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ITEGRALUPDATE

April 2010

IN THIS ISSUE

PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Containing your costs and
delighting your customers;
ItegraL’s innovative approach
ey
cuts costs and delivers on time. fo r Mon
Value

SECURITY CLEARANCES
Requirements and ways to fulfil
them.
Is 2010 the year IT starts to deliver?
Robin Watts, founder of ItegraL, shares his views on the IT market today
SERVER VIRTUALISATION
For many years, customers have been discover creative ways of providing
ASSESSMENTS refreshing their IT environments largely services, rather than product.
ItegraL expands the options as and when vendors wanted them to.
available to clients and extends Ironically, while some customers have
When a vendor brought out a new,
its qualifications with the transferred certain aspects of their IT to
faster or more powerful version, they
VMWare training programme. a virtualised environment, allowing
would hike the maintenance costs of the
them to move off old equipment in a
old version and "encourage" customers
staged approach to contain capital
to upgrade, often with the help of
BCP & DR EXPLAINED expenditure, those who have adopted
tailored ROI models. Sometimes it would
One of the City’s leading virtualisation thoughout the entire sub-
be the incumbent manufacturer driving
exponents shares their infrastructure are the ones reaping the
the refresh, and other times an
perspective on what BCP really biggest benefits of reduced costs and
alternative provider would win a new
means and why DR is so increased flexibility.
customer. Customers generally liked the
important.
fact that they were improving Carbon taxes introduced during the last
performance, and getting a new few months are starting to have an
technology to play with, and with a effect on customers' thinking and
booming economy everyone was happy. planning. ItegraL has been working with
But this approach to technology change customers over the last 3 years, assisting
is very much drawing to a close for them in reducing their power footprint
manufacturers as their new products through technology refreshes and
become more commodity than implementation of new ideas. We are
conditional, causing many of them to now starting to see new clauses come
“The advent of look at retaining customers through into contracts with hosting companies to
virtualisation and cloud offering service-based technology define who will be responsible for paying
technologies has spawned refreshes. the new green taxes, further focusing on
a new way of addressing this important change.
The economic downturn has also had a
the business requirements- significant effect on customers' abilities 2010 is likely to be a year of immense
providing services rather to fund large capital purchases leading changes in IT departments. With their
them to review requirements and how IT accountability raised to new levels on
than technology – which is
can service the business more efficiently. the Board, the CxO who does not think
all the business Customers are extending the lifecycle of ahead of the game and demonstrate
wanted anyway.” existing investments and introducing value for money and ways of reducing
technologies that can be built to a size costs is likely to find life very
proportionate to demand rather than uncomfortable. With our business
those requiring wholesale migration. consultancy and in-depth experience of
Virtualisation and cloud technologies working with customers in these areas
have taken the lead in this new way of over the last few years, ItegraL is well
thinking, forcing IT departments to placed to assist with the changes.
ITEGRALUPDATE April 2010 PROJECT MANAGEMENT -
timescales are likely to be more
flexible or you only require a few
individuals for roles and typically
turns most checks around in a matter
CONTAIN YOUR COSTS hours of project management each of days.
week, you can rest assured ItegraL
If you should need security cleared
Project Management has arguably PMs are only going to bill for the time
individuals for a role, now or in the
been happening since the dawn of they expend, saving you a small
future, ItegraL currently has
time when God first said “Let there fortune over having to recruit a full-
personnel available for deployment
be light.” But it’s only in the last 50 or time contractor.
on your projects including:
so years that it has become
established as a recognised discipline SECURITY CLEARANCE SC cleared Project Manager:
and only the last 30 or so years that it REQUESTS Kevin has >20 years experience
has become a focused specialisation. of delivering multi-disciplined
projects across geographical
Most people would confess that Did you know that government
borders.
Project Management of a large-scale departments and other authorities
change or implementation is who ask for people with clearance SC cleared Storage Consultant
beneficial for coordinating the levels in advance of an order are and Unix Admin; Tony has 25
team(s) involved, for understanding breaching the guidance agreed with years experience working with
the dependencies and for managing the Cabinet Office, except where the Unix and Storage environments
budgets, but on smaller projects how placement is short term or required and is highly skilled in HDS, Sun
can you reduce Project Management at very short notice? and NetApp.
costs and yet ensure the project is
Cabinet Minister, the Rt Hon
still delivered successfully?
Angela Smith MP, recently IT SALES FIGHT BACK
ItegraL delivers dozens of projects stressed that “national security
every year of all sizes. Our fixed price, vetting controls are important, The last year has been tricky for IT
fixed deliverables based project but must be applied Services sales with many companies
management ensures you know what proportionately and fairly. tightening their belts and reducing
it will cost before you start and Where security clearances are head-count, focusing on 'core'
allows you to only pay for the project necessary, an existing clearance business and eking out the last penny
