Success Story: Geneva Insurance Infrastructure Upgrade

Posted by Steve Fey, TCC Director of Business Development

October 11, 2017, TCC upgrades the firewall and establishes a new ISP and VoIP phones services for Geneva Insurance.

Background:

Since 2014 TCC has provided IT Managed Software services for Geneva Insurance. Geneva Insurance is a high- risk auto insurance agency headquartered in Indianapolis and conducting business in both Indiana and Oklahoma.

In 2015, TCC increased our service offering to include IT Managed Infrastructure services. Our initial Statement of Work included upgrading their servers, firewall, anti-virus and spam filtering. TCC effectively became Geneva’s IT department of which they rely heavily on TCC including Tier 1 support for day to day operations. TCC has become a critical success factor and a true partner with Geneva.

Proven methodology:

TCC followed a disciplined approach to the proven and time tested methodology of Identifying, Transforming, Managing and Optimizing to provide a successful solution to all stakeholders.

Proven Team and SERVICE:

Brady Siebe is the technical lead and solution architect for TCC providing technical leadership and expertise for all Geneva’s software enhancements and project upgrades. Brady has done expert work updating the Geneva applications and has successfully transferred his knowledge to a new resource Amulya Sondur who now works under the Geneva contract for Application and Tier 1 support.

The TCC Managed Service Provider (MSP) team has recently upgraded the Geneva Firewall and has completed inventory and access for their entire company. The TCC MSP team was able to uncover a huge issue for Geneva that had been plaguing them for year.

SCOPE:

Upgrade Success

The two software systems that TCC supports are named Geneva Online and WyseAuto. These two systems are the heart, soul and blood supply for Geneva Insurance.

For many months, TCC would receive trouble tickets regarding performance of the two key applications. By combining both the TCC MSP team and the TCC Application Support team in root cause analysis, it was determined that the systems were functioning optimally without lag or latency.

The TCC MSP team analyzed the network/ internet and discovered that the internet service provider was providing a 3MB (not a typo) internet pipe to Geneva. To exacerbate the issue the phone system was using the same pipe and bandwidth with the Internet phone system. Phone traffic for Geneva does not have peaks and valleys, just peaks.

Through good old-fashioned teamwork and collaboration, TCC worked on taking the initiative and set up an entirely new ISP and phone service for the Geneva Office. Brian Wooden, Derek Epps, and Chris McHugh worked on a transition with two new service providers for Geneva.

In the End:

TCC has since transitioned their local office to new Internet and upgraded VoIP phone services and saved Geneva $800/month in internet charges.

The Geneva office manager stated, “Reports that would take 15 minutes to load allowed our staff to take coffee and snack breaks. WOW! Our reports are so fast now, when will be able to take breaks?”

To learn more about TCC IT Managed Service, please visit our website https://www.e-tcc.com/managed-services.

 

Benefits of Virtualization

Posted by Derek Epps, TCC Senior Account Executive of IT Managed Services

By now you have probably heard about Virtualization. For those of you who don’t know what virtualization is, it refers to the act of creating a virtual rather than actual version of something. This includes computer hardware, storage devices and network resources. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtualization

This technology is not new. Technically, Virtualization has been around since the 1960’s with giant mainframe computers separating out resources on a single unit. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtualization. Software began to gain popularity in the late 1990’s and well into 2000’s and 2010’s. VMware and Microsoft was and is the market leader in this offering.

Today “The Cloud” is now all the talk with companies like Amazon and Microsoft leading the pack. However, virtualization is still very much a viable option. If you are small business, moving all your applications to the cloud may not be the best fit for you due to cost constraints or other reasons.

So why not create your own “Private cloud”. If you have more than 3-4 servers and are in the market for new ones, virtualization should be considered. This would eliminate the need for as many physical servers and maximize the resources on less physical hardware. The end result is you are saving your company money in reducing your physical footprint and making it easier to take the next step to the cloud if you so choose.

Contact TCC’s IT Managed Services today to learn more: https://www.e-tcc.com/managed-services

 

Outsourcing IT Managed Services

Posted by Derek Epps, Senior Account Executive of Managed Services

Outsourcing IT services is not a new concept by any means. The concept was introduced well over 20 years ago, and became increasingly more popular in the early 2000’s and into today. As of 2008 it was estimated that there were 8,000 managed service providers in the United States, with the average managed service provider reporting annual revenue of 3.9 million, and an average employee size of 25. http://mspmentor.net/sales/average-managed-service-provider-39-million-revenue .

This number has likely nearly doubled since then as many companies have tried to cash in on this growing market. It is estimated that small and medium sized businesses will spend 285 billion dollars by the year 2019 transitioning to the cloud. http://blog.kaseya.com/blog/2015/01/08/managed-services-market-evolving-fast/

Companies from many different types of verticals and sizes have adopted this model and it seems like managed service providers have become like McDonald’s with one on every street corner. With the average employee size of 25 there are many managed service providers that have 10 or less employees. These companies may not aspire or feel the need to grow too large as they do not want the responsibility and the overhead of added employees. In this scenario, smaller managed service providers do have options.

One viable option is to outsource some or all services to another IT managed services company. Seems counterproductive, right? Perhaps not. Companies outsource their IT because it is often more cost effective than hiring an internal staff and with less management responsibility.

The same principle can be applied to managed service companies. Let’s face it, good IT technicians and engineers are hard to find. By outsourcing helpdesk services or even all services to another larger company, smaller companies can concentrate on other business such as managing their relationship with clients and proactively planning projects. They also no longer have to worry about managing employees and can successfully grow their business with minimal staff.

TCC Software Solutions has option when it comes to this offering and values our partnerships. Come check us out at https://www.e-tcc.com/managed-services .

Finding Mainframe Talent Cited as One of the Top Business Challenges from the IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition Readership Survey

Posted by Rick Fowler, TCC Director of Mainframe Services

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition, recently posted the results of their 2017 Readership Survey. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2017, from http://www.ibmsystemsmagmainframedigital.com/nxtbooks/ibmsystemsmag/mainframe_20170910/#/28

147 readers responded to a recent reader survey and they cited a variety of business challenges that were top of mind. These included managing security, holding down costs and finding talent as some of those top challenges.

The mainframe skills gap has been of concern for quite some time. An article on the CIO website looks at how CIO’s are planning for the skills shortage created as IT professionals with mainframe skills are aging out of the workforce. Florentine, S. (2015, August 10). How legacy technology is creating the next skills gap. Retrieved July 28, 2017, from http://www.cio.com/article/2960639/leadership-management/how-legacy-technology-is-creating-the-next-skills-gap.html.

The article notes that improvement in education and training are necessary to train incoming graduates with the skills necessary to fill the jobs in the field. It also notes that companies need to create a culture that is attractive to developers by stressing how the current, hot technologies are dependent on older foundational infrastructure. This may make it easier for companies to attract new talent interested in gaining experience on legacy enterprise computing.

I am also a member of the IBM Academic Initiative program created to help address the skills gap https://www-03.ibm.com/systems/z/education/academic/. IBM works with students, professors and businesses around the world to ensure that the next generation of mainframe experts will be ready to leverage the superior security, availability, scalability, and efficiency of the mainframe.

To learn more about TCC’s Mainframe Managed Services, please visit our website https://www.e-tcc.com/managed-services. For information on TCC’s staff augmentation services, please visit our Talent Acquisition page: https://www.e-tcc.com/talent-acquisition.