others do not Communication to these groups is verbal or via Service delivery is undocumented by these groups Desk side technicians handle almost all issues Little use of help desk

25 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY PERSONNEL Outsourcing When to Outsource Cost Savings Specialized service Hide head count

26 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY PERSONNEL Outsourcing Pitfalls of Outsourcing Loss of control of service delivered Don t outsource your competitive advantages Requires management

27 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY TOOLS IT Management Software Issue tracking Communication Centralized knowledge management Reports SLA management

28 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY TOOLS IT Management Software Traditional packages: HP, CA, Remedy, Heat, Footprints, Magic, Peregrine Web-based packages: MAX Help Desk, Web Help Desk Free packages helpdesk.com has an overwhelming number of choices

29 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY TOOLS Asset Management Deploy, manage and track assets Reports Repair histories Widely used systems: Casper, Track It, Altiris, Apple Remote Desktop, Microsoft Excel

30 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY TOOLS Backup Backup/Archiving Management Backup schemes to fit business and legal requirements Backup client machines? Major packages: Retrospect, Backup Exec, ARCserve Have a electronic backup policy as part of rentention policy

31 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY TOOLS License Management Legal compliance Don t overbuy or underbuy Track and don t lose licenses Upgrade/sidegrade opportunities Central purchasing

32 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY TOOLS NetBoot and Network Install Centrally manage OS, software and user data Designed for large scale deployments with standard setups Central software distribution Large upfront setup costs Eliminates need for desk side technicians Troubleshooting

33 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY TOOLS Not To NetBoot Not good for data intensive applications Non standard setups Not for environments lacking strong IT support Single point of failure Requires constant server support Requires high grade network equipment

34 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY TOOLS Remote Control Fast access to users desktops for help desk and desk side Some software distribution capabilities Examples: Apple Remote Desktop, VNC, Timbuktu, Filewave

35 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY TOOLS Network Software Distribution Software installs without a desktop visit Batch upgrade capability Examples: Casper, Filewave, NetOctopus, Apple Remote Desktop Mac OS 10.4 Server Software Update

36 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY POLICIES & PROCEDURES Standardize Hardware Purchase life cycle management Macs have 3 year life span (PCs tend to have shorter life spans) Purchase 1/3 of your total machines every year Facilitates budgeting Only have to support three models of machines Roll down machines to lower demand users

37 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY POLICIES & PROCEDURES Standardize Hardware Alternate method - Buy as you need Most common approach Meant to minimize machine purchases Maximizes number of models to support Harder to budget

38 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY POLICIES & PROCEDURES Software: Images Images More upfront work, less day to day support Template Users Much easier for users to swap machines

39 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY POLICIES & PROCEDURES Software: Policies Limit users to non-admin accounts Prevents users from installing and updating software Prevents users from making changes in System Preferences Requires solid help desk support Requires remote control

40 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY POLICIES & PROCEDURES IT Support Policies Change management Green zone Test before deploy Back out plan Change frequency

41 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY POLICIES & PROCEDURES IT Support Policies Require users to call the help desk Do not allow users to request specific techs Prioritize issues according to business needs

42 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY POLICIES & PROCEDURES Security Policy Security Policy Balance between business security and productivity requirements Remote Access

43 HOW TO IMPROVE IT SERVICE DELIVERY POLICIES & PROCEDURES Disaster Recovery Evaluate time business can be down Recovery can be in stages Create disaster relocation/recovery plan in advance Test your plan regularly Keep your plan updated

44 CONCLUSION Summary Part I Support teams IT Management Software Asset Management Backup Strategy License Management NetBoot Remote Control

45 CONCLUSION Summary Part II Network Software Distribution Standardize Hardware Software: Images Software: Policies IT Support Policies Security Policy Disaster Recovery Policy

46 CONCLUSION Continually Evaluate Evaluate service delivery on a regular basis Run reports from your IT software End user satisfaction surveys Manager interviews Periodic reviews for IT staff

47 Thank You Michael Volchok Volchok Consulting, Inc.

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