management required. If the project should not be used as part of the of revenue from their existing clients.
selection criteria or inhibit We at ItegraL hear this on a daily
access... except in rare cases basis as feedback from the hundreds
where a contract is urgent or of calls we make every day with
very short term.” many yielding the same stories; no
Last month a customer required a highly
experienced Project manager to help them scope Demand for security cleared capital budget, reducing operational
and start to deliver a project in Europe. The individuals is not limited to expenditure and insistent demands
project was still waiting final client approval to government departments nowadays from the business to deliver the
start and needed a clear scope definition and the and the levels required for banking, promises that IT departments have
roles and responsibilities defined to help insurance, medical and other roles is been making over the past few years.
convince the client to proceed. ItegraL were able constantly being tightened as
to supply a project manager within the For us this is always an interesting
companies struggle to demonstrate time as our clients look to remove
timescales, with flexibility for attending last due diligence in case of law-suits.
minute meetings and writing project fixed cost from their budget and
documentation. As a result, the client has now Basic Clearance (BC) level checks are replace it with a genuine resource on
commenced the project helping our customer being required for basic roles with demand model. Traditional models of
land a multi-million pound order with a clear Counter Terrorism Checks (CTC) and body shops have proven to be hit or
scope for services. Special Clearance (SC) being needed miss with no guaranteed end result.
for more sensitive situations. Even with a growing client base,
largely due to the referrals of our
Outside of specific security checks,
clients, we have to cold-call on a daily
Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)
basis to get the message out. We
checks for any roles working with
have found over the past 20 years in
private customer or patient data are
IT sales that in general no-one will
pretty much de-facto now and often
have heard of your company or if
Financial Records checks are required
for the most basic roles in Financial
organisations.
ItegraL has worked with vendors and
other companies to obtain many of
these checks prior to deploying
ITEGRALUPDATE April 2010 they have, they have no idea if you can do
what you say you do. And yet, when we
speak with customers, our message is
always welcomed and clearly understood;
“We help you to achieve your business
goals through the flexible and utterly
why the likes of MS, VMware and Citrix to
reliable provision of proven Professional
name but 3 of the key virtualisation “players”
Services, or you don’t pay a penny.”
are so strongly pushing their numerous
Outside of referrals our largest new business virtualisation offerings) the customer
generation comes from cold calls so the next business benefits that can be obtained by
time you have a call from ItegraL why not organisations who employ virtualisation
take it? You never know we may have a solutions are substantial.
solution for your problems.
As well as the bottom line of “saving you
money” through reducing valuable
SERVER VIRTUALISATION computer room floor space, power and
ASSESSMENTS cooling, conserving energy and providing the
capabilities of greater resilience and
The question these days is not so much “why redundancy, virtualisation can improve
should I virtualise?”, it is more “what can I business flexibility and agility.
virtualise?” and also more importantly “how
Never ones to sit on their laurels, ItegraL
can I virtualise?”.
consultants constantly review the
Everywhere we turn in the IT The market first really woke up to virtualisation marketplace to assess and
virtualisation in open-systems around 4-5 evaluate new virtualisation offerings to be
World we are bombarded years ago when server virtualisation first able to provide our customers with the best
with advertisements and appeared on the scene. Prior to that, it had possible advice in respect to the many
sales literature trying to primarily been the domain of the Mainframe opportunities available to them, and more
convince us to go down the or niche virtualisation offerings such as importantly on how particular benefits of
“yellow brick road” towards StorageTek’s VSM or hardware solutions specific solutions can benefit individual
such as Sun’s E10k. But in the time since customers’ requirements. Whilst directly
virtualisation Utopia.
Server Virtualisation awareness has become partnering with key industry manufacturers
mainstream throughout IT, a plethora of and Solution Providers, ItegraL is also in the
other virtualisation solutions has sprung up; enviable position of being independent of
Storage Virtualisation; Desktop any vendor, allowing us to offer completely
Virtualisation; Application Virtualisation to impartial and objective advice and guidance
name but a few. It seems that every IT to our customers.
manufacturer and supplier has jumped on
IT Managers now know that virtualisation
the Virtualisation bandwagon.
solutions are not a “flash in the pan”
Rather like seeing the seemingly constant marketing ploy that will disappear once a
stream of TV adverts for the latest NOW new computer buzzword technology comes
music CD (are they really up to #456?) it along. Virtualisation is here to stay and is
would be understandable if one felt that this something that can benefit every single
push on virtualisation was just another ploy organisation that uses IT. Virtualisation
by IT vendors to get customers, large and should certainly not be referred to as pie-in-
small, to pass over to them a significant the sky, but possibly more accurately as
percentage of their Cap-Ex Budgets. While substance in the Cloud....however, more on
this is quite true (after all that is ultimately that next month.

