A PERPETUAL EDGE ON PRODUCTIVITY

How CSI is enabling the sales operations of a global automotive manufacturer to get a perpetual edge on system availability, performance and user productivity.

Our Client: In addition to design and manufacture, this company operates a focused organisation to sell, lease and market its heavy goods vehicles, buses, coaches and services in over 100 countries.

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CONTEXT

As a leading company in the heavy vehicle industry, this CSI client carefully monitors external and internal risks that can affect its reputation and overall business performance.

The company thrives in a fiercely competitive sector, but growth depends on its vehicles moving into the market efficiently via a network of dealers.

GOAL

The company needed to ensure high levels of availability and user productivity for its CRM, warehouse, and dealer management systems.

This can be achieved through comprehensive system monitoring and taking pre-emptive actions based on threshold alerts and quickly responding to incidents.

CHALLENGE

The company operates its core applications on IBM Power Systems running AIX. This environment is the focus of monitoring and management – including investigating and remotely assisting the resolution of incidents arising from the day-to-day operation or configuration of the IBM infrastructure.

In order to keep the dealer system running at peak performance, the client also required monitoring of disk and CPU capacity, backup success, and network connectivity. Patching and other system changes were also required.

The company’s disaster recovery system is hosted in a third-party data centre. Monitoring the DR services provided is an important part of the total management service.

MORE THAN 50% OF SURVEY RESPONDENTS RECOGNISE THAT AIX IS CORE TO THEIR BUSINESS WITH MORE THAN HALF OF THEIR BUSINESS APPLICATIONS ON AIX. 83% PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS INDICATED THAT AIX GIVES THEM A HIGH RETURN ON INVESTMENT.

AIX Community Survey 2020, HelpSystems

SOLUTION

Before designing the solution, CSI carried out an assessment of the entire IBM environment and the client accepted a recommendation that other line of business applications running on IBM i systems would benefit from the same level of monitoring and management.

We implemented a comprehensive set of services for all IBM host systems and LPARs. Our Network Operations Centre provides 24/7 monitoring for:

  • the completion of backups – and notifying the client if failed
  • real-time performance events
  • hardware and communication link failures and errors
  • disk and CPU utilisation and trend analysis
  • Power HA Replication system

CSI also carries out system changes, firmware patches, and PTF upgrades.

OUTCOMES

CSI’s Service Desk is the single point of contact for this client’s incident management and request fulfilment.

All aspects of the service are owned by a fully accountable Service Delivery Manager who provides the client with a monthly report including a technical review of each AIX and IBM i LPAR.

Security Hardening

The client is also considering the results of a security audit which highlighted areas of potential vulnerability on the AIX LPARs.

CSI will recommend operating system hardening – first on non-production LPARs and, once tested, on all production AIX partitions. The recommendations include an improved user authentication policy.

53%

53% of AIX users reported that cyber security was their top priority for 2020 – followed closely by disaster recovery and high availability.

36%

Over a third of users are concerned about a growing shortage of AIX skills.

9%

Only 9% of AIX users are planning to move all their applications to another platform within two years.