Early in Jan 2010 a customer approached ItegraL requiring an urgent server assessment
engagement. This was required to be undertaken at extremely short notice to allow for
capture of month end processing and to allow the necessary customer project budget
information to be produced in the same month. A key requirement for this engagement
was the ability to respond quickly and implement the data gathering for a server
virtualisation assessment. By using the Lanamark Suite and Partner Portal ItegraL were
able to instigate the assessment and start data collection on the day the initial customer
meeting took place. This would not have been feasible, given the timescales, using other
assessment data gathering tools.
ITEGRALUPDATE April 2010

· Involve staff through an education


BCP / DR - DEMYSTIFIED and awareness programme so that ABOUT US
they are aware of their roles and ItegraL provides Project
Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is responsibilities. Management and Consulting
about planning for the unknown. The · Monitor and report on progress and services to many Blue Chip
issues on a monthly or quarterly companies and household names
plan enables us to recover operational
basis.
throughout the UK and Ireland.
status and resume business as usual.
ItegraL works with its customers
The process concentrates on delivering Disaster Recovery (DR) is about
and carefully selected partners to
a holistic approach by understanding all planning for an expected incident. We
deliver complimentary
risks including operational risk. Through utilise the Business Continuity Plan to
Professional Services, ensuring
this process we identify the scope and prepare us for the "expected" scenarios
the best possible resources are
boundaries of the business continuity we are likely to encounter.
made available at competitive
plan. This is further refined through a prices. Our key focus is on
risk assessment known as the Business The difference between the expected
reliability and value, allowing you
and unexpected is in the level of
Impact Analysis (BIA) where we conduct to achieve your business
preparation required to respond.
an assessment of; the people, the objectives and complete your
business, technology, information, projects on time and within
We utilise the information from the budget.
supplies and stakeholders. This analysis
business impact analysis to prepare our
forms the foundation of the business
response to the different scenarios. Our consultants can help you
continuity, crisis management and the
requirements for Disaster recovery. with every phase of developing
We prepare to recover to an alternative and deploying innovative IT
work site; this can be another building, solutions and services, from
As part of the business continuity plan, location or a work area recovery site.
testing is imperative to establish and assessments, designs, deployments
The requirements we identify are; and support.
prove whether the plan works. These
· People: critical people required at
tests can be carried out on a part or the
time of invocation and after
whole of the infrastructure, with
invocation.
representatives from IT, the business,
suppliers and stakeholders. Occasionally · Technology: access to applications,
our customers request us to organise a telephony, networks and services.
test without their staff knowing in · Information: recover data, paper
advance, to test readiness under normal records and manual workarounds.
operating conditions. · Suppliers: reinstate third party
services.
After conducting a test we produce · Stakeholders: reduce reputation For more information please contact
reports based on lessons learnt from damage. us on 020 3384 4547
the exercise and provide
recommendations on how to implement BCP and DR will always be a work in www.itegral.com
improvements. progress because we live in a dynamic
As with many areas of critical business world. Therefore, education and
awareness is an integral part of
operations, there are a number of
continuing to develop both areas. CONTRIBUTORS
rules of thumb: · Make BCP/DR part of the
Robin Watts, Andy Walden, Mel
· If it has not been tested it does not management lifecycles including Mehmet, Will Everingham, Jon Pavitt
work. performance management.
· Establish a regular maintenance · Keep testing.
schedule of the plan. · Keep it realistic and meaningful.

Itegral (UK) Limited, part of the ItegraL group of companies is a company registered in England and Wales under
company number 3261885.

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